Please send your memories to the collection.
- School songs are patriotic-style songs traditionally sung at school assemblies and particularly on special occasion days.
They are mostly Victorian in origin and therefore sound rather “twee”
to our 21st century tastes. Their words are also contrived, as is some
of the poetic rhyme. (I am generalizing here but the majority of these
songs appear to be of this style.)
- The majority of school songs still being performed appear
to be those of girls’ schools. It is common knowledge that boys feel
uncomfortable singing, especially teenagers whose voices are changing
- Unlike the war cries these songs are usually taught as part of the school music program.
The school song of St Joseph’s College, Nudgee, Brisbane
(what I can remember)
Songs associated with Parramatta High School
I am indebted to Sandra Nixon who
Hornsby High School
I work at the National Film and Sound
Archive and I heard that you were interested in collecting school
songs. Not sure if you have the one from Hornsby Girls’ High School,
but here it is. We also had a Sports Song but I don’t think I still
have that. I LOVE this school song – it’s so poetic, Anglo-centric, and
non ‘rah-rah’ that it makes me laugh every time I think of it. [- Sue Terry]
Hornsby Girls’ High School Song
(at least it was in the 1970s)
To the tune of ‘The Vicar of Bray’
De La Salle College Kingsgrove
I think the song’s composer was John Shortis’s father.
thanks to Nick Weare
Double Bay (Sydney)
thanks to Jill Waddy
Telopea Park School
The following school anthem from Telopea Park School goes to the tune
of an arrangement of the duet from The Pearl Fishers – In The Depths of
the Temple. We’ve heard it mentioned on ABC FM radio a few times when
they’ve played the original. The kids sing it in the two languages at
every assembly. I’ve got the sheet music (in duet form) with French and
English lyrics, and I have the arrangement on CD which is used as the
accompaniment at assemblies. Our 85-year-old school (Telopea) used to
have a terrible anthem to the German tune of ‘O Christmas Tree’ (We’ll
keep the red flag flying high) It was ghastly and not at all
appropriate for when it became a French bi-national, bilingual school
21 years ago, so they asked me to write a new one, which I thought
should have a French flavour, hence the Bizet. The ‘colours’ mentioned
represent the different nationalities and all their different coloured
skin. Gough Whitlam, a former Telopea Park pupil, would have sung the
ghastly German tune.
Song For Telopea
thanks to Patricia Beaton
Enmore Boys High
I went to high school at
Enmore Boys High. And in spite of the first line, it is now a TAFE I
think. The words for the school song were:
Enmore our school whose lamp forever burn,
Light, wisdom give us and strength to seek and learn.
Teach us the good to know the dross to spurn,
Honour to Enmore. Honour to Enmore High.
The tune was taken from a hymn, the name of which escapes me. But where
the school song says Honour to Enmore, the hymn goes Hallelujah. When
singing it in assembly we changed the word school to jail.
West Pymble Public School
I went to West Pymble Public School, Sydney – l left in 1986. I can’t
quite remember it all but here’s our song. Our school motto was “Work Work
West Pymble Public School (Sydney)
thanks to Liz Taggart-Speers
Sacred Heart College, Ballarat East
This was a beauty. School motto was “raise thine eyes aloft”.
SHC we love and bless you
Proud we are that we possess you
Alma mater school of learning
Killara High School
A truly ordinary piece of poetry. There were verses too, which I don’t
recall (they didn’t attempt to make us sing it, just played a recording
over the intercom).
Sorry it’s not more interesting…
School we proudly claim
We will always remember
To bring honour to your name.