The history of the Aggie fight song - Compiled by Josh Borchert, '08 PRIDE Band Member

NMSU, then the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, glee club receives a rough draft of the first-ever fight song to sing. 

The fight song receives a name - “Oh, Didn't He Ramble,” which was a popular Dixieland jazz tune of the time composed by the Johnson Brothers and Bob Cole, a New Orleans songwriting team, used to celebrate life at funerals. In the words of the fight song, drinking and partying was an integral part of these Jazz funerals.

The fight song is printed for the first time in “The Round Up.” Fun fact: Around this time, many colleges used the same fight song because most had not yet created their own. NMSU led the way.

Arthur Watkins, head of the music department, organized the Cadet band, which was the first marching band on campus.

On Oct. 4, 1921, a new fight song was introduced, which used Aggies for the very first time.

In a letter dated Feb. 22, 1938, to the Barnard A. Young Intercollegiate Music League, Hugh M. Gardener, dean of the School of Agriculture, gave Young permission to publish the words and music to the fight song in a book later to be called, “Officially Approved Songs of American Colleges and Universities,” which featured more than 150 songs.

On Nov. 17, 1939, Percy Baldwin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, introduced a new fight song called, “Fight ‘Em Aggies.” Many questioned the song as it was originally used as a marching song by a fascist regiment during World War I and also by the Communist Party of Italy during World War II.

On Nov. 27, 1941, Bonnie Miller, a former student of the college, wrote a new fight song for piano that she hoped to get arranged for the band. In “The Round Up,” she offers a $10 prize for anyone who could create the best name, but there’s no evidence anyone took her up on her offer.

On Oct. 18, 1957, the fight song called, “Aggie,” written in 1921 was voted on by the student body as the official fight song of the college.

Deming native Nacio H. Brown writes a new fight song with words by his brother Nacio J. Brown to the tune of “Love Me Tender.”

Between 1977 to 1983, Jerry Hoover wrote another version of the fight song. This version, arranged by Mike Stinel, is what you still hear played today.

Current PRIDE Marching Band Director Steven Smyth recently wrote a new arrangement of the fight song that fully embraces New Orleans’ Jazz. The band plays it on occasion but sticks to the traditional tune for most events.