The Origin of Alabama’s ‘Rammer Jammer’ Cheer
Something I felt needed to be added to my other football pages:
The “Rammer Jammer Cheer” is a traditional and controversial cheer which taunts the Crimson Tide’s football opponents. It typically is played towards the end of a game when an Alabama victory is certain. Fans cheer:
We just beat the hell outta’ you!
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer
Give ‘em hell, Alabama!
The name of the current opponent is substituted for “Auburn”. When played earlier in the game, “We’re gonna” is substituted for “We just”.
The lyrics originate from The Rammer-Jammer, a student newspaper in the 1920s, and the yellowhammer, Alabama’s state bird. The cadence of the cheer was adapted from the Ole Miss cheer “Hotty Toddy” after then Ole Miss marching band director Dr. James Ferguson was appointed director of the Million Dollar Band. The cheer was long referred to as “Ole Miss”, and today the drum major’s signal is still the motioning of one arm in a full circle (an ‘O’).
Author Warren St. John entitled his 2004 bestseller about obsessive sports fans Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer after the “Rammer Jammer Cheer”.
The cheer has recently come under fire on account of its taunting nature and its use of the word “hell”. In a vote at Homecoming 2005, the question was posed to students of whether the cheer should be banned. 98% of students voted in favor of keeping the cheer, while only 95 students voted to have it banned.