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War Cries





To start we have a twenty-minute segment from the ABC ‘James Valentine’ show where I talked about the history of war cries and invited listeners to contribute.



Here is a war cry recorded in the 1940s at an Australian school. Anyone recognise the school?


Please send your memories to the collection.

A war cry is a chant used by Australian schools in conjunction with their sporting events.

  • They are usually reserved for competitions outside of the school.
  • Most cries are short, around eight lines.
  • The shortness allows the war cry to be repeated ad nauseum – usually whenever the school scores a point or wins an event.
  • During the game the war cry is performed by the audience, rather than the players.
  • The shortness also provides easy learning.
  • As to the origin of the phrase “war cry” I would suggest that it is something we took from the Maori tradition of New Zealand. When Australia was first settled the Maori people, unlike the Australian Aborigines, were aggressive opponents to the British settlements and would employ their traditional war cries in an attempt to scare the British away. These war cries must have made quite an impression on the British who took them back to England and across to Australia, and seemingly adopted them for their schools.
  • Many Australian school war cries still incorporate Maori sounding words although they are not necessarily real words.
  • Most war cries are not “taught” by schools and appear to be an oral tradition.


Peter Cafe recalls

Lewisham Christian Brothers High School.


From the ’60 I remember the Christian Brothers Lewisham war cry,

Yarangabie Yarangabie Yarangabie Yaronga
Tarrawarra Tarrawarra Tarrawarra Tonga,
Mullimbimby Mullimbimby Ya mun Doo
Lewisham Lewisham Blue Gold Blue.
Ya Ya ingo Ya,
Ingo popigo Tullawarra wopigo
C, B, H, S, Lewisham!!!

St Joseph’s College, Nudgee, Brisbane

David Gool, Director Travel Services

HokatikaHokatika – wish bam whap
Ingo buddy buddy – give it to ’em hot
Pour the boot
Pour the boot

Tackle ’em true

Nudgee Nudgee – Blue white blue

Wesley College, a Methodist (now Uniting Church) school in Melbourne

Bruce Watson

I spent a couple of years at Wesley College, a Methodist (now Uniting Church) school in Melbourne – one of Melbourne’s private schools.

Wesley Wesley zim-bah

Wesley Wesley yah yah
Wesley Wesley Wesley Wesley yah yah yah!

But is was said so fast it came out:

Wezza wezzazim-bah
Wezza wezza yah yah
Wezza wezzawezzawezza yah yah yah!

We also had a simple little thing we would say aimed at rival school Melbourne Grammar:

Who are
We are


Charming stuff – but there you are.

The War Cries of Parramatta High School

thanks to Sandra Nixon who runs the Loaded Dog Folk Club in Sydney

View Words


North Shore Marist Brothers


Stuart McCarthy

Igo Sego OpigoAngo
ChoremChorem ante far
Race ’em chase ’em
We’re the boys to pace ’em
Marist North Shore rarara

North Shore ra

War Cry of De La Salle College Kingsgrove (now defunct?)

Nick Weare

King Gee,
Col la
Here we are
We are the boys from La Salle – a
Bexley Beverly Riverwood Nar

We are the greatest near and far
K-I-N-G-S we are
Salle – a

Sydney Grammar Rugby song

Sydney Grammar
Alligator mincemeat, crocodile pie…..

Are we in,
We say YES,
We are the boys of the SGS.




Sydney Grammar

Dr Emanuel Vlahakis

Alligator mince meat
Crocodile pie

Are we in it
We say YES
We are the boys from the S-G-S

G-R-A-M-M-A-R Grammar!


Enmore Boys High war cry


Dean Thomas

1 2 3 4 we’re the boys from En-more

I hope it struck terror into the hearts of all who heard it but I suspect they thought, What a crook war cry.


Technical College


Alan Walker

I attended Sydney Technical High School in Paddington in 1954 and 1955. Each year there was a football match with Cranbrook High School. I managed not to attend these matches so i do not know if this ditty was sung in the presence of Cranbrook boys, but it certainly got an airing in the Tech High school yard.

Tiddly Winks, old man, here’s a very simple plan
” Young man get a woman if you can,
If you can’t get a woman get a Cranbrook man.”


Narrabunda High School, NSW


Bob Fagan

I don’t know who put this together, or even why it has
these words, but we had to get something together
quickly for our first interschool exchange with
Northmead High in Sydney. I should imagine the
Narrabundah College lot of the early 21st century
would think themselves too sophisticated for this.
Here it is:

Yah Yah, Ego Yah
Ego Warrego Ego Yah.
AngoPopigo Turramurra Wopigo

OrkyOrky Blah Blah Blah.
Hoopra Hoopra Yak Yak Yak

Narrabundah Narrabundah Black Gold Black!

John The Baptist, Hunter’s Hill


Leo Schofield

I used to be able to recite BOTH the ‘war cry’ from St. John
Baptist, Hunter’s Hill (circa 1945) and the one from Christian Brothers
Lewisham, ‘pseudo-abo’ gibberish both with lines that went something like

Yarrangobbie, Yarrangobbie, Yarrangobbie, Yonga
….. but all is now lost.

The Joey’s one included a line
Joey’s, Joey,s cerise and blue

But not a line of the Lewisham one can I remember although it ended, as
yours did, with the name of the loathed joint…
C….B….H….S….L followed by a rousing cheer.

The Kogarah one sounds like a litany of Greek ratepayers.


Ainslie Primary School

Elizabeth Jamieson –
Senior Curator, Documents,
National Film and Sound Archive

I’ve always loved the Ainslie Primary School (ACT) sports cry which I don’t think exists anymore but was told to me by my brother-in-law who attended in the 1950s:

Ainslie, Ainslie brave and bold

Ainslie, Ainslie dipped in gold

Telopea, Telopea dipped in tar
Telopea, Telopea, yah yah yah!

(Telopea being the other public primary school in Canberra at the time).

Milton Central School c. 1964

Judy Pinder

“Ulladulla, Boolangatta, Narrawallee, Yatte Yattah
Yatte Yattah, Yatte Yattah, Yah! Yah! Yah!
We see the big breeze down among the pine trees
M -I-L-T-O-N – Milton!

Holy Cross Woollahra



The ‘ladies’ of Holy Cross College Woollahra NSW, sang the following at our inter school sports and swim meets. Well, we did from the years 1970 to 1975 anyway!

” Where ever we go,

People want to know
Who we are
So we tell them
We are Woollahra, might mighty Woollahra”
Repeat twice, getting steadily louder each time.



Billy, ACT

Rack Rack

Rickety Rack
SPC are on the track
Blue Black
Blue Black Gold

Blue Black Blue Black Blue Black Gold
Worry Me, Worry Me
Strathfield, Strathfield, SPC


Sydney Boys High


Chris Maltby

The “Eh-up” is a long “aaaaaay”, short “oop” sound.
Who knows what it may mean. It was just as common to
make loud and rude raspberry noises during the polite
war-cries of the private schools…

Koomiti, Koomiti, Kara, Kara
Koomiti, Koomiti, Kara, Kara
Eh-up, Eh-up

Up, Up, Koomiti – High!

Sydney High School


Russ Hannah

I think it was this one but I can’t vouch for the spelling as I never saw it
written down (or I can’t remember). Notice the Koomati seems to be from the Haka.
There’s something not quiet right about it I think there may be lines

Koomati Koomati Kara Kara
Koomati Koomati Kara Kara
HiggertyPiggerty Hoop-a-roo

Koomati Koomati


Rockhampton Grammar School


Ian Dearden

The school has subsequently turned co-ed, so I assume there has been some modification to ensure that the warcry is gender neutral. The war cry (phonetically because I don’t ever recall seeing it written down) was:

Kar-medi Kar-medi

Kara Kara
Tin-ee-eye Tin-ee-eye

Hop-ee-go Hop-ee-go
Two to one Whop-ee-go
Ya Ya Boska
Ork-eye Ork-eye
Bah Bah Bah

Grammar boys, grammar boys,
Yes we are.


school myths at Rockhampton Grammar

thanks to Ian Dearden

View Words


Stuartholme School, Brisbane

thanks to Natasha Dearden, Grade 9

View Words

All through the city
all through the city there’s been a lot of talk, about the Stuartholme girls and the wa-ay they walk.
they walk through the city,
lookin mighty pretty.
talkin bout the mighty, mighty re-ed and gold!
i said: HEY, ON GAOU, hey hey the power
hey hey the beats gonna step on your feet..wooooooooooo
step on your feet …wooooooo
clap your hands (two claps)
stop your feet (two feet stomps)
get on down to the Stuarthome beat.(body/hand percussion on legs)



Ramsgate, Ransgate, don’t be slow,
Be like Elvis and go man go




One , two, three, four,
Who do you think we’re barracking for?
Five, six, seven, eight,

Who do you think we appreciate?


(Kogarah, Kogarah, yar yar yar

ortta be ortta be
dipped in tar
Ramsgate, Ramsgate, brave and bold
ortta be, ortta be
dipped in gold

Catholics, Catholics,
Ring the bell
While the Proddies go to hell

Publics, publics,
Ring the bell
While the Catholics go to hell.
Catholics stink!