• Charles Ives
  • Yale-Princeton Football Game (Sinclair) (1898)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)

ed. by James Sinclair

  • 2+pic.222+cbn/4331/timp.2perc/pf/str/opt kazoo chorus
  • 4 min
    • 30th May 2023, Staatsoper / Hamburg / Germany
    • 1st June 2023, Staatsoper / Hamburg / Germany
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Programme Note

The Yale-Princeton Football Gam also depicts a disaster – a disaster, that is, for the Princeton Tigers. On November 20, 1897, they fell in a bitter 6-0 defeat to the Yale Bulldogs, whose coach let loose a surprise strategy that earned his athletes an undefeated season. Ives’ musical portrait of the event (compressed into two downs spread over three minutes) presents the pre-game and post-game clamor, the referee’s whistle, the crowd’s singing and cheering, and the most spectacular highlights of the action itself (notably Bulldog quarterback Charles deSaulles’ zig-zag down the field to achieve a 55-yard gain). Listeners should keep their ears peeled for quotations, including a new cheer that had been introduced the preceding season (“Brek-ek-ek-ex, Ko-ax, Ko-ax”), the composer’s favorite march (Reeves’ Second Regiment Connecticut National Guard March), and a passel of college songs: “Bright College Years,” “Hold the Fort,” “Hy-can nuck-a-no,” “Old Nassau,” and “Harvard Has Blue Stocking Girls.”

Ives annotated his sketches for Yale-Princeton Football Game to clarify the action, with a new indication falling every few measures:

1. Suppressed excitement of players coming onto grounds
2. A Yale cheer, “Brekke coax” [sic]
3. Another cheer: “Rah, Rah, Rah; Rah, Rah, Rah; Rah, Rah, Rah; Yale, Yale, Yale.”
4. “Three Cheers for Old Nassau”
5. “Harvard has blue stocking girls, Yale has blue stocking men,” ect.
6. “Watch on the Rhein” (Die Wacht am Rhein)
7. “Hold the fort, McClung is coming.”
8. “Reeves 2nd Regiment Quickstep” (always played by Brass Band at games and reunions etc.)
9. “Hey-can nuck-a-no”
10. “Dodging half-back”
11. “Fat Guards, pushing, grunting.”
12. “First Down.”
13. “Run around left end: loss.”
14. “Dodging tackle.”
15. “Close formation: Wedge”
16. “Last Down”
17. “Run Around Right”
18. “When trumpet (=Running half-back [sic], Charley Desseaulles [sic]) reaches this measure, every other instrument must make a hell of a noise and stop”; “Touch Down.”)
19. “Game over and won. Everybody tired, players and spectators.”