If you’ve ever been to Rupp Arena, Commonwealth Stadium, or the hordes of other locations featuring large gatherings of Kentucky fans, you’ve been exposed to the UK Fight Song.
Besides likely being the only place you’ll ever hear a real Kentucky fan say U of K, “On On U of K” is that melodic chyme that brings Wildcats together.
The music was written in 1922 by University of Kentucky Professor Charles A. Lampert, at his own instance and expense . The lyrics were written in 1923 by Lampert’ s friend and student, Troy Perkins (“Perkins”), at Lampert’ s request and for a payment of $5. The song was subsequently adopted as the University of Kentucky Fight Song and has become famous, especially within the realm of collegiate sports.
With the music written between 1922 and 1923 by Dr. Carl Lampert, the first Kentucky Department of Music chair and a UK professor at the time, and the words composed by Lampert’s friend and student Troy Perks (who received a whopping $5 payment for his time), the song was published in the Kentuckian (UK’s yearbook) in 1925 and adopted as the official fight song.
Lampert owned the rights to the song and prior to his death in 1941 gave the rights to the Thornton Allen Company, which later became Bro ‘N Sis Music (BNS).
On, on, U of K, we are right for the fight today,
Hold that ball and hit that line;
Ev’ry Wildcat star will shine;
We’ll fight, fight, fight, for the blue and white
As we roll to that goal, Varsity,
And we’ll kick, pass and run, ’till the battle is won,
And we’ll bring home the victory.
In 2010, Papa John’s International used the UK Fight Song in a commercial featuring John Calipari.
In 2011, BNS sued Papa Johns for $150,000 and demanded that all copies of the commercial be destroyed.