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1905 Cornell Football Sheet Music
The Big Red Team - A Football Song
Cornell's teams are the "Big Red".  This is the first instance of that nickname being used.  Originally Cornell’s athletic teams were known as the “Carnelian and White.” The
nickname “Big Red” originated with Big Red Team, a 1905 football song by Romeyn Berry (Class of 1904), with music by Charles E. Tourison ’06, which won the football
song competition that year. The football team created a song competiton to come up with a fight song, one that could rival the famous songs of the Rowing team. The song
immediately caught on and became  popular. By 1907 the new nickname was in general use.
Click to listen to Big Red Team Football Song performed by Glee Club.
The Cornell Nickname
The nickname "Big Red" for Cornell teams originated in 1905. The late
Romeyn Berry '04, then a recent Cornell graduate, was writing the lyrics for a
new football song. Since Cornell had no nickname at the time, Berry simply
referred to Cornell as the "big red team" and it caught on. Berry was
graduate manager of athletics from 1919 through 1935 and was recognized as
an outstanding authority on Cornell, its traditions and personalities. He was a
distinguished writer and newspaper columnist locally. For his musical
composition Berry won $25. The song earned a spot in the Cornell Verses,
joining the popular and famous rowing songs and other lyrics descriptive of
Cornell life.

The Big, Red Team
See them plunging down to the goal
See the ruddy banners stream
Hear the crashing echoes roll
As we cheer for the big, red team
Yea! Yea! Yea!

Cheer till the sound wakes the blue hills around
Make the scream of the north wind yield
To the strength of the yell from the men of Cornell
When the big, red team takes the field
Yea! Yea! Yea!
The Big Red – Romeyn Berry

Romeyn Berry was an American sports administrator who created
the Cornell motto of “The Big Red.”

Nicknamed “Rym,” Berry attended Cornell University,
graduating in 1904 and earning a law degree in 1906. During his
senior year, Berry was elected to the Sphinx Head Society and
editor of the Cornell Widow with George Jean Nathan as
business manager. In 1905, Berry composed the lyrics for the
Cornell song The Big Red Team, thereby dubbing Cornell
athletics “The Big Red.” Berry later became the Graduate
Director of Cornell Athletics from 1919 to 1935. During these
years, Berry also served as graduate manager of the Cornell
University Glee Club.

He was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980.
The Cornell Daily Sun -
December 9, 1905.
The Cornell Daily Sun -
October 27, 1905.
The Cornell Daily Sun -
December 21, 1905.
Columbia Spectator
November 2, 1905.