Utah ‘man’ or ‘fan’ – U of U says it’s up to you

SALT LAKE CITY – They sing it after every touchdown on the football field, but the University of Utah’s fight song is going to sound a little different from now on.

Complaints that some of the lyrics were discriminatory prompted the school to make some changes.

“We think that it’s important that members of our community know that we listen to them, and that we care about them feeling included,” said Barbara Snyder, who is the vice president of Student Affairs at the school. “We didn’t want the fight song to be something that divided people. We wanted it to be something that pulled people together.”

Snyder served as the chair of a task force created to address the concerns and come up with possible solutions. The group, composed of students, faculty and alumni, agreed on the following three changes:

1. Add the word “fan” after “man” in the opening stanza and chorus of the song as an alternate lyric

2. Update “our coeds are the fairest” with “our students are the finest”

3. Update “no other gang of college men” with “no rival band of college fans”

“The fight song isn’t just about athletics,” said Madison Black, the student body vice president and a member of the task force. “It’s not just about the students or the alumni. It’s about everybody here on campus. And I think it’s really important to make sure that everybody here feels like they’re part of the university.”

According to U President David Pershing, students are still welcome to sing the old version of the song, as it is an important part of the university’s history.

“It’s persevered for over 100 years, so that gives it credence I believe,” said Clint Bailey, manager of Archives and Records at the U.

The original song began as a fraternity chant in 1907, and it has undergone only a few changes over the years.

“Throughout its history there hasn’t been the discussion there is now,” Bailey said.

School administrators feel that the song should change with times, and they’re hopeful everyone will continue to sing it with pride, in the future.

“When you watch the MUSS at football games, we sing it loud and proud. So, it’s important to us and I think it’s good they try to include everyone,” Student, Oliver Atkinson said.

Utah Fight Song: 

VERSE
I am a Utah man, sir, and I live across the green.
Our gang, it is the jolliest that you have ever seen.
Our coeds are the fairest and each one’s a shining star.
Our yell, you hear it ringing through the mountains near and far.

CHORUS
Who am I, sir? A Utah man am I A Utah man, sir, and will be till I die; Ki!Yi!
We’re up to snuff; we never bluff,
We’re game for any fuss,
No other gang of college men
dare meet us in the muss.
So fill your lungs and sing it out and
shout it to the sky,
We’ll fight for dear old Crimson,
for a Utah man am I.

VERSE
And when we prom the avenue, all lined up in a row,
And arm in arm and step in time as down the street we go.
No matter if a freshman green, or in a senior’s gown,
The people all admit we are the warmest gang in town.

CHORUS

VERSE
We may not live forever on this jolly good old sphere,
But while we do we’ll live a life of merriment and cheer,
And when our college days are o’er and night is drawing nigh,
With parting breath we’ll sing that song:
“A Utah Man Am I”.

CHORUS

9 comments

  • Chris, The Utah MAN

    Censorship at its finest. From a public university. I expected it from the BYU’s of the world, not the U. Change it if you will, no REAL Utes fans will sing anything other than UTAH MAN. The ASUU can sing their PC version during their silly meetings.

    • Kathy Stay

      I agree with you about the Ute fight song. It shouldn’t be changed! The U is in my blood, really, even though I didn’t attend the school, the school was founded in my ancestors home…I didn’t go to BYU either. I attended Weber State. so I bleed PURPLE! (a combination of Blue and Red. OH MY!) I find the whole ordeal just shameful! Whatever! I think they need to worry about more important things, like funding education for those who can’t afford it, but are deserving of college degrees!

  • Patrick Springman

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the lyrics and therefore no reason to alter TRADITION! There are groups of people who will find offense in any fight song, on any campus. And if the UTAH MAN lyrics are changed to appease these people, there will still be people who will be offended.

  • Inspire

    Spineless is right. The title of the song is “Utah Man”. You can’t call this change simply a word change. They have fundamentally changed the meaning of the fight song.

  • Bob

    Political correctness gone berserk. School children can’t play dodge ball because it “targets weaker students”, and teachers take school lunches away from kids and throw it into the garbage because mommy owes them money.
    While David Pershing is at it he ought to call it something besides a “fight song”. Too aggressive. May I suggest calling it the “U of U Lullaby”.

    • Becky Darling

      Teachers do NOT take away student’s lunches, those were either administrators or lunch workers. Teachers often pay for student lunches so they don’t go hungry and can learn better. I really could care less what happens to a stupid song, hell, they’ve even changed the Pledge of Allegiance a few times, but don’t go bashing a group of hard working people for something they didn’t do.

      • Bob

        Educators, and that includes teachers, aren’t known for having a lick of common sense. They suspend a child for cocking his finger like a gun, or for drawing a gun on a sheet of paper. The angst and anxiety over the U of U fight song is a classic example of educators.

  • Cindy Gooch

    Leave it the way it is, some things just don’t have to be “politically correct”. I’ve been singing that song for 40 years and it’s never bothered me. I like tradition.

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