University of Michigan


The UM Women’s Glee Club Sings “The Yellow & Blue”, “Varsity” & “The Victors”

The Victors
The fight song of the University of Michigan sports teams, The Victors was written in 1898 by a music student at the time, following the last-minute football victory over the University of Chicago that won the league championship. In the song, it refers to UM as being the “Champions of the West”. This refers to the time when UM was part of the “Western Conference”, later known as the “Big Ten”. John Philip Sousa once declared it “the greatest college fight song ever written”. However, it did not become the official fight song until the mid 1930’s. The lyrics are unusual for a fight song, given that they describe the celebration of a win rather than urging a team to victory. The Victors is preceded by the M Fanfare, which is an introductory song played by the marching band that builds up to a tremendous chorus of The Victors.

Varsity was written by two students in 1911, after UM had temporarily withdrawn from the Western Conference, and The Victors “Champions of the West” were no longer applicable lyrics.   The song served as the UM fight song until UM re-entered the Western Conference and The Victors lyrics became appropriate again.

The Yellow and Blue
The Alma Mater of the University of Michigan, The Yellow and Blue lyrics, was written by Charles Mills Gayley with the melody by Michael William Balfe in 1878. The Alma Mater is played by the pep band and sung by University of Michigan Students after all sporting events in which the band is present.