“So, we do this before any performance. It’s in a band again, in the flute section. I don’t know who taught us this. And I don’t remember being taught this. It’s something that I had experienced since freshmen year, and we teach it to our incoming freshmen as seniors.”
“This chant that we do, I think it’s for good luck. Or just to let out some steam or nerves before a big performance. But it goes like ‘stop, don’t talk to me, loser lame don’t wanna be. Oh, like totally, all you wanna be is me, stay fresh!’ And then you put your hands in the middle and you throw them up at the stay fresh part.”
“And we scream it as loud as humanly possible whenever we do it. And I have to know idea where it comes from.”
My informant is a performer at USC’s marching band. She is in the flute section.
This is an example of a hype-up song or chant before a game or performance. Like sports games, musical performance requires the players to come up with a way of encouragement. This is typical in a team environment before an important performance. The chant or the hype-up song helps the player build up confidence, and confirm solidarity.
The chant is rhythmic. So it’s easy to remember, learn and perform. It’s similar to the special handshakes, that once one learns it, it almost becomes mechanical in performing it with one’s in-group members.
I had a similar experience before. When I played in my high school soccer team, my team would do something similar to cheer each other up before the game. And I remember that different teams had different slogans to yell before the game. The volume of it is also very important. It almost serves as a scale for courage and determination. I think this is more typical in the sports arena because there is competition.