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“Hot Time,” the popular song that tells a tale of the cow that supposedly caused the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, was adopted by the University of Wisconsin as an athletic fight song in 1899. The tune was originally composed by Theodore M. Metz in 1896 and the lyrics were adapted for Badger football three years later by a UW alumnus named Philip Allen. “On Wisconsin,” the University of Wisconsin’s (and the state’s) official song, was composed a decade after “Hot Time,” but it became an instant hit with students when the Glee Club performed the song at a pep rally. Soon after, the Marching Band began playing “On Wisconsin” at athletic events, and a time-honored tradition was born. Today, the band still performs “Hot Time” immediately before kickoff for football, tip-off for basketball, and face-off for hockey. The band also plays the fire-up tune to signal a Badger touchdown after the extra-point attempt.

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