The Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 on the back of an envelope as he saw with pride that the American flag still flew over Baltimore's embattled Fort McHenry. If Cal stirs similar feelings in you -- can you see that banner doth waving? The Cal band is sponsoring a contest for you to write the lyrics to the new UC Berkeley fight song.
The tune, "California Triumph" (an audio file will be posted here by next week), was written by a former trombonist and current grad student in civil engineering, who won $2000 and the right to conduct the piece at this week's game against New Mexico State on Saturday (as an instrumental). The song must be a 32-bar march, feature 133-144 bpm, include a 4-bar intro, and be in either 2/4, 6/8, or cut-time. There also appear to be no rules barring coy Stanfordites from submitting their own lyrics as well, which should lead to some good old-fashioned incidents of band-on-band violence at this year's Big Game.
"California Triumph" will replace the current Cal fight song, "Stanford Jonah" (feel free to download it for your iPod and your mash-up remixes) [in the pre-show lineup. Thanks to our vigilant commenter for pointing this out; we're sure we'll see you clapping along to the beat in the stands at Mem Stadium.] Written in 1913, "Stanford Jonah" is a Marseillaise-type piece involving chopping off the heads of Stanford with an axe and having Oski the California bear eat the entire Stanford team...? (SFist may have misread the lyrics). Oh, it's all in good fun.