The Washington Post

When think tanks had fight songs [From the File Cabinet]

Apparently some think tanks need a little motivation while on the offense. In October 2001, Slate broke the story that the Heritage Foundation had composed a fight song that was performed at a staff meeting by an eight-person choir.

Slate realized that “the Brookings Institution now has no choice but to come up with a fight song of its own” and offered to help Brookings by holding a reader contest to get the ball rolling. (Some didn’t follow the rules and AEI got an Old MacDonald-themed song.)

And what were those Heritage lyrics that got the blood going in the first place?

O Heritage, O Heritage
You firm foundation stand
A citadel where freedom’s bell
Resounds throughout the land.

O Heritage, O Heritage
Stand tall against all wrong
For God and country persevere
To keep our nation strong.

O Heritage, O Heritage
Press on with all your soul
I’ll do my best to help you press
Toward your righteous goal.

O Heritage, O Heritage
Your goal is known for sure
Our imagery of liberty
Adorns your very door

Our imagery of liberty

Adorns your very door.

Hat tip: Josh Greenman

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


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