Michigan State University


MSU Fight Song
In 1913, following wins against powerhouses Michigan and Wisconsin, student and “Yellmaster” Francis Irving Lankey was inspired to compose a fight song for the football team. The song was never published until 1919 when Lankey, who had become an instructor for the Army Air Corps after graduation, was killed in an air demonstration. At the 1919 Homecoming pep rally, the football team sold 770 copies of the song for 50 cents in less than 30 minutes. From that moment on, the fight song was adopted and has been used ever since.

Aside from the regular version of the “MSU Fight Song,” the “Falcone Fight” is a longer version, played during parades or between football and hockey quarters. It is made up of the opening verse, the chorus (sung by the band with Tuba and Percussion accompaniment), break strain and a repeat of the chorus (played by the entire band).

MSU Shadow
For decades, MSU did not have its own Alma Mater, but instead borrowed Cornell University’s Alma Mater “Close Beside the Winding Cedar.” In 1948, former Spartan coach Bernard “Barney” Traynor wrote the words to a new Alma Mater, “MSU Shadow,” set to a tune from the Donizetti opera Lucia di Lammermoor.