ed. by Gunther Schuller

  • 4(pic)4(ca)3[=3(barsx)].barsx.4/4431/timp.perc/pf/str
  • 5 min

Programme Note

In The Yale-Princeton Football Game, Charles Ives depicts the 6-0 defeat of the Princeton Tigers by the Yale Bulldogs on November 20, 1897. After this game, the Yale football team went on to play an undefeated season. In the music, Ives condenses the game into two downs spread over three minutes, quoting various college songs, Yale football cheers, and other musical references along the way.

Ives’s sketches for the piece include the following annotations, with a new reference falling every few measures:

1. Suppressed excitement of players coming into 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,” etc.
6. “Watch on the Rhein” (Die Wacht am Rhein)
7. “Hold the Fort, McClung is coming.”
8. “Reeves 2nd Regiments Quickstep” (always played by Brass Band at games and reunions etc.)
9. “Hy-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.”