Manti Lowered the Boom? Traditional Tunes for Notre Dame Stadium

By Tom O'Toole

As I get ready to “ship off” to South Bend this weekend, it is often suggested that the only thing a Notre Dame home game experience lacks is a super loud stadium. Of course, the fact that the Fighting Irish are contending for a National Title has corrected this volume problem to a large extent, but I believe we still have a ways to go to compete with “The Big House” or “Death Valley.”

Part of the problem is that the Irish used to cater to the rather sedate ways of the considerable numbers of wealthy older alumni, so much so that even a decade ago you were told to “quiet down” if you were too rowdy in certain sections of the stadium. In addition, the NBC home football contract has brought with it the longest commercial breaks in football, and as a two-minute time out stretches to three or four to accommodate the Peacock, the noise level gets increasingly hard to sustain.

In recent years, Notre Dame has gone with the college football crowd by blaring rock music over the stadium speakers with varying results. Typical heavy metal groups like Ozzy Osbourne just don’t have quite the right feel for Notre Dame, while the popular OH, Oh-Oh-Oh, OH riff that currently fills every stadium is starting to get old.

On the other hand, “I’m shipping off to Boston,” by the Irish band Dropkick Murphys, has justifiably become a pre-game favorite at Notre Dame, for its rousing beat not only gets at least the students riled up, but its Irish rhythm fits in with the team’s uniqueness.

Given “Dropkick’s” motivational success, yet at the same time acknowledging that the elder alumni haven’t completely bought in to the idea, I’ve come up with the perfect solution; traditional Irish ballads!

Now I know what you are thinking; O’Toole’s talkin’ “Danny Boy,” and all that slow stuff. Actually, while I’m not opposed to “Danny Boy,” if Danny Spond or Dan Fox does something cool—or the Irish are up by fifty and the opponent requires a funeral dirge—that’s not exactly what I had in mind.

A bit more to the point is a ballad like “The Wild Colonial Boy.” In fact, from the song’s first two verses, a free-spirited, long-haired dude like Fox, almost comes to mind:

There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Duggan was his name
He was born and raised in Ireland in a place called Castlemaine
He was his father’s only son, his mother’s pride and joy
And dearly did his parents love the wild colonial boy

At the early age of sixteen years, he left his native home
And to Australia’s sunny shore he was inclined to roam
He robbed the rich, he helped the poor, he shot James McAvoy
A terror to Australia was the wild colonial boy

Still, the tune’s not quite up tempo enough, so while it might be a song for in between quarters or extra-long time outs, the crowd needs a riff with some instant gratification. And that’s where “Clancy Lowered the Boom” comes in.

While the name itself is pretty self-explanatory, the first three verses should suffice to clue you into the mood:

Now Clancy was a peaceful man
If you know what I mean,
The cops picked up the pieces
After Clancy left the scene,
He never looked for trouble
That’s a fact you can assume,
But never-the-less when trouble would press.
Clancy lowered the boom!

Oh, that Clancy, Oh that Clancy
Whenever they got his Irish up,
Clancy lowered the boom!

O’Leary was a fighting man,
They all knew he was tough,
He strutted ’round the neighborhood,
A-shootin’ off his guff,
He picked a fight with Clancy,
Then and there he sealed his doom,
Before you could shout “O’Leary, look out!”
Clancy lowered the boom!

Repeat Chorus

O’Hollihan delivered ice
To Misses Clancy’s flat,
He’d always linger for a while,
To talk of this and that,
One day he kissed her,
Just as Clancy walked into the room,
Before you could say the time of day,
Clancy lowered the boom!

Repeat Chorus, then:

Sure it was the most beautiful sight you ever did see
when Clancy lowered the boom

Noting that most sung versions include four “booms”—or eight after the last stanza—the mini chorus:

Clancy lowered the boom boom boom BOOM
Clancy lowered the boom!

would also be perfect in between plays, and could be adapted to “‘Te’o’ or ‘Tuitt’ lowered the boom!” as the case may be. Of course, the “Notre Dame Fight Song” is still the most rousing Irish football song of them all, but if you want to add a deafening, home-crowd pleasing “boom-er” to the mix, “Clancy” could do the trick.

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