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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE IOWA FIGHT SONG PLAYING IN STRANGE LOCATIONS

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The Iowa Fight Song is playing at an abandoned church in upstate New York, but it's only the most recent example of the song popping up in strange locations.

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Last week, we received one of the strangest legitimate news stories we've ever seen: The Iowa Fight Song has been playing from a vacant church in Niagara Falls for five or six hours a day over the last six months.  It's driving the neighbors crazy, and nobody knows who is behind it or why it's being played.

This is hardly the first time that the Iowa Fight Song has turned up in a strange location, though.  The Iowa Fight Song has a long history of being used in would-be random circumstances.

2012

The Los Angeles Times publishes an investigation into how a porn movie was filmed at the LA Coliseum in 2001.  Among the questions asked by the venerable Southern California newspaper: Who authorized the use of Los Angeles' most famous stadium for such a sordid production, and how did nobody else know of this until ten years later.  Not among the questions asked: Why the Iowa Fight Song was playing during the movie's opening football montage.

2007

HBO's long-running series, The Sopranos, comes to an end with a scene steeped in symbolism and mystery.  What happened when the scene cut to black?  Who was the guy in the Member's Only jacket?  Did Tony Soprano die?  And does that diner really have the best onion rings in New Jersey?

But, with the show so consistent in its use of excellent rock music, fans were especially puzzled by David Chase's decision on the final song and openly questioned if Chase was pulling a prank by including it.

1979

The Sugarhill Gang releases Rapper's Delight, the first mainstream rap song, and sets off a wave of hip-hop that dominates popular music to this day.  But while the radio version of Rapper's Delight has a well-worn sample backing the lyrics, the original demo version of the song featured -- you guessed it! -- the Iowa Fight Song:

1976

During their final concert on Thanksgiving Day, 1976, at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom, The Band treated fans to guest appearances by a "who's who" of rock n' roll royalty: Bob Dylan, Ronnie Hawkins, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, and Eric Clapton made cameo appearances to play with the beloved quintet, as a young Martin Scorsese filmed for what would become one of the greatest concert movies ever made.

But Scorsese left one scene on the cutting room floor.  Between the guest appearances by Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, The Band brought on Iowa Marching Band director Morgan Jones for a rollicking, Southern fried rendition of the Iowa Fight Song that left most in attendance confused.  Critics said the nod to militaristic collegiate football songs was out of character for a group so focused on folk music, and Scorsese later admitted it nearly derailed the entire project.

Forty years later, San Francisco's favorite marching band, the Stanford Band, finally got its revenge.

1969

Noted Purdue alum Neil Armstrong is slated to be the second man to walk on the moon when his Apollo 11 crew landed on the Earth's only satellite.  But, in typical Purdue fashion, he boxed out Buzz Aldrin and got out of the capsule first.

Aldrin quickly got even with Armstrong.