Syracuse University History:

Syracuse University Songs

Alma Mater
Junius W. Stevens, Class of 1895

Where the vale of Onondaga
Meets the eastern sky
Proudly stands our Alma Mater
On her hilltop high.
Flag we love! Orange! Float for aye-
Old Syracuse, o'er thee,
Loyal be thy sons and daughters
To thy memory.

Note: The next to the last line of the original Alma Mater, "May thy sons be leal and loyal" was changed in Spring 1986 to "Loyal be thy sons and daughters" to be more inclusive, reflecting that Syracuse University has always been co-educational.

Listen to SU Alma Mater

Bill Orange: A Syracuse Football Song
Harry Sheridan Lee, Class of 1899. words and music

Bill Orange is upon the sidelines
With a megaphone and flag in hand.
He leads the crowd to cheer like demons,
All up and down the old grandstand;
And as the ball is moving goal-ward
Each yard that's gained he's marking well
It's worth while to play for Old Bill Orange
For win or lose you'll always hear him yell:

"Get in the game to win, boys,
Ev'ry blessed mother's son of you;
Stand firm along the line,boys,
Watch the ball, this time it's going through.
Last night the sun set orange,
Omen ever sure and true,
Get in the game and win , boys,
Old Syracuse, she calls to you!"

Note: This song was written in the late 1890s before Archbold Stadium was built. All cheerleaders at that time were men because, it was thought, their voices were louder than women's voices. Harry Sheridan Lee used the men cheerleaders as inspiration for the character of Bill Orange, uniting SU's color Orange and the name Bill that "seemed to fit well with it."

The Saltine Warrior

Samuel E. Darby, Jr. Class of 1913, words
David R. Walsh, Class of 1912, music

In the days of old, when knights were bold
Every city had its warrior man.
In the days of new, when fights are few
You will view them from a big grandstand.
In our college town one has great renown
If the game of football he should play.
With his pig-skin ball he is cheered by all,
He's the Saltine Warrior of today.

The Saltine Warrior is a bold, bad man,
And his weapon is a pigskin ball,
When on the field he takes a good, firm stand,
He's the hero of large and small.
He will rush toward the goal with might and main
His opponents all fight, but they fight in vain,
Because the Saltine Warrior is a bold, bad man,
And victorious over all.

Note: This song was written for a student musical program to be put on by "Tambourine and Bones" entitled "The Saltine Gambol" in 1912. Included in the songs was a number about football men and from the words of this song came "The Saltine Warrior". Plans for the show were not finished but the song immediately gained popularity and became a popular fight song.

Down The Field (1914)

Ralph Murphy, Class of 1916, words
C. Harold Lewis, Class of 1915, music

Out upon the gridiron stand old Syracuse,
Warriors clad in orange and in blue,
Fighting for the fame of Alma Mater.
Soon those Crouse chimes will be ringing,
Soon you'll hear those fellows singing.
Onondaga's braves are out to win today,
The sons of Syracuse are ready for the fray,
The line holds like a wall and now the Orange has the ball,
So ready for that old long yell. Rah! Rah! Rah!

Down, Down the field goes old Syracuse,
Just see those backs hit the line and go thro';
Down, down the field they go marching,
Fighting for the Orange staunch and true.
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Vict'y's in sight for old Syr-a-cuse,
Each loyal son knows she ne'er more will lose,
For we'll fight, yes, we'll fight, and with all our might
For the glory of old Syracuse.