How to Sing the Alma Matter and Fight Song

Author: Scholastic Staff

Some incoming freshmen have had the Fight Song and the Alma Mater ingrained in their minds since birth. But for many students the first time they hear these songs will be at the first pep rally or the opening school-wide Mass. Here, Scholastic gives you an introduction to the lyrics that, by the time you graduate in 2027, you’ll know as well as your own name.


“Notre Dame, Our Mother” (The Alma Mater)

The Notre Dame Alma Mater is performed at the end of every sporting event at Notre Dame, win or lose. It was composed in 1930 by Joseph J. Casasanta, Class of 1923, for the dedication of Notre Dame Stadium, the “House that Rockne Built.” The lyrics were written by the Rev. Charles L. O’Donnell, C.S.C., Class of 1906 and Notre Dame’s president from 1928–34.


Notre Dame, our Mother,

Tender, strong and true,

Proudly in the heavens,

Gleams thy Gold and Blue.

Glory’s mantle cloaks thee,

Golden is thy fame,

And our hearts forever,

Praise thee, Notre Dame;

And our hearts forever,

Love thee, Notre Dame!


“Notre Dame Victory March” (The Fight Song)

Honored by college football fans as “the greatest of all university fight songs,” the “Notre Dame Victory March” was written in 1908 by two Notre Dame graduates — brothers Michael Shea, a priest, and John Shea, a monogram winner in baseball. It was first performed on campus in the Main Building rotunda on Easter Sunday in 1909. In 2022, 50 years after women were first admitted to the university, the final line was changed from “While her loyal sons are marching/Onward to victory” to “While her loyal sons and daughters/March on to victory” to include the women of Notre Dame.


(Hint: You really only need to know the chorus.)


Rally sons of Notre Dame:
Sing her glory and sound her fame,

Raise her Gold and Blue
And cheer with voices true:
Rah, rah! for Notre Dame.
We will fight in ev’ry game,
Strong of heart and true to her name

We will ne’er forget her
And will cheer her ever
Loyal to Notre Dame.


Cheer cheer for old Notre Dame,
Wake up the echoes cheering her name,

Send a volley cheer on high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky.

What though the odds be great or small,

Old Notre Dame will win over all,

While her loyal sons and daughters

March on to victory.