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UT History > Texas Exes UT Heritage Society > The Big Yell

October 23, 2007

Before Bevo, before Texas teams were known as “Longhorns,” before orange and white were named the official University colors, what did UT students yell?

On Tuesday evening, October 23rd, the Texas Exes UT Heritage Society and the Spirit and Traditions Council hosted the Big Yell! at the Alumni Center. More than 225 alumni and students arrived to feast at a pre-Yell pizza party, then gathered to rehearse and record a series of old University of Texas yells from the 1890s – 1910s that haven’t been heard on the campus in more than 80 years. Along the way, the group discovered some University history, shared UT fun facts, won door prizes, and heard from Harley Clark, the former head cheerleader who introduced the “Hook ‘em Horns” hand sign at a 1955 football rally in Gregory Gym.

A staggering 75 pizzas were ordered for the event, and all but six had been eaten before the program began. Apparently, yelling requires plenty of extra calories. The remaining pizzas didn’t survive for very long.

The group heard stories about campus life in the 1890s, when classes were held Monday through Saturday, and professors sent monthly attendance reports to parents. The origins of first yell, called the ‘Varsity Yell, were discussed, along with the trials of early UT athletics, football rallies in the Old Main Building (when only the men were allowed to yell), the controversy in selecting orange and white as the University colors, and the 1907 construction of the first Clark Field stadium by the students in just 10 days.

Listen to these University of Texas yells and cheers, and view photos from the event:

'Varsity Yell (1892)

Hullabaloo! Hoo-ray! Hoo-ray!
Hullabaloo! Hoo-ray! Hoo-ray!
Hoo-RAY! Hoo-RAY!
‘Varsity! ‘Varsity! U. T. A.!

UT Football Yell (1895)

Rah! Rah! Rah!
Who are we?
Texas! U. of T!
Rough, tough,
We’re the stuff.
We play football,
Never get enough.

Rattle De Thrat Yell (1896)

Rattle de thrat, de thrat, de thrat!
Rattle de thrat, de thrat, de thrat!
Longhorn! Cactus Thorn!
M-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o TEXAS!!

Lollapaloose Yell (1898)

Coyote Cayuse!
Everybody yell!
Turn Texas Loose!!

Nine Rahs (1899)

Rah! Rah! Rah!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Rah! Rah! Rah!

Long Hey (1908)

Hey! - Hey! - Hey!
T – E – X – A – S!
Texas! Texas! Texas!

Whisper Chant (1950)

T – T – T – E - X.
X – X – X – A - S.
T – E – X.
X – A – S.


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