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College songs - folk or not?

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Related threads:
College Fight Songs (53)
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Lyr Req: We Go to College (9)
Boola Boola (9)


PageOfCups 06 Mar 03 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,Q 06 Mar 03 - 04:31 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Mar 03 - 05:40 PM
artbrooks 06 Mar 03 - 06:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Mar 03 - 10:04 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 12 Mar 03 - 01:18 AM
GUEST,The Sherman Bus 12 Mar 03 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 12 Mar 03 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Dale 13 Mar 03 - 01:45 AM
Azizi 17 Jul 09 - 09:27 AM
Azizi 17 Jul 09 - 09:49 AM
Azizi 17 Jul 09 - 07:11 PM
Folkiedave 18 Jul 09 - 04:21 AM
Charley Noble 18 Jul 09 - 10:05 AM
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Subject: College songs - folk or not?
From: PageOfCups
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 04:17 PM

I was curious as to Mudcatters' opinions as to whether college songs (i.e. fight songs, alma maters, etc.) come under the umbrella of folk songs. They're sung by (an admittedly small group of) folk, they're usually passed down orally, they're usually sung in groups, they have a certain staying power in memory ... Do they qualify?

What brought the question to mind is this story wherein some alumni of New Mexico State U. are debating whether to remove "boozy" references from the school's fight song. (The words in question are: "And when we win this game we'll buy a keg of booze and drink it to the Aggies 'til we wobble in our shoes.")

Now, assuming the words do get changed by the alumni, I'm betting the old words will be perpetuated by the students. Would that be "the folk process" at work?   

PoC
with too much time on her hands


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 04:31 PM

Vance Randolph, author of "Ozark Folksongs," certainly thought they were folk. He included college variants of songs, in the volumes "Blow the Candle Out" and "Roll Me in Your Arms," edited by Legman.
He did not include fight songs, but what else are they? They certainly have a life outside of the school and alumni songbooks.

I have a book of photographs taken about 1918 when my father attended (and got tossed out?) of New Mexico A and M. (now New Mexico State). A pretty wild bunch!


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 05:40 PM

A sub-set of folk music, if you like. Actually, it's a mistake to think, as some do, that folk music "belongs to everybody"; there have always been songs that belonged to specific groups within any particular culture and were in the past rarely heard outside them. College songs can be compared with Scout and Guide songs, for example, or Rugby songs (which overlap quite a bit with both).


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: artbrooks
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 06:53 PM

Define "folk", then we'll tell you! :>)


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 10:04 PM

Here's what I remember of the sort-of-national-anthem of Barts Hospital in London, which is one of the few things I recall (more or less)from by long gone days as a medcal student (I never qualified, in keeping with the song). To the tune of the Ash Grove, and I'd call it a folk song. I never saw it written down anyway:

'Twas early one morning
When quite without warning,
I left my dear family to study at Barts.
All my friends came around to flatter me
As I bought my Greys Anatomy,
And my pint pot of pewter,
As I went on my way.
From the White Hart to the Magpie,
Down Smithfield as I stagger by,
For the last pint of the ev'ning,
At the old Hand and Shears.

Twas fifteen years later
That a very aggravated Pater
Suggested that I terminate
My studies at Barts.
All my friends came around to flatter me
As I sld my Grey's Anatomy,
And my pint pot of pewter,
And I went on my way.
From the White Hart to the Magpie,
Down Smithfield as I stagger by,
For the last pint of the ev'ning,
At the old Hand and Shears.


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 01:18 AM

They will have nothing to sing about …..if all the booze is left out.

SONGS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

1905 – p. 1. compiled by W.G. Tight

A TOAST TO U. N. M

Come all ye sons of New Mex-i-co, Stand up wher-e'er ye be,
And think of be-ing gath-ered round In one large com – pa –ny!
Then fill your glass-es with the best, That is with-in your call,
And drink to old U. N. M. The school be- loved of all!

We'll drink the health of ev-ry one That in her halls have sat;
The Fac-ul-ty, God bless 'em, From Prexy up to Pat!
And here's to all the build-ings, too, From Main to Ladies' Hall;
The pride of old U. N. M. The school be loved of all!

Now let us drink to Albu-quer-que, And may she live for-ever,
The High-lands, the Low-lands and the Old town by the river!
Drink up I say! drink ev-ry drop! The let your glass-es fall!
You're drink-ing to New Mex-I-co, The grandest-est school of all!

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: GUEST,The Sherman Bus
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 07:49 PM

Speaking from undergraduate life in the Cornell Big Red Marching Band (and a few sessions with the Leland Stanford Junior (PAUSE!) University marching Band), I can give you a definite answer:
Yes AND no.

There's many that were consciously writen and consciously written down before their authors got forgotten. (see http://www.rso.cornell.edu/marchingband/fight.html although interestingly enough I thought it was Phil who wrote NCFS not Prof Stith...folk process?)

But there's MANY many more that aren't. But they tend to be a bit off-color, to say the least.

To the tune of "Give my regards to Broadway" (via the Cornell Fight Song "Give my regards to Davy"), there was a ...charming? little ditty that started out "We are a bunch of bastards, we are the scum of the earth" and got worse from there."

Folk yes. Clean enough for polite musical conversation, no.

;)

--guess who


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 08:20 PM

Keeping to the original post, these are only drinking songs from U.N.M. Their tradition is long and deep - I doubt that a couple holy-holies will temper the spirit.

SONGS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

1905 – p. 17. compiled by W.G. Tight

BINGO

Here's to U.N.M. drink it down, drink it down;
Here's to U.N.M. drink it down, drink it down;
Here's to U.N.M. She's our college, she's a gem
Drink it down, drink it down, drink it down, down, down.

Balm of gil-e-ad, Gil-e-ad, Balm of Gil-e-ad,
Balm of Gil-e-ad, Way down on the Bingo farm.
We won't go there an-y more, We won't go there any-y more.
We won't go there an-y more,
Way down on the Bingo farm. Bin-go Bin-go
Bin-go, Bin-go, Bin-go, Bin-go Way down on the Bingo farm.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I too was in a maverick band - what a grand time!!


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 01:45 AM

It just so happens that the Big 12 Women's Basketball tournament is in progress in Dallas, TX. Tomorrow's semifinals feature Colorado/Texas and Kansas State/Texas Tech, but I promise not to mention that again, or this is likely to turn into a BS (Basketball Superfan) thread!

Anyway, the Dallas Morning News Classical Music Critic, Scott Cantrell, rates the fight songs of the 12 teams (yes, there ARE 12 teams in the Big 12, unlike the Big Ten, which has 11 members) So if this is of the least bit interest to you, just Clicky Here and you can read all about it. Now you'll have to look carefully, but at the top of the page is a little, almost unnoticed link called Fight Songs. Click there, and you can hear each and every one in not quite surround sound Real Audio, pretty good actually. I just noticed, there is an Audio link in the blue box to the right as well.


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 09:27 AM

I found this thread while doing research on fraternity and sorority songs and chants.

It seems to me that there are far more references to alcohol in White Greek Letterred Organizations (WGLO) songs and chants than in Black Greek Lettered Organizations (BGLO) songs and chants.

I haven't yet come up with any Black fraternity/sorority songs that mention alcohol (beer, or hard liquor or getting drunk (blasted, blastered, etc). But I admit that BGLO songs/chants aren't posted online and aren't published off-line even 1/3rd as much as White fraternity and sorority songs but my direct experiences as a member of a Black (university based) sorority confirms that there are very few if any BGLO "drnking songs" or songs/chants that mention drinking. BTW, am I correct that there is a category of White college songs called "Drinking songs"?
It seems to me that the focus of Black college songs is to either praise your organization (including sharing some history of that organization and its values, and profess your life long loyalty to that organization and its members), or diss (insult) other groups (which is called "clowing" to emphasis that the diss are meant to be taken as "fun").

If it's true that there is a sub-category of Drinking Songs for White college stongs while there isn't such a category for Black college songs, f'm not sure what-if anything-that means. However, the high (no pun intended) degree of references to drinking in White college songs confirms reserach findings that White college students drink more than students of other race/ethnicities. See for example a report from this site:
http://www.1800duilaws.com/article/binge_drinking.asp

"Binge drinking prevalence varies among campuses , ranging from almost 0 to nearly 70 percent of the students. Rates vary depending on the type of college and its geographical location as well as on the ethnic and gender-based makeup of the student body.

In one multicampus survey, white students reported the highest percentage of binge drinking in a 2-week period (43.8 %), followed by Native American (40.6 %), Hispanic (31.3 %), Asian (22.7 %), and black (22.5 %) students. This pattern of drinking differences among ethnic groups is also seen in high school students".

-snip-

I'm just posting this comment here instead of on the http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=103135 Fraternity Sorority Songs thread which I started because I'm not wanting to read examples of these chants (though that would be great) as much as I want to read others comments about why they think there is such a focus on drinking in White socializing (such as folk music sharing and fraternity/sorority partying). I started to add this comment tp one of the archived Mudcat threads on alchohol such as
this one thread.cfm?threadid=43365

See for example this post:

Subject: RE: Alcohol & Performance
From: GUEST,PaulM - PM
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 08:18 PM

I'm curious to know whether there is a cultural thing here.
In the UK, folk music = beer to a great extent.

In USA / Canada it seems different.

Is that a fair comment?

Paul

-snip-

I guess the differences in themes/content of college songs can be explained not only by citing cultural differences between nations, but also cultural differences between races/ethnic groups [with "ethnic" here meaning Latino/Hispanic].

Do you agree?


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 09:49 AM

As a means of clarifying what I'm talking about, here's several examples of White [American] fraternity/sorority chants followed by several examples of Black [American] fraternity/sorority chants. These are only selected examples and is not meant to imply that all chants/songs in this genre are similar to those examples posted.:


Selected examples of White fraternity/sorority chants:


"This was one of our more clean ones, and its done to the tune of the Notre Dame Victory March.

Cheer, cheer for old Sigma Nu,
You bring the whiskey, I'll bring the brew.
Send the pledges out for gin,
and don't let the f***ing PI KAPPS in!*

We never stumble, we never fall,
we sober up on grain alcohol.
When we yell we YELL LIKE HELL,
We're the brothers of Sigma Nu."

http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?s=6ad8cf0ff7a90244f813bce3b3f80dd4&t=76726&page=2

*this word was completely spelled

**

"No there aren't no AZD's down in hell- HELL NO
No there aren't no AZD's down in hell- HELL NO
Cuz they all are up above
drinking beer and making love
No there aren't no AZD's down in hell- HELL NO

But there are AZD's at (your school)- HELL YES
But there are AZD's at (your school)- HELL YES
And the Kappa Delta Phi's all sleep with Delta Chi's
and the AZD's sleep at TKE!


or

Alpha Xi's never drink, never never
Alpha Xi's never drink, never never
They may smoke and they may chew
AND THEY MAY SLEEP WITH SIGMA NU
But Alpha Xi's never drink
THEY CHUG"

http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=5139&page=3

-snip-

Selected examples of Black fraternity/sorority chants:

"I looked over Jordan, and what did I see
I saw Kappa Alpha Psi looking up at me
I said, "Tell me Nupe, what do you say?"
He said "Damn I shoulda pledged that A Phi A"
I looked over Jordan, and what did I see
I saw Omega Psi Phi looking up at me
I said tell me Que, to save your soul,
Why did you steal the PHI and Old Gold
I looked over Jordan, and what did I see
I saw Phi Beta Sigma looking up at me
I said "Tell me Blue, what do you see?"
"I see Alpha Phi Alpha shining brighter than me"
Cause we're the ICE COLD brothers of A Phi A
And pledging our frat is the only way!"
-ColdFront06; 9/28/2005; http://www.stophazing.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=7;t=000243

**

Oh when I first saw the lady in her pink and green She asked me what do I want to be Well, I said I want to be an AKA Cause Alpha Kappa Alpha is the only way I didn't see the Delta flicker, I saw the light Cause in my heart I knew my choice was right Well, I didn't want to be no Delta I didn't want S G Rho I didn't want to be a Z Phi B Cause I didn't want to step that low.
-Sophist08ed Lady ; 7/17/2007; http://www.cocojams.com/fraternity_and_sorority_chants2.htm

**

We Are The Brothers of Que Psi Phi
[1995 Probates {pledges}, Howard University]

Refrain leader: Oh Oh Oh!
All: Oh Oh Oh!
Leader: Oh Oh Oh Oh!
All: Oh Oh Oh!

Leader: We are the brothers of Que Psi Phi
All: We are the brothers of Que Psi Phi
Leader: The Mother Pearl and that's no lie.
All: The Mother Pearl and that's no lie.
Leader: We're gonna live, we're gonna die
All: We're gonna live, we're gonna die
Leader: In the name of Que Psi Phi.
All: In the name of Que Psi Phi.
Leader: We've come from near we've come from far
Leader: first by lamp and then by star
All: first by lamp and then by star.

Refrain

Leader: In this place of pain and tears,
All: In this place of pain and tears,
Leader: I have learned to persevere.
All: I have learned to persevere.
Leader: Manhood and scholarship,
All: Manhood and scholarship,
Leader: and the meaning of uplift.
Leader: Cooper, Coleman, Love, and Just (varied rhythm) *
All: Cooper, Coleman, Love, and Just,
Leader: They are watching over us.
All: They are watching over us.

Refrain

Leader: I may not see my home again,
All: I'll wave good-bye to all my friends,
Leader: I'll tell my Mama not to cry,
All: I am pledging Que Psi Phi.

Refrain.

Leader: She said "Son along the way,
All: She said "Son along the way,
Leader: watch those cloudy skies of gray.
All: watch those cloudy skies of gray.
Leader: The sun is shining on the other side (ritardando)
All: The sun is shining on the other side
Leader; shining brightly Que Psi Phi"
All: shining brightly Que Psi Phi" (crescendo)

Refrain (resume previously tempo)

* The last names of the four founders of the fraternity
-Elizabeth C, Fine, Soul Stepping-African American Step Shows (University of Illinois Press; 2003) pg. 48-49


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 07:11 PM

It doesn't pay to make sweeping pronouncements. I just heard a Black chant on a YouTube video that mentioned drinking wine.

I can't vouch that this transcription is 100% accurate. But this is what I hear after listening to it multiple times:

[All members in unison]

I say 5.
I say 4.
I say 3, 2, 1.
We throw the ball.
We shoot the yo.*
We party hard.
We drink the wine.
Nupe Nupe,** motherf****er ***
It's party time.
We party hard.
We stay out late.
But most of all
We graduate.


[Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMV4TWHGnLU&feature=related

Eastern Michigan University NPHC Midnight Madness Step Show, April 17, 2009

-snip-

* I'm not sure what "we shoot the "yo" means, if indeed that is what was being said.


** "Nupe" is a referent for members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. My guess is that "Nupes" comes from the original name for the fraternity Kappa Alpha Nu. "Yo Nupes!" is one "call" used by this Black Greek lettered fraternity. I'

*** This entire word was spelled out.


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 04:21 AM

I must admit a lot of this sorority stuff is all Greek to me.


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Subject: RE: College songs - folk or not?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 10:05 AM

It's all grist for the folk mill!

Fight fiercely, Harvard,
Fight, fight, fight!
Impress them with our prowess do...


Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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