"The Eagles' Victory Song"
Song
Written1955
GenreFight song
Songwriter(s)Charles Borrelli and Roger Courtland

"The Eagles' Victory Song", popularly known as "Fly, Eagles Fly".[1] is the fight song of the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. The song is played following each Eagles touchdown during Eagles' home games at Lincoln Financial Field and as part of pre-game festivities before the playing of the national anthem.

History

20th century

"The Eagles' Victory Song" was the creation of Charles Borrelli and Richard Courtland Harrison, a Washington, D.C. music teacher and arranger for jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd. The song was mistakenly credited to "R. Courtland"[2] by the Copyright office and in various editions of Eagles programs from the late 1950s[3] through the 1960s.[1]

In 1963, Jerry Wolman purchased the Philadelphia Eagles.[4] Wolman was a sports fan growing up and loved hearing the Washington Redskins' fight song "Hail to the Redskins" at games.[3] Spawning from his admiration for the Redskins' song, Wolman searched for musicians to implement a team song for the Eagles, and founded The Philadelphia Eagles' Sound of Brass band in 1964.[3] The group included 200 musicians and dancers, and was led by Arlen Saylor, who was appointed as the Eagles' entertainment director in 1966 and is credited with penning an arrangement of the fight song that the band played at home games during halftime in the 1960s.[5] Wolman's push to popularize the fight song flew under the radar, however, and in 1969 the Sound of Brass band was discontinued.[5]

The song came back into light in 1997, when Bobby Mansure, founder of an unofficial Eagles pep band, asked team management to allow the band to play in the parking lot during home games. Management gave Mansure's pep band an audition, allowing them to play at two preseason games to gauge fan reaction. The song went over so well that Mansure and the band retained a permanent position as the official Philadelphia Eagles Pep Band.[3]

In 1998, following Mansure's reintroduction of the song, Eagles management attempted to rebuild its popularity among fans by changing some aspects of the song: they modified the key, changed the opening lyric from "Fight, Eagles Fight" to "Fly, Eagles Fly", and re-marketed the song with that as the title. In addition, they appended the popular "E-A-G-L-E-S" chant—which had emerged in the 1980s—to the end of the song.[3] While management planned to play the song throughout the 1998 season, the Eagles' poor performance that year caused them to hold off reintroducing the song until the following year. The Eagles fared better during their 1999 season, and subsequently, the fight song was played after every score.[6]

21st century

The song is sung/chanted at Eagles' home games, and Billboard has recognized it as one of the best NFL fight songs of all time.[7] A modern arrangement by the current Eagles Pep Band is featured on the official Eagles website.[8] The song is also played in Philadelphia International Airport during the NFL season once every hour.[9]

In 2022, Coldplay performed the song during a concert at Lincoln Financial Field.

Lyrics

Fly, Eagles Fly!
On the road to victory!
Fight, Eagles fight !
Score a touchdown 1, 2, 3!
Hit 'em low!
Hit 'em high!
And watch our Eagles fly!
Fly, Eagles Fly!
On the road to victory!
E-A-G-L-E-S!
Eagles!!

References

  1. ^ a b "You're singing it wrong: Where did "Fly, Eagles, Fly" come from? - Philadelphia Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Rooting for the Eagles (A chant? A song? What's your favorite way to cheer on the team?)". Phillymag.com. 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  3. ^ Didinger, Ray; Robert S. Lyons (2005). The Eagles Encyclopedia. Temple University Press. pp. 127–128. ISBN 1-59213-449-1.
  4. ^ a b "Daily Local News: The Man Behind the Fight Song". dailylocal.com. 2005-01-31. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  5. ^ "Sports Illustrated: Here Are the Lyrics to 'Fly, Eagles, Fly". Sports Illustrated. 2017-10-12. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  6. ^ "Billboard: The 10 Best NFL Fight Songs". Billboard Magazine. 2014-09-04. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  7. ^ "Fly, Eagles Fly (Pep Band Fight Song)". Philadelphia Eagles. 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  8. ^ "Philadelphia International Airport celebrates the Eagles Super Bowl win". Inside the Iggles. 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2023-06-09.