Rock Chalk, Jayhawk


Rock Chalk, Jayhawk

"Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" (a.k.a. the "Rock Chalk" chant) is a chant used at University of Kansas Jayhawks sporting events. It is probably best known as being loudly chanted at basketball games at Allen Fieldhouse and football games at Memorial Stadium. Its lyrics are a refrain of "Rock chalk... Jay-Hawk... KU," repeated twice slowly, and then three times quickly. It is usually preceded by the Kansas alma mater "Crimson and the Blue", and followed by the fight song, "I'm a Jayhawk". Since the early 1990s, Kansas fans have been known to do the slow repetition of "Rock chalk... Jay-Hawk... KU" when the Jayhawks are believed to be safely ahead, guaranteeing a victory.

The chant was first adopted by the university's science club in 1866. Chemistry professor E.H.S. Bailey and his colleagues were returning by train to Lawrence after a conference. During their travel, they discussed a need of a rousing yell. They came up with "Rah, Rah, Jayhawk, KU", repeated three times. "Rock Chalk"—a transposition of chalk rock, a mineral that exists in western Kansas and similar to the coccolith found in the white cliffs of Dover—later replaced the two "rahs", after an English professor's suggestion. [cite web|url=http://www.rockchalk.com/john/john/rock.html|title=The Rock Chalk Chant|publisher=RockChalk.com|accessdate=2008-04-05]

U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt called it the greatest college chant he had ever heard. Kansas troops have used it in the Philippine-American War in 1899, the Boxer Rebellion, and World War II. In the 1920 Summer Olympics, Albert I of Belgium asked for a typical American college yell, and gathered athletes replied with the chant.cite news|url=http://www.kansan.com/stories/2005/may/20/features_graduation_jayhawks/|title=The Land of the Jayhawks|publisher="The University Daily Kansan"|accessdate=2008-04-05|date=2005-05-20|author=DeReus, Bailey and Betsy McLeod]

References

*Hersey, Mark D. [http://www.kuhistory.com/proto/story.asp?id=85 "A Swell Yell,"] This Week in KU History. Accessed September 11, 2007.
* [http://graphics.fansonly.com/schools/kan/multimedia/rock-chalk-chant.mp3 MP3 of the chant]


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