Up with Montana

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"Up With Montana"
Published 1914
Genre Fight song
Composer(s) disputed
Lyricist(s) Dick Howell

"Up With Montana" is the fight song of the University of Montana. Its lyrics are credited to Dick Howell, a law student and member of the glee club in the 1910s, who wrote them in 1914 “to commemorate the rivalry” for the 21st meeting between the University of Montana and its rival Montana State University, then known as State University of Montana and Montana College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts respectively. Referencing the song's final stanza, "And the squeal of the pig will float on the air; from the tummy of the Grizzly Bear", The New York Times commented that "at the University of Montana, fans expect their team to devour its enemies while still alive."[1] Despite the reference, eight months earlier in January 2002, the song was read aloud on the Senate floor by Sen. Fritz Hollings (S. Carolina) as part of a friendly bet with Montana's Senator Max Baucus over who would win the NCAA I-AA Football Championship that year.[2]

Though the song was copyrighted by "ASUM, State University of Montana" in 1929 the origin of the tune itself is disputed.[3] "The Stanford Jonah" of the University of California, Berkeley, Georgia Tech's "Up With the White and Gold" and The Naval Academy's "Up With The Navy" (which gives credit to the University of Montana)[4] also share a similar tune. "The Stanford Jonah" was written in 1913 by Ted Haley as an entry into a song contest held by the Daily Californian and is the oldest of the group. The song continues to be a hit at most sporting events of the school, but specifically at events between the California Golden Bears and their rival, the Stanford Cardinal. Given the relative age and similarities between the songs as well as the unlikelihood of Montana and Georgia Tech crossing paths, it is likely that both "Up With Montana" and "White and Gold" are derived from "The Stanford Jonah."[original research?]


The original lyrics written above are taken from the University of Montana's website.[5] However, a slightly modified version is more common today and is the version adopted by the Montana Grizzlies football team after a victory. This alternative version alters the fourth and fifth lines.


Up with Montana, boys,
Down with the foe,
Good ol' Grizzlies out for a victory;
We'll shoot our backs 'round the foeman's line;
Hot time is coming now, oh, brother mine.
Up with Montana, boys, down with the foe,
Good old Grizzlies triumph today;
and the squeal of the pig will float on the air;
from the tummy of the Grizzly Bear.

Both versions of the song retain the oft-discussed "and the squeal of the pig will float on the air from the tummy of the Grizzly bear.” Some interpret the "pig" floating on the air as referring to a football (i.e. pigskin) being thrown. A second and more likely explanation is that "pig" refers to rival Montana State University (MSU) toward whom the song was originally directed. MSU was known as the Montana College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts at the time and it was not uncommon for the Grizzlies to refer to them as farmers. Hence, pigs. Eaten by grizzlies.[6] Similarly, "The Stanford Jonah" ends with "Like our friend Mister Jonah, Stanford's team will be found, in the tummy of the Golden Bear."