University of Iowa

HAWKEYE VICTORY POLKA

The HMB plays their rendition of the song “In Heaven There Is No Beer” after every Hawkeye victory. The band alternates between the verses instrumentally and vocally, leading the Hawkeye fans. The song was originally played many times during a game when it was first introduced in the 1960s. However, controversy arose concerning the song’s lyrics. Critics of the song claimed that the tune promoted the abuse of alcohol, and that it was an inappropriate song for the band to play. In 2001, the University of Iowa President completely banned the song from being played, either instrumentally or vocally. However, overwhelming support for the song prompted the President to bring the song back to Hawkeye athletic events: “In Heaven, there is no beer… That’s why we drink it here… And when we’re gone from here… Our friends will be drinking all the beer.” The song is now performed only after Hawkeye victories and on special occasions. The HMB does not circulate sheet music of the “Hawkeye Victory Polka” or teach incoming members how to play it. Members must learn the song by ear.
–Carter Biggers, 2011 D.M.A Student, Wind Band Conducting, Iowa Performance Fellow, Graduate Assistant