The Good Old Song
is the de facto alma mater
Alma mater , pronounced ), was used in ancient Rome as a title for various mother goddesses, especially Ceres or Cybele, and in Christianity for the Virgin Mary.-General term:...
of the University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...
. It is set to the music of Auld Lang Syne
"Auld Lang Syne" is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song . It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight...
. The song is often said to be the University's fight song, but the actual fight song is the Cavalier Song
"The Cavalier Song" is the official fight song of the University of Virginia. The song was a result of a contest held in 1923 by College Topics, the University's student newspaper. "The Cavalier Song," with lyrics by Lawrence Haywood Lee, Jr. and music by Virginia Glee Club member Fulton Lewis,...
History and authorship
Various sources ascribe the authorship of the Good Old Song
to Virginia Glee Club
The Virginia Glee Club is a critically acclaimed men's chorus based at the University of Virginia. It performs both traditional and contemporary vocal works, typically in TTBB arrangements. Founded in 1871, the Glee Club is the University's oldest musical organization and one of the oldest all-male...
member Edward A. Craighill on or about 1895 even though Craighill's 1922 article on the song disclaims sole authorship. The best documentary evidence to date indicates that the song's lyrics were more or less spontaneously composed by a group of students in 1893, and that by 1894 the song was already being documented in the student annual, Corks and Curls
Though "The Good Old Song" was the de facto alma mater by 1900, it has never been made an official song of the University. Other songs have been given official status by student vote over the years—"Virginia, Hail, All Hail!" and "The Cavalier Song" won a 1923 contest sponsored by the student newspaper
The Cavalier Daily is the fully independent student-run newspaper at the University of Virginia, founded in 1890. It is the oldest daily college newspaper in Virginia and the oldest newspaper in Charlottesville, Virginia...
and were named the University's alma mater song and fight song, respectively—--but remain relatively unknown among the general student body. According to the Virginia Pep Band
The Virginia Pep Band is a student-run band at the University of Virginia , officially known as The Award-Winning Virginia Fighting Cavalier Indoor/Outdoor Precision Marching Pep Band, & Chowder Society Review, Unlimited!!!...
, the University's band from 1974 to 2003, the University's Athletic's Department attempted to replace the Good Old Song with a more lively post-touchdown song during the 1970s. They relate that the students of the Pep Band refused to abandon the song in spite of the orders, and it is thus still played today.
Modern performance and controversy
The song can most often be heard at football games immediately following each Cavalier score (or the extra point attempt). Virginia alumni and fans join hands or embrace as they sway back and forth singing the first verse of the song followed by pumping fists to the chant. It is reserved for celebrating the success of a score and is never sung during play, merely as a cheer.
Over the past thirty years, it has become a practice of some fans to chant "Not gay!" after the line "Where all is bright and gay," in what has been described as a homophobic
Homophobia is a term used to refer to a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian, gay and in some cases bisexual, transgender people and behavior, although these are usually covered under other terms such as biphobia and transphobia. Definitions refer to irrational fear, with the...
act. Beginning in 2001, there have been petitions and organized protests against the practice, that faced limited success. Since then, however, the chant is heard less and less often each season. As a replacement for chanting "Not Gay" in recent years, students have instead began chanting "Tech Sucks" in reference to the school's rival, Virginia Tech.
|That good old song of Wah-hoo-wah--we'll sing it o'er and o'er
|It cheers our hearts and warms our blood to hear them shout and roar
|We come from old Virginia, where all is bright and gay
|Let's all join hands and give a yell for the dear old UVa.
Wahoos, or Hoos for short, is an unofficial nickname for sports teams of the University of Virginia, officially referred to as the Cavaliers. The terms are both also used in a more general context by students and alumni to refer to themselves as fans and alumni of The University.- Origins :The...
, wah-hoo-wah! Uni-v, Virginia!
|Hoo-rah-ray, hoo-rah-ray, ray, ray--U-Va!
|What though the tide of years may roll, and drift us far apart
|For alma mater still there'll be a place in every heart.
|In college days we sing her praise, and so, when far away,
|In memory we still shall be at the dear old U-Va.