Ask Abe: “Build Me Up Buttercup”

Gordon V. ’89

When did the students start singing “Build Me Up Buttercup” at the football games? It sounds great on TV!

Abe

We checked in with the athletics department, and you’ve sent them a bit of a stumper. “Build Me Up, Buttercup” is played by the stadium DJ rather than by the band, and the stadium is less careful in its record-keeping. But the song seems to have entered the playlist shortly after the release of the 1998 film There’s Something about Mary, which featured the 1968 hit by the band the Foundations and renewed its popularity. By the early 2000s, it was playing for most games, and students were singing along. “It and it quickly became something people/students actively participated in,” says Kevin Kluender, director of marketing for the athletics department. “Build Me Up, Buttercup” is now a well-established part of the DJ playlist at Camp Randall. Other popular tunes include “Jump Around,” “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys, and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. And it just wouldn’t be 2019 with a bit of “Old Town Road,” too.