TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — One of Alabama’s most cherished gameday traditions disappeared in September, and the student body wants it back — badly.
“I wish the sound guy would just lose his job for this,” senior geography major Coady Latimer said. “And just play it once so we can have it.”
The ritual in question is a sing-a-long to the 1983 Alabama single “Dixieland Delight.”
Sounds harmless enough, right?
It is — as long as you cover your children’s ears. The Alabama crowd made additions to the song decades ago, but in recent years, Tide fans reworked it again. The most recent version is as follows (Crowd responses in parenthesis):
Spend my dollar (ON BEER),
Parked in a holler ‘neath the mountain moonlight (ROLL TIDE),
Hold her uptight (AGAINST THE WALL),
Make a little lovin’ (ALL NIGHT),
A little turtle dovin’ on a Mason Dixon night (———— AUBURN),
Fits my life (AND LSU)
Oh so right (AND TENNESSEE, TOO),
My Dixieland Delight
You can guess what the “————” stands for. This version has become so well-known that the Alabama student paper, The Crimson White, needed just two front-page words on Saturday (“… and LSU”) to successfully communicate its distaste of Louisiana State University.
But last season, some students decided to push the envelope, when every response during the song became “———— Auburn.”
‘Bama became concerned with the rising “f-bomb” count, and announced it would discontinue playing “Dixieland Delight” during games at the end of last year.
But the school eventually relented, and brought the tune back this fall … momentarily.
“They played one verse and some of the freshmen in the upper deck started saying, ‘F Auburn. F Auburn’ over and over again,” Latimer said. “Some of the frats started doing it, too. When that happened, it was like, they’re not gonna play it again.”
It’s been nearly two months since “Dixieland Delight” blared out of the stadium speakers.
Now, Latimer — aka “Captain Crimson,” a superhero who wears a mask and cape of duct-taped shakers — and several others have organized to bring it back.
“It’s kinda like ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’” 2014 sports broadcast grad Hannah Stephens said. “It’s just a song we’ve sang so many times that it’s become a staple. It’s become a tradition. And I think if you know anything about Alabama football, we stick by our traditions: Houndstooth. Crimson and white. We don’t change our uniforms. We’re not Oregon. We don’t like change.”
Stephens is known as “Sign Girl,” and she’ll be the one leading the “Dixieland” charge in the second half on Saturday night.
The current plan is for her to hold up a poster reading “SPEND MY DOLLAR” at the 5:15 mark of the fourth quarter, at which point the students will launch into an a capella version of the beloved song.
Certain circumstances — Will Alabama be in the middle of a game-winning drive? — could alter the plan, but Stephens said it will happen at some point, come hell or high water.
“I have friends that are players, and they love it,” Stephens said. “It brings energy. It pumps the crowd up. I understand why they took it away for the vulgar words. But I mean. … It’s just one of those things; the students want it back. It pumps us all up. It gets the energy going.”
She won’t be singing every word, though.
“To be honest,” she said, “I don’t cuss.”
Alabama’s thoughts on the matter (via email): “We regularly review all songs played at our athletic events. Sponsorships, announcements, songs and other musical performances are all tightly scripted to accommodate a variety of needs and to ensure the stadium experience both supports the team and is enjoyable to the fans. Music selections are chosen to appeal to a variety of fans.”