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“The Aggie War Hymn” Was Written by a Texas A&M Alum During a World War I Battle
Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Texas A&M University has so many amazing traditions, but an official fight song isn?t one of them. The Aggies don?t claim to have one, as shocking as that sounds. Instead, they have an official war hymn that is iconic and dates back all the way to World War I.

The Aggie War Hymn is as good as it gets. It was written by American soldier and Texas A&M grad J.V. ?Pinky? Wilson. It takes multiple jabs at the school’s arch-nemesis, the University of Texas. It is recognized all across the country, especially during football games at Kyle Field.

How Pinky Wilson got the war hymn to College Station, however, makes it even more special. Let’s look at how this song got to the 12th Man down in Aggieland. You might hear an Aggie yell before the game (or at midnight), but you also might hear this war hymn echoing through the stadium at halftime.

The Aggie War Hymn History

Texas A&M Corps of Cadet members sing the Aggie Way Hymn
Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

RELATED: Texas A&M?s ?Aggie Muster? Tradition is Unlike Any Other

Pinky Wilson arrived at the start of WWI, and like hundreds of other Aggies, he went abroad to fight. It was during battle, as he sat in a trench in France, that he wrote the lyrics to the de facto college fight song we all know today.

At first, as the story is told, the song was originally called ?Goodbye to Texas University.? Some Aggies thought it was too focused on the Longhorns, so Wilson wrote another verse in 1928.

It became the first verse of ?The Aggie War Hymn? while the second verse is sung twice.

Then, all Aggies link arms and legs and shout ?SAW VARSITY?S HORNS OFF? along with the Fightin? Texas Aggie Band.

The Aggie War Hymn Lyrics

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From former students to current yell leaders, a true Aggie knows these lyrics by heart.

Hullabaloo Caneck! Caneck!
Hullabaloo Caneck! Caneck!
Goodbye to Texas University
So long to the orange and the white
Good luck to dear old Texas Aggies
They are the boys who show the real old fight
‘The Eyes of Texas are Upon You?
That is the song they sing so well
SOUNDS LIKE HELL!

So goodbye to Texas University
We’re gonna beat you all to
Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem
Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem
Rough, tough, real stuff Texas A&M

Goodbye to Texas University
So long to the orange and the white
Good luck to dear old Texas Aggies
They are the boys who show the real old fight
‘The Eyes of Texas are Upon You?
That is the song they sing so well
SOUNDS LIKE HELL!

So goodbye to Texas University
We’re gonna beat you all to
Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem
Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem
Rough, tough, real stuff, Texas A&M

Saw varsity’s horns off
Saw varsity’s horns off
Saw varsity’s horns off
Short!

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Varsity’s horns are sawed off
Varsity’s horns are sawed off
Varsity’s horns are sawed off
Short!

“The Spirit of Aggieland”

Members of the Texas A&M Band
Photo by John Bunch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While the War Hymn is enough of a fight song on its own, the Texas A&M Aggies are lucky enough to have two songs in their school canon that each get the crowd going in their own way. “The Spirit of Aggieland,” the school’s official anthem, was originally a poem written by student Marvin Mimms in 1925. After reading Mimms’ work Col. Richard Dunn, the director of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, knew that this was a perfect song for the school. Dunn’s music has a much more somber and reverent tone, separating itself from the Aggie War Hymn. The new alma mater of Texas A&M debuted at the 1925 Midnight Yell and has remained a classic to this day.

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This post was originally published on April 1, 2020. 

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