Mo Bamba versus Mr. Brightside: Notre Dame's Anthem

Author: Krienke, Kimani


Picture a wholesome social gathering in a dorm room on a Friday night. A group of boys wearing jerseys over hoodies are beginning to fight over the aux. The energy in the room is nearing its peak, raising a crucial question: What will be THE song of the night? Do they want to hear “Mo Bamba” or “Mr. Brightside?” It’s a make-or-break decision.

Misinterpreting a crowd’s preference could leave a six-man dorm room out of the party scene radar for up to two home football games. The ramifications could be devastating.

The crowd waits in anticipation as the low hum of “Mo Bamba” takes over, when someone loudly says, “I don’t even know why this is such a big deal. “Mr. Brightside” without a question. The room is split more dramatically than the student body on whether or not Kanye West’s “Jesus is King” is a musical masterpiece.

I personally don’t know the lyrics to either song. I was forced to fake my way through an informal survey held by the hip new priest teaching Moreau so that he could learn Notre Dame student culture. My attempts range from making barely audible noises during “Mo Bamba,” that easily pass as lyrics, to shouting “turning tables, can’t you see” during the “Mr. Brightside” chorus. I have yet to be called out, which makes me believe that 90% of the student body doesn’t know the lyrics either.

Despite an obvious lack of knowledge, I’d like to advocate for what I believe is Notre Dame’s true anthem. As the campus continues to make inclusivity and diversity a priority, we need something versatile, a song that brings us together. “Mr. Brightside” is that song. It fits in effortlessly at both a tailgate and a party scene. Not to mention, just imagine if the band played “Mo Bamba” and the student section sang an unmumbled version of the sinful lyrics. Mary would weep with shame! Instead, our lady can rejoice during “Mr. Brightside.” All of those allusions to light and the goodness one will find in heaven make this song the perfect replacement for the alma mater.