By Dan Bernstein- Senior Columnist

(CBS) In an unexpected bit of collateral damage from the Penn State football child-rape scandal, “Sweet Caroline” has turned sour for Happy Valley.

The Altoona Mirror reported that school officials dropped the traditional game-day singalong after realizing that it may not be the best thing to have 108,000 people in school garb belting out the lyrics “touching me…touching you” right on campus, on national television.

That decision would be completely understandable, of course, yet Penn State spokesman Gregory Myford issued a statement of clarification. “The music changes up every year, both recorded and Blue Band, while some of the staples remain in place,” he said. “Sweet Caroline has been brought up in recent years as to whether or not it should remain part of the playlist. Although the lyrics were brought up and discussed, to say the song was ‘banned’ because of the lyrics would not be accurate.”

Nobody believes that, but whatever.

This does provide an opportunity, as long as the whole menu of in-game music is under consideration. As a service, then, I’m happy to provide some suggestions for this year, completely free of charge. Songs for Penn State football, 2012. Sing ‘em loud, sing ‘em proud:


“Don’t Speak,” by No Doubt

Don’t tell me ‘cause it hurts


“Sue Me,” from Guys and Dolls

Call a lawyer and sue me, sue me…
Serve a paper and sue me, sue me


“Fiddle About” by The Who


“Silence,” by Gomez

Everyone ‘round here lives in silence
They wait for the end
They bow and they bend
Their homes they defend


“The Curl(e)y Shuffle,” by Jump ‘N the Saddle Band

Well we never miss a chance
We get up and dance and do the Curl(e)y Shuffle


“Jerry,” by John Mellencamp

He acts like a madman from time to time…
He sees the world through a ten-year-old boy’s eyes…
Says he’s prepared to suffer the consequences
Will he be cast into eternal darkness


“Splish Splash,” by Bobby Darin

(Better if the creative fans can find a way to work in a good rhyme with “Lasch”)


“Statue of a Fool,” by Jan Crutchfield

Somewhere there should be for all the world to see
A statue of a fool made of stone


“Voices Carry,” by ‘Til Tuesday

But I’m frightened of the things I might find…
Hush, hush, keep it down now, voices carry


“Lookout Joe,” by Neil Young

Lookout Joe, you’re comin’ home
Old times were good times
Old times were good times


“The Boys of Fall,” by Kenny Chesney

In little towns like mine that’s all they got
Newspaper clippings fill the coffee shops
The old men will always think they know it all


“Free(h) Bird,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

And this bird you cannot change
Lord knows, I can’t change


“It Can’t Happen Here,” by Frank Zappa

And they thought it couldn’t happen here
They knew it couldn’t happen here
They were so sure it couldn’t happen here

Dan Bernstein joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995, and has been the co-host of Boers and Bernstein since 1999. Read more of Bernstein’s columns, or follow him on Twitter: @dan_bernstein.

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