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Patrick Doolan

“On, Wisconsin” is undoubtedly one of the most popular school songs in the country. In addition to being UW-Madison's “fight song,” it was adopted on July 11, 1959, by Wisconsin's state legislature and signed by Governor Gaylord Nelson LLB'42 as the official state song. What's more, thousands of high school bands across the U.S. have adopted it as their own. So it's not surprising that it would have turned up as part of a national network trivia game.

Many rumors swirl as to who owns the rights to “On, Wisconsin,” ranging from Michael Jackson to Paul McCartney. But the song is considered to be in the public domain, as it was composed (melody written by W.T. Purdy and lyrics by Carl Beck) in 1909. “On, Wisconsin” was first performed on November 10, 1909, when it was sung by the glee club. Purdy himself performed the song on November 11, 1909, at a giant pep rally before the Minnesota game.

You'll find the lyrics and more history behind this fine college fight song on the the UW Marching Band website.

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