What The Nazis Learned From Notre Dame

In just a few weeks, football will begin in schools like Notre Dame. Where, along with the helmets and pads, come the marching and singing. All part of the power and pageantry of American college football.

Military warriors have been marching and singing together for centuries. A powerful way to work up to a battle pitch in assaulting your enemy. And even though modern soldiers don’t raise their voices in song, modern football fans still do. Which is why researchers at the University of Guthenberg in Sweden studied this phenomenon. They concluded singing together synchronizes the breathing and the heartbeats “thereby giving the group a sense of oneness.”

Another instance in which academic researchers are often just catching up with the obvious. However, what is not so obvious is the fact dozens of Nazi marching songs in the 1930s were lifted almost directly from American football marching songs from the 1920s. The lyrics are of course different, but the beat and the brawn are precisely the same.


Ugly as it may sound, maybe because both the football players and the Gestapo shared something ugly in common. A similar bloody taste for conquest. For smashing your enemy. For achieving total victory. Oh sure, one is only a game, but think about it. When you break from that huddle, the name of the game is to pull together and beat the hell out of the other guy. Something Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels understood well back in Berlin.

All this gives me an idea. Next I’d like to see some research team conduct a study of the roots and reasons for other musical forms. Can you just imagine what they’d come up with looking into Rock n Roll…Hip Hop…Soul…Rap…Country? If nothing else, someone will be sure to come up with yet another musical awards show, bringing the current number of these network self-congratulations to more than 20 and counting.

Even Goebbels would have known better.

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