University of Iowa

SCHOOL SONGS

Iowa Fight Song
Best known for his musical, “The Music Man,” Iowa native Meredith Willson also wrote the “Iowa Fight Song” for the University in 1950. It was written after Les Zacheis, a writer for the Cedar Rapids Gazette, challenged Willson to write a “spirited swinging state song.” The song was first played on the Tallulah Bankhead Radio Show on New Year’s Eve and was introduced to Iowa at the Iowa-Indiana basketball game on February 12, 1951.

On Iowa
First performed during Iowa’s 1919 Homecoming, W.R. Law wrote and composed “On Iowa” in 1917. Law entered the song into a Chicago Alumni Association contest and while it did not win, the song was well-liked when introduced to Hawkeye fans. The Hawks beat Iowa State 10-0 and the song retained its popularity.

Roll Along Iowa
Written in 1954.

 

Alma Mater or Hawkeye Hymn
Iowa alum Gene Mills first composed the melody to this song in 1943 while heading off to fight in the war. Interestingly, it wasn’t until nearly twenty years later, after watching the 1960 Iowa vs. Ohio State Homecoming game, that Mills was inspired to write words to the melody. The song instantly became popular and was adopted as Iowa’s alma mater.

 

In Heaven There is no Beer
First introduced in the 1960s, the band plays and sings the polka tune “In Heaven There is no Beer” after every Hawkeye victory. The song was banned for a short time in 2001, suggesting inappropriate lyrics promoting alcohol abuse. However, overwhelming fan support brought the song and its lyrics back to life: “”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.”

Entusiastic Iowa fan sings “In Heaven There is no Beer” in the stands following an Iowa victory over Michigan

Memories of My Iowa Girl
“Memories of My Iowa Girl” was written by J. Russell Stanton and Robert W. Cooper in 1924. A group called the “Hawkeye String Strummers of the University of Iowa” introduced the song to the University.