Bull Dog! Bull
Bow wow wow!
Bull Dog! Bull Dog!
Bow wow wow!
Our team can never fail....
By this time
Porter was known beyond college circles as an accomplished entertainer,
songwriter, pianist, parodist and wit. On campus he was sought out by Gerald
Murphy, famous in the 1920s as a leader of the American expatriate colony in
Paris, who wanted Porter to join Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (he did). He
toured with the Yale Glee Club, recollecting later:
The beer is
The drinks in Dayton
He haunted the New
York theaters, at the expense of such courses as History 1A (which he failed)
and wrote Longing for Dear Old Broadway.
Gee what a place
to waste a day in
Gee what a place to fade away in....
When Bull Dog
began to be belted out at pep rallies, the New Haven Register devoted half a
page to Porter and his works.
Though he would
write some 1,500 other songs and enjoy a lifetime of hits, beginning with
Old-Fashioned Garden and continuing through Night and Day, I've Got You Under
My Skin, Begin the Beguine, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, C'est Magnifique to True
Love from High Society, Porter retained an indulgent affection for his football
fight songs. He liked to reflect that they were "still sung lustily by the
old grads." He recalled that Bull Dog was pirated by a music publisher who
gave him due credit but never paid him a penny in royalties. Because his
grandfather had accumulated several million dollars worth of farmlands and coal
mines, which Porter stood to inherit, the money was not a concern. But from
then on he displayed the instincts of a professional musician, with the
professional's proper regard for his own worth.
In only one
respect did Porter fail to outshine the other college songwriters. Washington
and Lee Swing, The Maine Stein Song, On, Wisconsin, Rambling Wreck from Georgia
Tech, Anchor's Aweigh, The Notre Dame Victory March moved beyond college
circles and were sung or danced to everywhere; Porter's college compositions
never were. They just weren't simple enough. The ideal College song came from
some stirring victory, uncomplicated by concerns that the lyrics might be
Michael Shea, who
wrote the music for The Notre Dame Victory March, said the tune had been
running through his head for days before he had any reason to write it down.
Then the stunning defeat in 1908 of the unbeaten Notre Dame team by Michigan
made him feel a fight song was essential. His brother John put words to
Michael's unwritten tune:
Cheer, cheer for
old Notre Dame.
Wake up the echoes cheering her name....