Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 10 December 2019

College songslocked

  • Dee Baily

Extract

Official or traditional songs sung at ceremonial, festive, or athletic events to generate enthusiasm and school spirit, or to support the school’s sports teams. They include “alma maters” (or school anthems; the Latin term alma mater, meaning “benign mother,” is frequently applied by alumni to their school or college), “fight” songs, and nostalgic songs.

Popular songs such as glees, drinking songs, hymns, and ballads have traditionally been appropriated by students and adapted for school use at functions and festive occasions, but it was not until the 19th century that songs were commissioned expressly for such purposes by American schools and colleges. The earliest of these, “Fair Harvard,” written in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Harvard University (1836), was set to the tune of the traditional song “My lodging is on the cold ground,” better known in the later version, “Believe me, if all those endearing young charms”; later, the same tune was adapted by other institutions, among them the University of Iowa. Other early examples of specially commissioned songs include the alma mater of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, an original song written by a member of the class of ...

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.