Those are called “stand tunes,” meaning the band plays them while in the stands,
said WVU Director of Bands Scott Tobias. And you’ve probably hummed along to at least one of those ditties, regardless of your age or musical preference.
“We look for songs that appeal to a wide, cross-section of the audience,” Tobias
said. “We want everyone at the game to feel like there’s a song they can relate
That explains why your shaggy uncle rocks out to “Frankenstein” and “Immigrant Song”
but not “Uptown Funk.” Before each football season, the band strings together
what it dubs its “repertoire list” that is played during pauses in the game.
For timeouts, the band has around two minutes to perform. For other breaks in the
game, the band might play 10- or 15-second snippets they call “short ditties.”
NCAA rules permit bands to perform only between when a play is blown dead to when
teams get in position at the line of scrimmage.
Here’s a look at some of those tunes, with the entire timeout and short ditty list
for the 2017 season posted at the bottom. I imagine it’s more diverse than what
the University of Oklahoma has to offer
House of the Rising Sun
A perennial fan favorite, “The House of the Rising Sun” is a traditional
folk song, popularized in the 1960s by British rock group
The Pride’s arrangement has become a staple for the band, performing it not only
at games but also across the state, such as at Jefferson High School in the clip
As a bonus, here’s a point-of-view video from former band member James O’Hara at
the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Alabama in the Georgia Dome.
If you don’t remember the outcome of that game, leave it at that.
Light Em Up
In 2013, Fall Out Boy – everyone’s favorite band named after a fictional sidekick
on “The Simpsons” – released a poppy rock number called “My Songs Know What You
Did in the Dark (Light Em Up).”
Despite the unnecessarily long and unimaginative song title, it became a rompin’
stompin’ part of the Pride’s playlist and appeals to the youngsters in the crowd.
If Fall Out Boy isn’t your flavor of alt-pop rock, then perhaps Green Day will
do. “Holiday” was the third single off the punk trio’s critically acclaimed
Lyrically, the song strikes a political tone as it took aim at right-wing America
during the George W. Bush presidency.
But the Pride’s arrangement washes away the angst and would even get William F. Buckley
Game of Thrones
A new addition to this year’s set is the theme to “Game of Thrones.” Since
there’s no existing YouTube footage of the Pride performing it, all we have for you
is a five-hour loop of the theme put together by a very bored person.
Much like the football team, a bit of strategy goes into the timing and execution
of the performance. You’ll most likely hear the band playing tunes like this and
the “Jaws” theme when the Mountaineers are on defense.
“‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Jaws’ and ‘Seven Nation Army’ give off strong, loud foreboding
sounds,” Tobias said.
Mars, the Bringer of War
It doesn’t get more foreboding than this. While the title may not seem familiar,
you'll recognize the sound (it’s all cued up for you at the 4:24 mark). It’s part
of the overall orchestral suite “The Planets,” by composer Gustav Holst.
Tobias called this tune “sinister” and a favorite to play on third down with the
Mountaineers on defense.
The only thing that might top it would be if the Pride performed tracks from Slayer’s
“Hell Awaits.” Time to recruit more metalheads.
Bonus: Smells Like Teen Spirit
Nirvana’s breakthrough hit is not part of the Pride’s gameday setlist. But
this is hard not to share with the Mountaineer universe.
From a drum major’s perspective, this video, shot and produced by former band member
Kyle Monroe, shows the Pride performing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at the Mountain
State Forest Festival in Elkins, W.Va., in 2016.
And now....the list in its sweet glory.
The 2017 Repertoire List
House of the Rising Sun
Light Em Up
Crazy in Love
Talkin’ Out the Side of Your Neck
I Want You Back
Game of Thrones
Tear the Roof
Star Wars (52-57)
Seven Nation Army
Phantom of the Opera
Game of Thrones
Star Trek (29-36 + note)
Immigrant Song (1-5 looped)
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