On the K-State homepage this week, I saw the legend of the Nichols Gym fire and the surviving “Wabash Cannonball” sheet music; and how the song has become a rousing anthem, symbolizing perseverance through adversity.
Many years ago, I heard an extra part of the legend, which makes it doubly-providential. Here it is: In the Spring of 1979, when we were saving Nichols Gym from the wrecking ball, an old-timer (from the ’60s) told me how “groovy” it was that the “Wabash Cannonball” sheet music was saved from the fire. Then, he told me what was even more “far out, man:” The lyrics to “Wildcat Victory,” the existing fight song, could easily be sung to the surviving “Wabash Cannonball” sheet music!
How cool is that?! The surviving sheet music perfectly fit the words to the fight song.
Try it for yourself, to the “Wabash Cannonball:”
“Fight, you K-State Wildcats,
For Alma Mater Fight-Fight-Fight.
Glory in the combat,
For the purple and the white.
Faithful to our colors,
We will ever be.
Fighting, ever fighting for a