A closer look: “Hail to the Buff and Blue”

Daily at 12:15 and 6 p.m. the unmistakable sounds of the GW Fight Song are heard as the bells toll from Corcoran Hall. However, most students who walk through campus and hear the music do not know the song’s history.

When the Columbian College became The George Washington University in 1904, the original colors changed from orange and blue to buff and blue in homage to George Washington’s military uniform. The original fight song, “Orange and Blue,” became outdated.

In 1924, the University held a competition to compose a new fight song. The winner was student Eugene F. Sweeney who collected $100 for composing “Hail to the Buff and Blue.” Sweeny’s fight song was appropriate for its time, as it revolved around the football team and only referred to the men of GW.

In 1989, Patrick M. Jones wrote the most recent version of the song, which students are taught at C.I. and which plays on the scoreboard at basketball games in the Smith Center.

“Hail to the Buff and Blue”
by Eugene Sweeny, 1924

Hail to the buff
Hail to the blue
Hail to the buff and blue
See our men go round their end
Fighting for G double U
When the sun sinks in the golden west
Victory upon our team shall rest
So raise high the buff;
raise high the blue
Touch-down for G double U

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