Aye Zigga Zoomba Update
There have been some developments on Aye Zigga Zoomba front since I last reported on this topic and I would like to pass them on to you.
First, it appears that AZZ is definitely going to be played at the home football games this fall. This came about after much conversation with the Athletic Department but Mel Lewis, the principal driving force behind this movement, has a letter in hand from Athletics Director Baddour which commits to playing the song "as we remember it." This qualifier is important because, as you remember, members of the UNC band told me they played the song three times at the Duke game but no one I talked with recalled hearing it and I didn't hear it. We finally concluded that the arrangement was such that it was difficult to recognize the song. If it can't be recognized, then it might as well not be played. I have faith that we have broken through the wall of resistance on this issue but we shall see. If we haven't, then we will order up bigger artillery because playing AZZ has become symbolic of our efforts to make game day in Kenan fun again. Many of us feel that game day has lost some of its excitement and charm over the years and we are determined to recapture the excitement of the past. We have Coach Bunting on our side and he played a pivotal role in the AZZ issue.
I hope when the song is played for the first time this fall that everyone who wants to be a part of the UNC spirit revival will let it be known by singing as loud as they possibly can. There is a time to be formal and reserved but when that song is played is not one of them. The more enthusiasm you show, the more it will be contagious. Keep in mind that many young Tar Heel grads have never heard the song. As recently as today I had a UNC grad tell me that he was salivating at the thought of singing the song. He said he had heard a lot of talk about the song but had never actually heard it sung. It may take him a couple of rounds but, in no time, I bet he will become a part of a Carolina tradition and I sincerely hope he doesn't have to go through this with younger generations down the road.
The second thing that has happened is that Bowling Green University in Ohio has learned of our claim to AZZ and has, in jest, proclaimed ownership of the song. My research department (me) is working furiously trying to determine precisely when the song was adopted by UNC. The best we have been able to do so far is 1949 but we have not exhausted all of our resources. BG claims their band played the song first in 1928 with no words and with words in 1946. Bowling Green's claim will have no effect on our attempts to resurrect the song for UNC but it is interesting. I just wish I could locate Norman Sper who introduced the song to Carolina but I have not been able to do so. BG calls their song Ay Ziggy Zoomba rather than Aye Zigga Zoomba and actually has a bar named Ay Ziggy Zoomba in Bowling Green. I believe there is complete agreement that the song is originally a Zulu War chant or a song about the Zulus and the original word used was "High", not "Aye" or "Ay." On the one hand, the debate about this song seems silly but on the other it seems deadly serious and I imagine wars have been fought over less. I am having a t-shirt made with the words "Aye Zigga Zoomba Lives" which I plan to wear to the Miami game. If you see me, give me a yell and a chorus or two. I'll be the one with white hair and an enlarged waist line. Don't laugh. For you younger folks, your turn's coming and it's going to be sooner than you think.