North Carolina Fight Song Analysis

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In 1968, the Marching Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina (UNC) released a 7-inch 33 ½ rpm record consisting of eight school songs including “Here Comes Carolina,” “Carolina Fight Song,” and UNC’s alma mater “Hark the Sound.” Past UNC students wrote and composed over half of the fight songs featured on the album, and the student marching band performs the same songs today, nearly five decades later. In fact, the band and fans conclude each game with “Hark the Sound,” linking arms and singing the lyrics a UNC student wrote over 100 years ago in 1897. As the “Go Tar Heels!” exhibit exemplifies with this piece, a game is about more than the athletes. For several hours on a Saturday, a uniquely immense crowd gathers in Kenan Stadium, connecting and uniting under one common identity: being a Tar Heel.
While there are several parallels
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As recent as September 24, 2016, students heard the same music performed by the Marching Tar Heels at the UNC versus Pittsburgh football game. There, approximately 75 students wore black clothing, raised their fists, and remained seated during the performance of the national anthem in support of those affected by police brutality. This demonstration directly references the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City where two black athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, were condemned by the Olympic Committee and later expelled from Team USA for their Black Power salute. With raised fists, bowed heads, black clothing, and silence during the national anthem, they brought attention to racial discrimination. These immense sports gatherings offer a platform for social change, amplifying the voices of Tar Heels – just as this record achieved in 1968. Thus, athletics at UNC are much more than the athletes; they are the fans and the music and the unity they provide for thousands of

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