Songs of The Ohio State University

Seven Nation Army

First, an introduction from Wikipedia:

"Seven Nation Army is the first track on the album Elephant by American alternative rock band The White Stripes. It was released as a single in 2003. Seven Nation Army reached #1 on the Modern Rock Tracks for three weeks and won 2004's Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. The song is known for its underlying riff, which plays throughout most of the song. Although it sounds like a bass guitar (an instrument the group had famously never previously used), the sound is actually created by running Jack White's semi-acoustic guitar (a 1950s style Kay Hollowbody) through an octave pedal set down an octave. The riff was composed at a sound check before a show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne, Australia, according to the set notes in the booklet which accompanied the Under Blackpool Lights DVD. It was inspired by the main theme of Anton Bruckner's Fifth Symphony.

According to White, Seven Nation Army was what he used to call the Salvation Army as a child.

In March 2005, Q magazine placed Seven Nation Army at number 8 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. In September 2005, NME placed Seven Nation Army at number 5 in its list of the 50 Greatest Tracks Of The Decade. In May 2008, Rolling Stone placed this song at number 21 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.  The song was named the 75th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.. Seven Nation Army also earned 20th place in Triple J's Hottest 100 Of All Time in 2009. The song also listed at #30 on Pitchfork's top 500 songs of the 2000s."

The guitar riff mentioned above became popular at soccer games in Europe and soon spread around the sports world. To the beat of the bass guitar riff , the crowd would shout "Oh" (long "O" here), as follows (think Morse Code on the "." and "-" below):

More from Wikipedia:

"Seven Nation Army has become popular as a fan pump up song in American Football and Basketball contests as well, particularly in the Big Ten Penn State Nittany Lions spectators, the first to adopt the song stateside, first chant the riff in the chorus, then the band joins in after a couple verses. Starting with the 2008 season, this song is played at Ohio State football games before kickoffs. The Ohio State student section in the South and North bleachers sings along with the guitar riffs and jumps in unison to the beat, as do many of the players. The song is also popularly used at the University of Michigan and Purdue University home games, and is also used for basketball by the St. John's Red Storm"

By the 2009 season, this cheer effectively became part of many cheers and songs used at Ohio State. The OSUMB, and Pep Bands, do  have their own version of the guitar riff, but the cheer starts spontaneously  without any prompting. This cheer is used prior to a kick off. Seven Nation Army replaces the long "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" which have been used previously prior to kick offs. Of course an "O-H-I-O" is still shouted by the crowd once the kick off has been executed.

Seven Nation Army, like Rock and Roll - Part 2 (Hey Cheer) are over used in many parts of the country and are certainly not unique to Ohio State. yet they are popular with the student body and belong on a web site dedicated to music and cheers about Ohio State.

Please e-mail any comments, problems or suggestions to

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: 23 September, 2021

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