You could say some political football is being played in Plymouth.
The song “Rocky Top” has been banned from the Plymouth High School football stadium playlist because it has been deemed politically incorrect.
“We have a hard time seeing how we can continue to let our whole school body, student body celebrate to a song that’s about alcohol,” said Plymouth School Superintendent Dan Tyree.
For as long as 20-years, the song “Rocky Top” has been the signature song of the Plymouth Rockies—played after all scoring plays at a stadium known as the Rockpile.
The practice came to an abrupt halt at last Friday’s homecoming game.
“We all kind of figured it out, you know that oh wait Rocky Top is not playing so we kind of just took it into our own hands you know and started singing it,” said PHS student Mack Mercer.
“I think it’s a big deal that they’re taking it away because I mean kids are still against it, they’re still singing it so it’s not really taking it away,” said PHS student Sarah Lindvall.
Some students say only after the ban did they learn that the song dealt with drinking alcohol. “It refers to in the third verse, a moonshine still, however, during the games the parts that are played don’t have that actual wording in its so we’re just kind of dumbfounded the fact that they took it away from, you know, just the third verse that was never played,” said Mercer. “It just says ‘once two strangers climbed old Rocky Top looking for a moonshine still,’ so, you know, I don't know what they were doing, maybe they were trying to find a moonshine still and destroy it, they never specify in the song so maybe they’re trying to do good out there.”
This week Mercer has been passing a petition that seeks to re-unite Rocky Top and the Rockpile. Some 600 signatures have already been gathered.
Plymouth School Superintendent Dan Tyree is the one who trashed the tradition, and today he was in no mood for apologies. “It probably should have never started, but it did and I just put an end to it.”
Dan Tyree says he’s had a total of five phone calls on the matter. Three people thanked him and two voiced objections.
“Kids want to play Rocky Top at home they can do that, as far as at a school setting where the school is in charge of the music that’s being played, that’s not going to be one of the songs that we play,” said Tyree.
Friday night, Plymouth played its last regular season home game. Students sang Rocky Top a cappella after each Rockies touchdown.
Tyree says that last year Plymouth student athletes had more code of conduct violations than at any time in the past.