By Councilman James Kenney's estimation, "Fly Eagles Fly" is the second or third most popular sports song in Philadelphia's history. And so, on Thursday, between bills related to zoning and billboards, Kenney introduced a resolution to honor the Eagles' fight song.
"You've got the 'Rocky' theme, 'God Bless America' and interchangeably, 'Fly, Eagles, Fly,' " Kenney said in council chambers after the resolution passed and he'd agreed to sing the fight song for radio and TV reporters.
The resolution honors the song's scribes, Charlie Borelli and Roger Courtland, who have been credited in Eagles programs dating back to the early 60s as penning the tune. Kenney recalled meeting Borelli when the musician was in his 90s at the now-closed Palumbo's Nostalgia Restaurant, where Borelli played piano.
"Charlie used to tickle the ivories and it was there I learned he'd co-written the song. He used to play it himself at the restaurant," Kenney said. "It's one of those iconic songs that everybody gets regardless of race or ethnicity or age, you go to the Linc and after every score the drums start."
Kenney's got bigger sights on Eagles iconoclasm. He wants to bring back the 220-member brass band that used to play at Franklin Field.
"I'd call it the big green music machine, they'd provide costumes and get people from all over who would play for nothing at half time at the Eagles games."
Kenney wasn't the only councilperson honoring Philadelphia sports at the meeting Thursday. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson sponsored a resolution honoring Little League World Series and Philadelphia sweetheart Mo'ne Davis. Mo'ne did not attend.
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