Where did the Roughriders fight song come from?
REGINA -- For nearly four decades, “Green is the Colour” has been the official fight song of your Saskatchewan Roughriders.
With the team getting set to take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL West Final, our viewer Brent, was #JustCurious who wrote the song!
Steve Mazurak didn’t set out to become a song writer. It just kind of happened. After catching passes for the team on the field, including 17 touchdowns in the 70s, he eventually made his way into the team’s marketing department. He was working with Rider great George Reed and the CFLPA at the time, sitting in the Riders office with the team’s former Director of Marketing Shawn Quinlan, and was told of the team’s plans to find a song to supercede “On Roughriders”.
“Coincidentally, my sister who just got back from Britain, had a vinyl 45 of 'Blue is the Color' from the Chelsea football team,” Mazurak said. “You know, Shawn I’ve got something in mind, I’ll have something for you by Friday.”
The pair kind of laughed off the idea, but later that evening, Mazurak started thinking a little more seriously about it. That night, he and his wife Heather, put that 45 on the record player, and started adapting those lyrics.
Mazurak joked that it didn’t take much to change “blue is the colour” to “green is the colour” but the rest of the song was a touch more challenging.
Next, he took it to the Riders office. Assistant coaches, staffers and managers gathered in the office and Steve Mazurak belted out his proposed fight song in an impromptu performance.
“Shawn Quinlan just shook his head and said 'Maz, you may have something there.'”
The song was rolled out on July 24, 1981.
It was a card day, where the lyrics were displayed on large cards for the fans to follow along. The trouble is… it was pouring rain that day, and the team holding the cards used them more for shelter from the elements. The team persisted, and adopted it full time, right away, and it’s been belted out after every Roughrider touchdown for the past number of years.
“I know all my grandchildren know the song, the words verbatim, and most of them are in Winnipeg!” Mazurak said. “When Gainer makes his little loop around the stadium, I sing it loud and clear!”
The Vancouver Whitecaps have their own version, called "White is the colour" written in the 70s.