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Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)

26 Nov 98 - 05:39 PM (#46880)
Subject: REQ: Eyes of Texas Are Upon You
From: Louise Wood

I am looking for the song that goes something like this. The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the live long day. That is all I can remember of it. I do not know the artist or the year it came out. Any help would be appreciated.
Click for the Eyes of Texas


17 Dec 02 - 05:27 PM (#849190)
Subject: ADD: The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You
From: Joe Offer

I came across the above request, which had been hidden in another thread. "The Eyes of Texas" is one of those songs, where everybody knows the first line and nothing else. I added a lyrics link to the request, and here are the lyrics from that site (click). It's more-or-less the same thing over and over again, to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad." If that's all there is to it, no wonder nobody knows the rest of the song. Anybody know songwriter information and the exact lyrics?
-Joe Offer-

THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU

The eyes of Texas are upon you all the live long day
The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away
Do not think you can escape them at night or early in the morn
The eyes of Texas are upon you 'till Gabriel blows his horn

[according to the link, you're supposed to sing this very same verse eleventeen times]


17 Dec 02 - 05:36 PM (#849198)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE EYES OF TEXAS
From: Joe Offer

Who Wrote That Song? (Jacobs & Jacobs, 1994) says that the lyrics were written in 1903 by John L. Sinclair, with the melody based on "I've Been Working on the Railroad." It's the marching song of the University of Texas.
But is that it, just the one verse?
-Joe Offer-
I should have known that the University of Texas would have an answer.

"The Eyes of Texas"

"The Eyes of Texas" is the official Alma Mater of the University of Texas. It was written in 1903 by John Sinclair, in response to a request that a song be written for the Cowboy Minstrel Show. Since he was given only a few hours in which to come up with a tune, Mr. Sinclair hit upon the idea of using a famous saying of Colonel Prather, who was the President of the University. The Colonel always told his audiences to remember that "the eyes of Texas are upon you." This expression was fitted to the tune of "I've Been working on the Railroad." Sinclair, dressed in minstrel attire with a black face, sang the song in imitation of President Prather's serious tone and solemn expression. The beloved President soon passed away, and it was not until after the song was sung at his funeral in tribute that it achieved its complete dignity. Now, it is played prior to the start and at the close of all Texas sporting events and at all other official University of Texas functions. The original manuscript hangs in the Alumni Center. The complete original lyrics are as follows:

I once did know a President,
Away down South, in Texas.
And, always, everywhere he went,
He saw the eyes of Texas.

The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You can not get away.
Do not think you can escape them
At night or early in the morn-
The Eyes of Texas are upon you
'Till Gabriel blows his horn.

Sing me a song of Proxy,
Of days long since gone by.
Again I seem to great him
And hear his kind reply.
Smiles of gracious welcome
Before my memory rise,
Again I hear him say to me,
"Remember Texas' Eyes."

"Texas Fight"

"The Eyes of Texas" is frequently followed by another traditional song, "Texas Fight" or better known as "TAPS". "Taps" is the official fight song of The University of Texas and was written by Colonel Walter S. Hunnicutt in collaboration with James E. King, then director of the Marlin High School Band. The words of the song as finally adopted, were written by "Blondie" Pharr, director of the Longhorn Band from 1917 to 1937. "Taps" is played following touchdowns and extra points at Texas football games as well as on thousands of other occasions.

Note: What may not be obvious to many is that the first strain of "Texas Fight" is really a sped up version of "Taps", the song played at many military funerals. The repeated strain contains portions of 'The Eyes of Texas.'

Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
And it's goodbye to A&M.
Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
And we'll put over one more win.
Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
For it's Texas that we love best.
Hail, Hail, The gang's all here,
And it's good-bye to all the rest!

(YELL)
Yea Orange! Yea White!
Yea Longhorns! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Texas Fight! Texas Fight,
Yea Texas Fight!
Texas Fight! Texas Fight,
Yea Texas Fight!

The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the livelong day.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away.
Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
For it's Texas that we love best.
Hail, Hail, The gang's all here,
And it good-bye to all the rest!

Note: The line, "Hail, Hail, the gang's all here" is usually replaced with "Give 'em hell, Give 'em hell, Go Horns Go!"

"March Grandioso"

Another song that has become famous as one of our trademarks is "March Grandioso". Since its intoroduction in 1955 by then director, Vincent R. DiNino, this classic has become a fight song as T-E-X-A-S is spelled out by the fans in time to the music.

"March of the Longhorns"

Our second fight song is "March Of The Longhorns". It is played during the formation of the pre-game block 'T', Script Texas, and other charted shows. If listened to closely, people can hear "The Eyes of Texas" mixed in this song.

"Wabash Cannonball"

Originally introduced in 1970 by then director, Vincent R. DiNino, the "Wabash Cannonball" has become a famous Texas tradition. "Wabash Cannonball" was then legendary Longhorn football coach Darrell K. Royal's favorite tune. Mr. DiNino thought it would be a great way to salute the three-time national championship winning coach, and it has remained a crowd favorite ever since.


17 Dec 02 - 05:50 PM (#849207)
Subject: RE: The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You
From: Cluin

I've got an old album by that great folklorist, Elvis Presley. ;)

On it he sings "Yellow Rose of Texas" and tags on "Eyes of Texas" with a gang of voices joining him. He just repeats the 4 line chorus over and over till it fades, about 4 times.

Big help, huh?


17 Dec 02 - 06:31 PM (#849243)
Subject: RE: The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You
From: Áine

Tee-hee -- Sorry, I just gotta sit here and have a good ol' giggle . . . this is a song that any good Native-Born Texas Child (like myself) has to learn to be able to keep livin' in this wonderful country, uh, I mean state *BG*

Thank you so much, dear Joe, for providing all that fantastic information about UT and the songs -- just shows to go ya that even Native-Born Texas Child can l'arn sumpin' new every day! ;-)

All the best to all you folks unlucky enough NOT to be born a Texan, Áine


18 Dec 02 - 11:03 AM (#849639)
Subject: RE: The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You
From: GUEST,Bman

The first time I ever heard this song, it was in the movie "Giant", the one with Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean, where all of the adults at a cocktail party (as I remember it) sing it all dressed in evening clothes. I recall it being pretty surreal. I had always assumed it must be the Texas state anthem or something; you can always learn from Mudcat. I don't know about y'all, but I find it hard to take seriously any sort of anthem sung to the tune of I've Been Working on the Railroad. regards, Bman


18 Dec 02 - 12:18 PM (#849678)
Subject: RE: The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You
From: DougR

As a born and reared Texican, it never occured to me that EVERYONE didn't know all the words to "The Eyes of Texas." Whassamatta you folks?

DougR


18 Dec 02 - 05:33 PM (#849848)
Subject: RE: The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You
From: Amos

Aha!! That explains a LOT, DOugR!! You're RELATED to the sunnuvabitch!! HA!!!


A


18 Dec 02 - 05:43 PM (#849857)
Subject: RE: The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You
From: DougR

You got it Amos!
:>)

DougR


19 Dec 02 - 01:35 PM (#850517)
Subject: RE: The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You
From: PageOfCups

As a former TCU Horned Frog Band member, I feel compelled to contribute these alternative words to "Texas Fight" that we (and other opponants) used to sing to it:

Texas bite, Texas bite,
Texas jump up and bite my *ss
Texas bite, Texas bite,
Texas jump up and bite my *ss
Texas bite, Texas bite,
Texas jump up and bite my *ss
B - I - T - E !
Texas jump up and bite my *ss

Okay, not the greatest lyrics, but we sang it with enthusiasm. And I have to say that the UT band members who had occasion to listen to us sing it under their stands one game (it was raining, and we wimpy woodwinds were letting the brass players handle things outside) found it amusing. "So THAT'S what you've been singing," they said. "Cute. But be careful, some folks might take offense." They took teasing much better than Aggies did, that's for sure!

PoC,
marching piccolo player in a previous life


15 Jun 20 - 05:45 PM (#4059390)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

Are racist, but traditional, songs OK?

A school song, alma mater, school hymn or school anthem is the patronal song of a school. In England, this tradition is particularly strong in public schools and grammar schools. [wiki]

Google (or whatevs) “The Eyes of Texas” “racist” and hold on to your Stetson:

William L. Prather (1848-1905) was paraphrasing Robert E. Lee, president of Prather's own alma mater, Washington College, Virginia. Lee died in 1870. Prather was a pallbearer at the funeral and graduated class of '71. It's Washington and Lee University today… but not for long methinks.


“You are as a new-risen star, and the eyes of all men are upon you; let not your own negligence make you fall like a meteor.”
[Francis Bacon to the new PM George Villiers, later 1st Duke of Buckingham. Alas, poor George.]


15 Jun 20 - 07:34 PM (#4059412)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,cnd

I don't wish to drift the thread too much and keep discussion of racist songs in its own thread, but to me saying this song is racist is kind of grasping at straws.

The basis of the argument seems to be:
- I'm Workin On the Railroad, the basis of the song's tune, has racist origins (namely an 1894 Princeton songbook)
- the phrase "the eyes of Texas are upon you" derives from a Robert E Lee quote
- it was sung in the past in blackface as a part of a fundraiser.

As for the racist origins of Workin on the Railroad, I've found a reference (though not the text, unfortunately) to The Levee Song from Pennsylvania in 1893 predating Princeton's publication, giving more credence to the belief among many folkrorists that the song predates Princeton's version and could have originated as an African American hymn/work song.

As for the second point, simply being based off a quote from Robert E Lee to me does not make it racist. The school's founder liked the quite from


15 Jun 20 - 07:38 PM (#4059413)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,cnd

Oops, posted early...

... From Lee and said his own quote based on it. His quote didn't have racist intentions, not to mention the fact that a quote from a racist person isn't racist just by it's association.

Finally, the blackface part, which is the most serious in my opinion. While that is true, a song didn't have to be racist to be performed in blackface. While performing songs blackface is (I think) widely agreed to be racist, any song could be sung in a similar fashion, and often non-racist or topical songs were simply sung in that style.


16 Jun 20 - 02:13 AM (#4059443)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

Drift avoidance: Minstrel Shows, Part Two


17 Jun 20 - 07:00 PM (#4059767)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: leeneia

After 60 years, this song finally makes sense for me. It's a football song and 'Texas' is UT. Thanks, Mudcat.


09 Mar 21 - 11:59 AM (#4096851)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: cnd

UT released their 95-page report on the history of Eyes of Texas, which I think will be of great interest to many interested in the history of the song. link

For those curious about the report's determination of racism, the edict was that the song had "no racist intent" and the likely result that UT will continue to sponsor the song unless forced to retire it


09 Mar 21 - 08:17 PM (#4096924)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark

Though I llve far from Texas, I've known the song ever since I was a little kid. I'm pretty sure that I first heard it in a singing-cowboy movie. I have a clear memory of being stunned as I grasped that the melody was from "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Till then I had no idea you could set a single melody to a host of song lyrics.

Many years later, when I grew up and discovered traditional music, I thought of that moment in my childhood when my life was opened to this intriguing possibility.


30 Mar 21 - 11:13 AM (#4099967)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

Haven't managed to open a link for the full report yet. Blank pages. Below are a couple of videos the University put out to go with:

President Hartzell shares his views on the report
“The Eyes of Texas”: Origin and Intent

Hope the report did a better job, not much tho. Would be nice to hear from the music, theater and literature departments but one can only image how alienated from the real world they've become at this stage.

The song is one item on a list of demands some of which have already been met. Others don't stand a chance. The school can keep it on the books but, at the end of the day, the students, band, football team &c can't be made to sing it.


30 Mar 21 - 04:48 PM (#4099997)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: cnd

Phil, see the link on my post from March 9th, I've opened the linked page twice now with no issue. It seems pretty thorough.


30 Mar 21 - 06:42 PM (#4100011)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

Just a lot of white space inside a frame. The videos are on the same site. They play fine but for some reason only youtube worked with the clicky. Mystery to me.

Re: Report
Did the music department ever manage to get in two words?

Did Francis Bacon ever get a nod & hat tip?


30 Mar 21 - 07:07 PM (#4100013)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,#

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIvW2ai-BN4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIvW2ai-BN4

I think MRC is brilliant.


30 Mar 21 - 07:10 PM (#4100014)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,#

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOL2b2EWnho

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOL2b2EWnho

Charles Carson's no slouch either.


30 Mar 21 - 07:15 PM (#4100016)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,#

Phil, maybe this link will work for you.

https://eyesoftexas.utexas.edu/full-report/

https://eyesoftexas.utexas.edu/full-report/


30 Mar 21 - 07:36 PM (#4100019)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: cnd

Huh, that's odd. You can email me at rayef3rw@gmail.com and I can send you the PDF.

Here's a link to the bios of the committee: https://president.utexas.edu/eyes-texas-history-committee-member-biographies - unfortunately, it looks as if there are only 3 people from UT Music/band involved, and none very directly or formally 'with' the music department.


01 Apr 21 - 05:05 AM (#4100232)
Subject: RE: Origin: The Eyes of Texas (Are upon You)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

Finally got it. Ad-blocker or browser settings barking at Adobe when both are online it seems.

The videos &c were scripted almost verbatim from the full report. They're the gist of it if you're TL/DR. Lots of padding.

And no, poor Francis doesn’t get a mention. Silly Yanks go straight from George Washington to the Old Testament in one jump. One would think the Old Book was actually written in English!

A missed learning opportunity on the creative/folk process for the athletic and history departments. ;)