Friday, September 23, 2016

Mooresville High School Fight Song Origins by Kitley DeFelice

At the Homecoming game, everybody in the bleachers will stand up when the Mooresville High School song will play. The school song has been a part of Mooresville for so long, so what is its history and origins?
The Mooresville High School song is the first half of the song “Illinois Loyalty,” but slightly modified. Written in 1906 by T. H. Guild as the official school song for the University of Illinois, it is the one of the oldest songs of its kind in the country. In 1911, the song “Oskee Wow-Wow” replaced “Illinois Loyalty” as the fight song because it failed to get the crowds of spectators involved in the athletic events.
The song is used by various other schools in Illinois and other states. Mooresville High School’s Auditorium Director, Mr. Weber’s high school, Morton, in Hammond, IN also used the song.
In the song, what does the phrase “have sand” mean? Where did it come from? According to Wilfred M. McClay’s 2009 article entitled “An American Virtue” from In Character magazine, the phrase “to have sand” means to have courage or unusual gutsiness and persistence. This concept of “sand” comes from the idea of the word “grit.” A person who possesses grit shows “firmness of character or courage,” and is “full of determination or pluck.” People with grit show tenacious perseverance in carrying out their duties or pursuing their chosen aims even in the face of overwhelming odds.