“‘Hail to the Nixers’: A Brief Snapshot of Michigan’s Alternate Fight Song Permutation, from a Theoretical Standpoint”

First of all I must say congratulations to my Michigan Wolverines on securing the national championship in college football, hence violating what in the prior 25 years had been our serious policy against winning the championship in any sport. (I think we made something like eight final fours in that time between football, basketball, hockey and baseball, without a ring.)

And sure, we did it in a boring way, pretty much: running the ball a lot. I can’t really say for sure because they’re my team so watching them will always be either fun or frustrating. 

One trick we had in our bag, anyway, was defense, which isn’t always a boring enterprise, considering especially if there are some big, bone-jarring hits involved in the proceedings. And further along the lines of defense, Michigan brought it in full force last night, and the band even got involved with this particular segment. That is, I noticed that when Michigan’s defense made a stop, as in Washington trying to get a first down on third and getting stopped short, Michigan’s band would play this brief, nine-note riff, the first eight of which were the basic infrastructure of the fight song’s beginning, and the last of which maneuvered up a whole step from the mediant, to the tri-tone (or augmented fourth or diminished fifth up from the tonic, the second note in the fight song). 

The result, as would be expected, is an eerie, ominous feel, somewhat like an execution or decapitation, rendered metaphorically, of course, in football. The tri-tone note capping off the riff signified the death of Washington’s drive and did so with festive malevolence, true to form with how the tri-tone interval, during the dark ages, was banned by the churge, for its dark, ominous feel, and is utilized by Black Sabbath in the song of the same name, toward deliberately Satanic results. Hey, no one can say we’re crawling with sectarian platitudes, or reliant on religious iconography, no matter how many times we tax their furs and drug-test them for fur trapping in the Oregon Trail territory between Indiana and Canada. 

PublishToday at 2:34 pm

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