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Scarlet and Gray March

A jolly band are we, of roving students quite care free,
Our banner high we fling, our Alma Mater's praise we sing,
Then three cheers so royal for hearts so loyal,
And three times three for the Scarlet and the Gray.

For we are from O. S. U. with our manner debonaire,
And our hearts so free from care,
And to College ties we'll be so true,
For you see that we hail, we hail from O. S. U.

For we are from O. S. U. with our manner debonaire,
And our hearts so free from care,
And to College ties we'll be so true,
For you see that we hail, we hail from O. S. U.

The ties of love of college days shall bind us heart to heart,
Tho' scattered far apart wherever we may be,
And tho' thro' distant lands we roam be thy memory e'er dear;
Our hearts shall ever beat for thee!

The ties of love of college days shall bind us heart to heart,
Tho' scattered far apart wherever we may be,
And tho' thro' distant lands we roam be thy memory e'er dear;
Our hearts shall ever beat for thee!

(Spoken)Wahoo! Wahoo! Rip, Zip, Bazoo! I yell! I yell! O. S. U.!

Cheer again for varsity,
Fill up the glass, the hours will quickly pass,
For what care we tho' time take its' flight,
We'll gaily pledge you a health in song tonight.

Cheer again for varsity,
Fill up the glass, the hours will quickly pass,
For what care we tho' time take its' flight,
We'll gaily pledge you a health in song tonight!


A song, which was in general use is the Scarlet and Gray March, which is set to the melody of John Phillip Sousa's El Capitan March, composed in 1894. The Ohio State Marching Band has had a long association with the music of John Phillip Sousa, so it seems quite possible that the OSUMB may have performed this song. It was written, and arranged for marching band and Ohio State University Men's Glee Club, in 1896 by George Kurtz Dowd. Mr. Dowd was Music Director of the Ohio State University Men's Glee Club in 1897.

What is very interesting, that not only was this a march, but there were also lyrics that could be sung. Also, the Scarlet and Gray March predates the song competition by many years, so here we have probably the oldest known song probably performed by the Ohio State Marching Band. Matter of fact, they still play this march routinely at games and you can find it on their recordings, as El Capitan. The references to the existence of the Scarlet and Gray March has disappeared from history.

Note: From Songs of the Scarlet and Gray, "The editors regret that permission to use the music (publish the score) could not be obtained at any price. This is one of the best O. S. U. songs ever written. Ask any member of the (18) '97, '98, '99, (19) '00 Glee Club how to sing this inspiring song." Copyright issues even existed in the early 20th Century.

Additional Note: If indeed that Scarlet and Gray March was a popular standard in 1896, then it would predate the The Victors, the fight song of the University of Michigan, by two years. By the way, in 1896, The University of Michigan Fight Song was sung to the melody of Where Have You Gone Billy Boy.

To get an idea of how Scarlet and Gray March would sound like when played by a marching band, you can listen to the El Capitan March:


Photo: 1894 Ohio State Band, Courtesy of The Ohio State University Archives


Please e-mail any comments, problems or suggestions to nmetro@sgsosu.net

Webmaster: Nick Metrowsky
The Ohio State University, BA, History, 1979
Life Member The Ohio State University Alumni Association
Life Member of The Ohio State University President's Club
Annual Member of The Ohio State University Varsity "O" Association

Last Updated: 18 September, 2015


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