The history of university band mischief is long and colorful, stretching back to the irreverence of the 1960s. In some of the most notable instances, bands have staged a tribute to birth control, mimicked the napalming of a Cambodian village, ridiculed the spotted owl controversy in Oregon and made fun of Notre Dame’s Catholicism by dressing the drum major in a habit and using a cross as a baton.
In that vein, changing the words to a verse of the fight song to ridicule your 0-9 football team during a 62-41 loss to Cornell seems rather tame. Columbia’s band, after all, was responsible for both the birth control routine (in 1967) and the napalm (1972). But this was enough to get Columbia’s band briefly barred by the university’s athletic department from Saturday’s game against Brown.
The flogging came after the band changed the lyrics of “Roar, Lion, Roar” to:
We always lose lose lose; by a lot and sometimes by a little; we all were winners at the start; but four years has taught us all the value of just giving up, cause we really suck; why are we even trying?; we always lose lose lose; but we take solace in our booze.