For Ohio State music click on the following:
http://users.frii.com/~nmetro/osu/songs/todays_songs.html This is the most
comprehensive web site about the Songs of The Ohio State University.
Oh! Come letís sing Ohioís praise,
And songs to Alma Mater raise;
While our hearts rebounding thrill,
With joy which death
alone can still.
Summerís heat or Winterís cold.
The seasons pass,
the years will roll;
Time and change will surely show
How firm thy friendship O-hi-o.
by Robert B. Stevenson
Thank you, it's an honor to be here and speak about such an important
anniversary in the history of Ohio State University.
Carmen Ohio, the Alma
Mater, was written October 25th, 1902 by Fred Cornell, a freshman on the
He wrote it on the train coming back from Ann Arbor, after a loss. By
coincidence, the Michigan song Hail to the Victors, was written by a player on
the train coming back from Chicago after a big win. Perhaps Coach Paterno will
give pencil & paper to his players tomorrow after the game, WIN OR LOSE, so one
of them might write a new school song on the way home.
Cornell was born in Columbus in 1882 and graduated Old Columbus high school. He
sang in the choir at Trinity Episcopal church downtown and in Beta Theta Pi
men's glee club at OSU.
The 1904 Makio described Cornell as a champion all around athlete. In track he
ran relays, the 100 yard dash, low hurdles, and he set an OSU gym record for
high hurdles. He was the starting center on the basketball team, starting
shortstop on the baseball team, and reserve end on the football team.
One hundred years ago THIS MORNING the football team and more than a thousand
Buckeye fans boarded the Toledo and Ohio Central train, bound for Ann Arbor.
OSU was then undefeated, having outscored their first four opponents by a total
of 86 to nothing.
Michigan's Ferry Field was filled to capacity that day, and newspaper accounts
say nearly half of the 6,000 spectators supported Ohio. Both schools brought
their marching bands and cheerleaders, and as kickoff time grew near, the
excitement level approached pandemonium.
Ohio fans were singing the fight song, Wahoo wahoo, rip zip bazoo, I yell I yell
for O.S.U., Wahoo wahoo. It was sung to the tune of Roll, Jordan, Roll, in case
you couldn't tell.
Suddenly, the frolicking jubilation stopped -- as the Michigan band played, The
Yellow and Blue. Michigan fans stood up and removed their hats, and sang the
solemn song. Fred Cornell decided, Ohio State needs a song like that.
The game began poorly as Michigan scored first, and then Ohio State's big left
guard, Jim Lincoln, was ejected for a personal foul. At halftime the score was
45 to nothing, and the second half went no better. The game ended, 86 to
nothing. One hundred years ago THIS EVENING the Buckeyes boarded the train back
to Columbus, beaten and bloodied, but unbowed.
Cornell began writing phrases on the back of an envelope, to the melody of
Spanish Chant, an ancient hymn. He borrowed a little bit from the Yale song,
Bright College Years, which goes, "The seasons pass, the seasons go, the earth
is green or white with snow, but time and change shall not avail, to break the
friendships formed at Yale." Cornell's coach, Perry Hale, was a former captain
of the Yale football team.
The first public performance of Carmen Ohio was in December 1903, in the State
House chapel, for Governor Judson Harmon, and then a few weeks later on New
Year's Eve, for crowd of 80 people in a small town near Lima. After that the
song seemed to disappear, and was nearly forgotten. A scary thought.
In 1906, some students sang it at a football pep rally, around a bonfire. The
words appeared in the Lantern newspaper October 10th, and ten days later the
words and music were in the Michigan game program. It has been sung at every
home game ever since.
In 1916 the Orton Hall bell tower was finished, and the first carillon concert
was on University Day. Several popular songs were played, concluding with
Carmen Ohio FOLLOWED by Westminister Peal, the familiar chimes heard at the top
of each hour.
Forty years later, Marching Band director Jack Evans decided the chimes would
make a good introduction to Carmen, and asked arranger
Dick Heine to work on it.
The three long bongs set the pace for the song, and provide the proper pitch to
Cornell went on to a successful career in the automobile and shipbuilding
industries. In 1961 he received the University's Distinguished Service Award
for his composition and 60 years of continuous devotion. He died in Florida in
1969 at the age of 87.
In 1991, the Ohio State graduating class donated a monument, which is located on
the southwest corner of the Oval, in the shadow of Orton bell tower. A nine by
five foot slab of polished gray granite, with the words to Carmen Ohio --
chiseled in stone.
Fred Cornell is gone, but the song he wrote one hundred years ago is alive
today, burning in the hearts of Buckeye fans around the world. Thank you very
much, and Go Bucks!
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