Ol' Ricky's Redskins Tales - Hail to the Redskins + Dwayne's Gain

Ol’ Ricky knows there’s lots of reasons why Washingtonians hate Dallas, but this one may surprise you.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Ol’ Ricky has heard “Hail to the Redskins” about 1,067,901 times and still doesn’t remember all the words. But there was a time the song was used as leverage by Dallas’ franchise seekers into getting Washington owner George Preston Marshall’s expansion vote.

The song was written by Marshall’s wife Corrinne in 1938. Let’s just say Corinne may have been an Academy Award nominee, but she wouldn’t get a Grammy for this tune. Still, the Redskins were big into bands and needed something original to be played by the 110-piece marching band performing at halftime. Redskins band leader Barnee Breeskin wrote the music and Corinne penned the lyrics.

Clint Murchison wanted an expansion team for Dallas, but Marshall opposed because it would cut into his radio network as the NFL’s southernmost team. Murchison bought the rights to “Hail to the Redskins” from Breeskin in 1958 for $2,500 before the vote that blocked Washington from playing its own song. The cost was Marshall’s vote, which was given for the song’s rights.

Now Ol’ Ricky has heard people sing “fight for ol’ Dixie,” but that was only part of the song from 1959-61. Moving into the federally-owned D.C. Stadium forced the team to delete the reference.

The original song was:

Hail to the Redskins!

Hail Victory!

Braves on the Warpath!

Fight for old D.C.!

Run or pass and score -- we want a lot more!

Scalp 'em, swamp 'em -- We will take 'em big score

Read 'em, weep 'em, touchdown - we want heap more

Fight on, Fight on -- 'Till you have won

Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!

Now the song has become a little more politically correct with “scalp’em” replaced. The band used to play around teepees on the Griffith Stadium concourse with cheerleaders wearing squaw outfits. Both practices ended by 1961. The new lyrics are:

Hail to the Redskins!

Hail Victory!

Braves on the Warpath!

Fight for old D.C.!

Run or pass and score – we want a lot more!

Beat 'em, Swamp 'em,

Touchdown! – Let the points soar!

Fight on, fight on 'Til you have won

Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!

Hail to the Redskins!

Hail Victory!

Braves on the Warpath!

Fight for old D.C.!

Should the team ever change its name, the whole song will probably be archived. Until then, it’s always sung loudest whenever playing the Cowboys.

Tomorrow: Ol’ Ricky remembers former coach Terry Robiskie. Lots of stories in my book and these are the types of tales I’ll tell on my “Pizza and Pigskins Tours” later this summer.

Rick Snider is an award-winning sports writer who has covered Washington sports since 1978. He first wrote about the Redskins in 1983 before becoming a beat writer in 1993. Snider currently writes for several national and international publications and is a Washington tour guide. Follow Rick on Twitter at @Snide_Remarks.