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School Songs






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
    with adolescence.
  • 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)

View Words

Songs associated with Parramatta High School

I am indebted to Sandra Nixon who
runs the Loaded Dog Folk Club in Sydney for sending me details of the
songs associated with Parramatta High School. This is a fine example of
how songs develop.

View Words

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’

View Words

De La Salle College Kingsgrove

I think the song’s composer was John Shortis’s father.
(Shortis and

thanks to Nick Weare

View Words

Double Bay (Sydney)

thanks to Jill Waddy

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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
Weston ACT

View Words

Enmore Boys High

Dean Thomas

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
and Smile”

West Pymble Public School (Sydney)

thanks to Liz Taggart-Speers

View Words

Sacred Heart College, Ballarat East

Marita Blood

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
………………. yearning

Killara High School

Chloe Roweth

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…

Killara, Killara,
School we proudly claim
We will always remember
To bring honour to your name.