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Not just whistling dixie in D.C.By Locke PeterseimSpecial come starrkingschool.net

Those that us outside the D.C. Area live our lives largely unaware of two facts: the Washington is in truth a southerly city, and also that some pro football teams still have actually marching bands. And also naturally our story today takes location where the two meets.

You are watching: Lyrics to hail to the redskins

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The initial Redskins fight tune was "Fight because that old Dixie!"
When George call Marshall, the an initial Redskins owner, brought his brand-new franchise (originally the Boston Braves, climate the Boston Redskins) to Washington, D.C., in 1937, he had grand hopes for making football games more than simply athletic contests. Marshall wanted those Sunday afternoons in Griffith stadion to be entertainment for the entirety family, and also especially to draw more females come the events. Marshall to be no stranger come the legislations of evolution biology: he knew that greater female attendance would lead to higher male attendance.

Deciding music can do the trick, Marshall plopped a dance tape in a teepee atop the bleachers and also then collection out to develop a 150-piece marching band. Marching bands had end up being increasingly popular due to the fact that the rotate of the century, in no small component due come the efforts of band leader, march writer and also D.C.-native man Philip Sousa. The widespread popularity the the bands was evidenced by the less-than-Sousa-y resources Marshall poached because that his brand-new band -- The Chestnut farms Chevy chase Dairy Band and also a adjacent boys reform college band. After ~ all, everyone knows that to make cows produce an ext milk or wayward boys check out the straight and narrow, nothing works better than a rousing variation of "Stars and also Stripes Forever."

By the begin of the 1938 season, the Washington Redskins Marching Band had been assembled. Step two to be to come up v an as necessary jaunty and also rousing team struggle song. The band members suggested "Onward Christian Soldiers," probably intending to readjust the lyrics to "Onward Mighty Redskins, / Marching because that a score, / v the First-down markers, / walking on before!" however Marshall demurred -- he"d had actually area tape leader Barnee Breeskin knock the end a potential fight tune tune the ahead year. In keeping with the Christian angle, Breeskin"s melody sounded fairly a bit like the Sunday college song "Jesus Loves Me," but Breeskin himself also admitted there was a little bit of "Dixie" tucked in there, too.

Which brings united state to our other point. In the "30s, the Redskins were an extremely much the Team of the South. There to be no Miami Dolphins, no Atlanta Falcons -- various other than the Redskins, there were no pro football teams southern of the Mason-Dixon Line and also east of the Mississippi. Marshall knew regional-minded southerly pro football fans had only the "Skins to root and also he pounced top top the angle.

Which helps explain some the the initial lyrics that "Hail to the Redskins!" as composed by Marshall"s wide Corinne Griffith, a retirement silent-movie star, a.k.a. The "Orchard Lady the the Screen." You probably remember Corinne from such movies as "Syncopating Sue," "Island Wives" and also "A Virgin"s Sacrifice." Actually, she best-known roles were in "Black Oxen" and also "The magnificent Lady," because that which she was nominated because that an Academy Award. But those title don"t sound practically as funny.

Where today"s tune cheers pan to "Fight because that old D.C.!" the original version"s "Fight because that old Dixie!" played straight to the fans" southerly identity. And while the Redskins still use a gyeongju slur for your team name, part words in the initial fight track didn"t do lot to direction accusations the racism. Where the song now says, "Beat "em, swamp "em, touchdown! -- let the points soar!" it as soon as went, "Scalp "em, swamp "em -- We will take "em large score / review "em, weep "em, touchdown! -- We desire heap more!" The lyrics were consequently cleaned increase in the "60s, ~ Marshall"s Redskins were, notoriously in 1962, the last pro team come integrate.

Meanwhile in the so late "50s, Breeskin uncovered himself in ~ odds v Marshall and also so, in a pique, had actually his attorney sell "Hail come the Redskins" to Clint Murchison, who was trying to begin a NFL expansion team in Dallas. The bitter irony that the Cowboys at some point beating their legend rivals come the "Skins own fight track never came to be -- Murchinson simply held the beloved track hostage until Marshall i agreeed to vote for the expansion. The Redskins climate bought the back.

To this day the Washington Redskins Marching tape plays on. It"s the earliest in the league, simply down the road from among the other couple of remaining pro bands, the Marching Ravens (originally the Colts Marching Band). That course, this days they have actually to complete with Jumbotron screens and the dulcet tones the Fugazi. And also with Southerners having the Dolphins, Buccaneers, Falcons, Jaguars, Saints and also Panthers come root, the Redskins will have to settle for being the Gators North.

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"Closer Look" will certainly be a constant Page 2 feature, trying out a warm sports topic in higher detail.

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FOR OLD D.C.
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