Big C, composed in 1913 by Harold P. William, is the fight song of the University of California at Berkeley.
It was written to commemorate the construction of the large concrete “C” in 1905 on the “rugged Eastern foothills” of the Berkeley campus. The song was the winning entry in the Daily Californian school song competition in 1913. Arrangements of the tune are used by other schools in the University of California system. [Wikipedia]
At the end of the MIT Knight Science Journalism Tracker’s blurb on the Berkeley study in Nature [Berkeley News Center], the writer notices,
Now for a brief pause from melancholia. The authors are drawn primarily from an international consortium led by UC Berkeley professors and called the Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology. The acronym is BiGCB. Big C eh? That can’t or certainly should not be an accident. Few science writers or other journalists would sort it out or care. It does not fit in a news story of this gravity. Without compunction therefore let’s proceed. The Big C, composed in 1916, is the most stirring music in the history of mankind. That opinion is at a guess entirely restricted to alums and fans of Cal who happen upon the Cal Marching Band, the subset Straw Hat Band, or Men’s Chorale ripping through it just after a football victory especially if it is after the Big Game with Stanford which around here is oft called Stanfurd for no good reason – but alcohol may be involved. Three samples: 1) Lyrics drowned out or absent except for the grrr-aa’s, , the way it’s often done (audio only); 2) With lyrics superimposed for Karaeoke plus a fine image of Oski the Bear and one not overlook sly mention of serpentine, the California state rock, and 3) A cappella, lyrics only. Incidentally, there is another fight song. Big C is better. One other thing – this review paper’s Berkeley roots will bring jeers and guffaws from the contrarian wing. Some will hoot about socialistic agendas and it will be no surprise if there are questions on patriotism. C’mon. There is nothing more all-American than a college football fight song like Big C! (One must add for the sake of Big Game balance that the japery may overlap with what that righty cabal says upon learning that Stanford Man Paul Ehrlich is lead author of another in Nature’s pre-Rio package of papers – Securing natural capital and expanding equity to rescale civilization.) I’ve evaded dealing with depressing, frightening substance long enough so …
…in the history of mankind.