The Columbia marching band got a fair amount of press this week when it was banned from playing at this weekend's season finale against Brown (the school's athletic department was offended by a parody song mocking the football teams dismal 0-9 record). But that was then! The school has backtracked and the band will now be allowed to play. Whew!
The offending lyrics to "Roar, Lion, Roar" in question, which were overheard last week after the team lost to Cornell, go like this:
We always lose lose lose
by a lot and sometimes by a little
we all were winners at the start,
but four years has taught us all the value of
just giving up, cause we really suck
why are we even trying?
we always lose lose lose
but we take solace in our booze.
At first the athletic department was livid about the lyrics, which according to one band member "are meant only for the band bus and Orgo Night." Explained director M. Dianne Murphy earlier this week, "Our football players, coaches, alumni, [and] parents are extremely hurt, disappointed, and angry by the band’s behavior at Cornell. Because of the band’s disrespect for the feelings and efforts of their classmates and fellow Columbians, we believe that allowing the band the opportunity to perform at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium on Saturday undermines the University’s institutional support for our football team."
But after all the fuss the department changed their tune yesterday, putting out the following statement:
"We have reconsidered our decision regarding the Columbia Band’s performance at this Saturday’s last game at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium at the football game between Columbia and Brown University on Saturday, November 19,” said M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education. "We are proud of our talented and dedicated student-athletes—but as we have discussed this issue over the past day, we come to the conclusion that the core free speech values of the University are best served by providing a forum both for speech that might sometimes offend—as
well as for the kind of open discussion that ultimately leads to greater understanding and collegiality among all members of our community."
A win for everybody (well, except for the Columbia football team most likely).