Hullabaloo-Canek-Canek! A&M Installs Rumble Strips That Play a Familiar Tune

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It might sound like gibberish to some, but if you’re an alumni of Texas A&M University, the phrase, “Hullabaloo-Canek-Canek!” brings a swell to the heart and perhaps a tear to the eye. This cadence marks the beginning of the Aggie War Hymn, or the unofficial fight song of the Aggies.

The song was written by J.V. “Pinky” Wilson, one of many Aggies who fought in World War I. Wilson combined several Aggie yells in use at the time into a song called “Good-bye to Texas University.” He wrote the lyrics in 1918 on the back of a letter from home while holed up in a trench during a battle in France. He later put the words to music after Armistice was signed and before he returned to the United States.

Upon returning to Texas A&M in 1919, the song was frequently performed by a quartet that Wilson had organized, called the “Cast-Iron Quartet.” The Aggie War Hymn was adopted as the unofficial fight some of the Aggies in 1920.

Fast-Forward 97 Years

Aggie Belltower

Photo: Flickr/Ed Schipul

A couple of weeks ago, the university installed “rumble strips” on a stretch of road in front of the university. Initially only seen as a safety feature to slow down traffic, Chancellor John Sharp, (who spearheaded the project) used some engineering and creativity and was able to place the strips so that the familiar cadence can be heard when driving down George Bush Drive (near the Presidential Library).

According to the Texas Aggie Band Association’s Facebook page, “The strips are spaced based on wheelbase (the distance between your front and back tires), so drive in the right lane if you are in a pickup truck or the left lane if in a car. 40 mph will sound best because it will match the tempo that the band marches at 104 beats per minute.”

What Does “Hullabaloo-Canek-Canek” Mean?

Photo: Facebook/TAMU

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