Rah, Rah, Sis, Boom, Bah!

For as long as New Bedford High School has had a varsity football team and the award-winning New Bedford High School Whaler Marching Band has been around to provide the spirit, there has been an official Whaler fight song.

I'm calling on all New Bedford High School grads to see who can remember that fight song and the lyrics that accompany it.

As a proud member of the New Bedford High School Class of 1976, I did recall the song's name, "On New Bedford," and a few words. I also remembered that the New Bedford Whalers fight song was "borrowed" from someone else. So, I went hunting for the rest of the story.

It turns out that the New Bedford Whalers' fight song is the official fight song of the Wisconsin Badgers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, written in 1909 by William T. Purdy.

The lyrics to "On Wisconsin" are:

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball clear down the field, a touchdown sure this time.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Fight on for her fame!
Fight! Fellows! Fight! Fight, fight, we'll win this game.

New Bedford Whalers Fight Song Was Lifted From This University
New Bedford High School Marching Band

The Whalers' version of the song, according to Whalers Marching Band Director Matthew Pacheco, goes this way:

On, New Bedford! On, New Bedford! Plunge right through that line!


Run the ball clear down the field, a touchdown sure this time.


On, New Bedford, On, New Bedford! Fight on for her fame.


Fight! Whalers! Fight! Fight, fight, we'll win this game."

Did you notice any similarities?

I couldn't determine when the song was adapted for the New Bedford High School Whalers or by whom.

Purdy originally penned the song as a fight song for the University of Minnesota but was convinced to tweak a few words and give it to the University of Wisconsin instead.

A modified version of "On, Wisconsin" is the official state song of Wisconsin.

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