Bend High’s new anthem

Video: Georgann Ireland pens Lava Bears tribute

By Tyler Leeds / The Bulletin

Published May 29, 2014 at 12:01AM

After two years of writing, recording, filming and producing, a Bend High School senior created a new anthem for her school.

Georgann Ireland, 18, was inspired by something that happened after the last football game of her sophomore year. Then a cheerleader and forever a football fan, Ireland said Lava Bears games are where “the school comes together as a community.” The team had just lost after making it to the verge of the playoffs, and Ireland saw the team’s quarterback walk up to a younger player and say, “Enjoy it while it lasts.”

“It left me with this strong feeling, so I went home and strummed some chords and suddenly had a melody,” said Ireland, now a senior bound for the University of California-Berkeley in the fall.

After finishing the song as a sophomore, Ireland played it for her principal and the school’s football coaches, who encouraged her to have it professionally recorded and turned into a music video. With some financial and videography help from her mom, Ireland got a band together and practiced before going to a local studio to record. All in all, she spent 20 hours in the studio, and by the beginning of her senior year, the song and music video were complete.

“For the video, which we made on the football field, it was like 30 degrees,” Ireland said. “You can see my breath in certain shots.”

The video weaves together images of Ireland playing guitar and singing with the current Lava Bears team and archival footage of games. Ireland said she watched entire games from the archives and was amused by the fact that all the footage was accompanied by what she described as “elevator music.”

“I was cheering along with the old games,” she said.

Ireland said the song, “The Long Blue Line,” is meant to celebrate the school’s history, something she feels a part of, as her own grandmother, after whom Ireland is named, attended Bend High.

The football team has seen the video, and Ireland said the screening was followed by a thoughtful silence. Kevin Cooper, the team’s offensive coordinator and a history teacher, said his players “loved the song as much as the adults did.”

“The long blue line is that tradition, it’s loyalty, it’s what we teach kids about character,” he said. “To put her words to it and then make a video, it’s a teaching tool we will have when my kid comes to Bend High.”

Ireland said the plan is now to show the video to her classmates at the senior assembly, although incoming students have already been shown the video. Ireland thinks the senior assembly is a better venue, “as it’s more nostalgic than suited for a pep rally.”

“It makes people realize what we have at this school,” Ireland said. “What sets Bend High apart is the culture, and that’s fostered through our long history; we have this standard that has been set. It’s a really open school. You have friends from across the board. I have friends who come from nothing and friends with a house on Awbrey Butte. That’s Bend High, and you really see it at the games.”

— Reporter: 541-633-2160, tleeds@bendbulletin.com