Plymouth High School has revised but not outright reversed its ban on the song “Rocky Top” at home football games.
For 21 years the tune had traditionally followed touchdowns in the stadium known as the Rock Pile, home of the Rockies.
Last fall, without warning, they stopped playing Rocky Top after complaints that the lyrics promoted moonshine and womanizing.
While the song stopped coming out the public address system, it wasn’t long before it could be heard coming from the stands loud and clear.
Students who had passed petitions to bring the song back protested a cappella at the games. It’s hard to say what they might have done next.
“I know there were kids, were getting pretty mad at the last one (game) they, some kids had some things planned, I don’t know it was not, it was getting to a level that it wasn’t right to protest anymore,” said football player Trevor Grimmett.
Today, Plymouth High School Principal Jim Condon announced that the song would be allowed to make a comeback this year, but without the controversial lyrics.
Instead, the marching band will play an instrumental version.
“I hope that our students view it as a resolution. I’m confident that our football coach understood it that way,” said Principal Condon. “I think we’ll move forward and it will allow us to place our focus back on things it should be on.”
When asked if she knew the words to the song, Plymouth High School student Annie Enders replied, “no.” She added that the song was more about “school spirit.”
Trevor Grimmett agreed: “If we could like have our band play it I think it would have the same meaning as long as we have it back really, just getting it back is the main idea.”
The change of heart is still a work in progress, according to Principal Condon, “as to the number of times it will be played and when it will be played.”
The ban was in effect for a total of three home games last year.
The controversy does not apply to other sports in Plymouth. While the football team goes by the nickname the Rockies, the other teams are the Pilgrims.