Letters: More Fight Song Memories

[In response to “Fight on for Her Fame,” News & Notes, Winter 2009], I have a very fond memory of going to the old Commerce Building on Bascom Hill on a Saturday night in the mid-seventies to watch the movie The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. Midway through the movie, the sound track launched into “On, Wisconsin!”; suddenly our audience of two-hundred-plus students was on its feet, clapping and singing along with the song.

We went to a movie, and a football game broke out!

Margaret McKinley Archibald ’76 Hales Corners, Wisconsin


Your recent article “Fight on for Her Fame” in the Winter 2009 edition brought to mind my dear grandma, who passed away recently at age one hundred.

Grandma was a music student in her college years who maintained a love of playing the piano her entire life. One of my earliest recollections is of her playing “On, Wisconsin!” for me, and she continued to play that song right up until her death.

One particular event brought a chuckle from those who witnessed it: She had donated a grand piano to her church, and was invited to come in to play the new piano.

She sat down on the bench and warmed up with a few exercises, and everyone expected her to play a hymn or two, as she was devoted to sacred music as well. However, much to everyone’s surprise, she instead broke into a rousing rendition of “On, Wisconsin!” “God,” she speculated, “would not have minded!”

Though she was not a graduate of the UW, two of her children and two grandchildren are UW grads, and now a great-grandchild is in her freshman year. I guess it was fortuitous that “On, Wisconsin!” was one of her favorites.

Penny Shadel McLain ’77 Dallas, Texas

Published in the Summer 2010 issue


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