University of Minnesota

SCHOOL SONGS

Hail Minnesota
“Hail! Minnesota” was written by Truman Rickard over a year-long span, reaching from 1903 to 1904. It was originally intended to be the 1904 class song when Truman began writing it with a friend while on a camping trip, but it snowballed into becoming the official state song in 1945. The final version of the song is not how it was originally written; over the years influential people such as the U’s President Northrop and the MN Daily’s editor, Arthur Upson altered or added verses, making it the song heard today.

Minnesota Rouser & Ski-U-Mah
“Minnesota Rouser” came about in 1909 when, in the middle of a Gophers-Iowa game, an alumnus realized that “Hail! Minnesota”, which was serving as the main school song, did not possess enough power or uplifting spirit to truly inspire and excite the players and fans. He offered a grand prize of $5 to someone who could compose a song that would encompass all of these traits. The Minnesota Daily soon doubled the prize, and through sponsorship and donations, the reward became $100. The judges chose the winner on November 6,1909 to be “Minnesota, Hats Off To Thee” by Floyd Hutsell, who was a local church choir director. The community reaction to the song was not very friendly at first, but pride in it has grown and it became the most played song at sporting events today. An interesting tidbit is that the composer went on to become a famous play and Broadway music composer, and even starred in a few Broadway shows himself!

“Ski-U-Mah” is the Gopher battle cry: “Ski” is a Sioux battle cry meaning victory. “U-Mah” represents the University of Minnesota. Combining these together creates a team cheer that means “Victory to Minnesota”.

Go Gopher Victory
“Go Gopher Victory” was written in the 1920’s by Addison Douglass, a U of M alumnus. It is played after every Gopher win, and has become a symbol of success for the school.

Battle Hymn of the Republic
The Battle Hymn of the Republic was originally written and arranged by Julia Ward in 1861. This song was very popular during the American Civil War and is still very relevant today. The patriot tones of this song have been adopted by the U of M to strike that same pride into Gopher fans in times of need at all Gopher events today.