Tulane signature chant draws roots from student journalism

A One, A Two, A Helluva Hullabaloo?  

The classic cheer that orientation leaders ingrain in you — or try to — during orientation is not just a random combination of words but also a way to unite the crowds at sporting events and support the Green Wave every time the team scores.

Not everyone remembers the words to the chant, but they are quick to catch on. The chant did not materialize out of thin air but was, instead, created in the basement of the precursor to the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life.

In 1896, The Olive and Blue was the main newspaper on campus, but in 1905, The Tulane Weekly was created as a rival. On Nov. 8, 1905, the first issue of The Tulane Weekly was published.

“The organization of this paper is the result of a dispute between the student body and a few individuals at The Olive and Blue,” the first issue stated. “If a few students have a right to publish a periodical under the name of the University, and represent it as a student publication when the students have no voice in its management, then this paper has no right to an existence.”

The Olive and Blue stopped publishing after 1906.

Fifteen years later, The Tulane Weekly changed its name to The Hullabaloo. Earl Sparling, the editor at the time, was the reason behind the change. Sparling wrote a football song entitled “The Rolling Green Wave.” At the time, the team was officially known as the “The Olive and Blue,” and unofficially the “Greenies” or “Greenbacks.” The song was published in the paper and soon received acceptance.

A month later, not only did the paper have a new name, but the athletic teams were now referred to as the Green Wave, a name that remains today.

Tulane is in a unique city with eccentric traditions that the university has incorporated into campus life. In a place where students get to experience second lines in Bruff Commons and throw Mardi Gras beads into a tree, the original Hullabaloo chant fits in seamlessly.

When the entire crowd chants it all together, the pride for Tulane echoes throughout and unites all fans, from alumni to students and even those who are too young to understand what it all means.

“A One, A Two, A Helluva Hullabaloo, A Hullabaloo Ray Ray, A Hullabaloo Ray Ray, Hooray-Hooray Vars Vars Tee Ay, Tee Ay, Tee Ay Vars Vars Tee Ay, Tulane!”

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