The fight song experts who wrote College Fight Songs: An Annotated Anthology were mighty charitable when they ranked Oklahoma's Boomer Sooner as the nation's 16th best. (The Notre Dame Victory March was No. I.) Boomer Sooner is a classic example of larceny on two fronts. Its "composer," one Arthur M. Alden, stole the tune from Yale's Boola-Boola in 1905, and a year later added a riff from North Carolina's Alma Mater, also known as Hark the Sound. Conclusion: Those Okies are more egregious samplers than Puff Daddy.
Kansas's Rock Chalk sounds more like a Gregorian chant than a cheer, with its eerie, drawn-out a cappella lyrics ("Raaawwwk Chaaawwwk, Jaaay-haaawwk, Kaaay-Yooouuu"). It's not so widely known today, but Teddy Roosevelt called it the greatest cheer he had ever heard, and Kansas troops sang it while fighting in the Philippines in 1899, during the Boxer Rebellion in China and in World War II. At the 1920 Olympics, King Albert I of Belgium asked for a typical American college yell, whereupon the assembled Yanks belted out the Rock Chalk chant. Listen to it only once at a packed Allen Fieldhouse before a Jayhawks basketball game and try not to get goosebumps.