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‘Birmingham Bear Chase’, song written about the 1969 Iron Bowl, is awesome

Auburn “Bear Hunter” knife sold separately.

Our latest installment of Rah-rahs Per Minute, TWER’s longstanding series focusing on the vinyl (and otherwise-formatted) sounds of Auburn Spirit too long relegated to the rotting Shasta box bulk-bins of our thrift stores and garage sales dusts off “Birmingham Bear Chase”, one of the catchiest of the Bear Bryant diss ditties ever made. And since it was probably made right around the same time as “Hello… Bear Who?” that makes, yes, two whole songs written about the 1969 Iron Bowl.

Written by Richard McLean and performed by The Mark Twain, “Birmingham Bear Chase” is one of the most “oh yeah, I remember that” slabs of late 60s / early 70s Auburn vinyl. The tune and the chorus (“Birmingham, Birmingham, War Damn Eagle Damn”—though I always hear it as “War Damn Eagle Ham”) are great. Ditto the message, of course. But the pronunciations is where this this really grabs you.

Believe it or not, it’s actually one of the few Auburn anthems that gets Shug’s last name right. And also—oh man, it’s awesome—the end around rhyme with “massacre”….

“Legion Field, Legion Field is where we’re going to be, and when I turn my Tigers loose it’s going to be a massacree.”

And then there’s the imagery, sweet mercy: “The Tigers got on ol’ Bear’s trail and up they all did go / the Bear was running for his life and hiding high and low. But Jordan’s boys will catch him yet and when they do you’ll see, a Bear skin rug in Sewell Hall is what he’s going to be.”

I had no idea that bear skin rug in Sewell Hall was actually made out of Bear Bryant. That’s amazing.

Related: Beat Bama Beatbox, 1989.

Originally published Nov. 23, 2011. Or maybe before. Who knows.

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About Jeremy Henderson

Jeremy Henderson is the editor of The War Eagle Reader and co-host of Rich and Jeremy in the Mornings on Wings 94.3 FM in Auburn. Follow him on Twitter: @wareaglereader / @jerthoughts / @RichandJeremy

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