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2. Bright College Days

For my first encore, I'd like to turn to a type of song...(laughter) to a type of song that people like myself find ourselves subjected to with increasing frequency as time goes on, and that is the College Alma Mater. You find yourself at a reunion of old grads and old undergrads... and somebody will start croaking out one of these things and everyone will gradually join in, each in his own key of course, until the place is just soggy with nostalgia.

Well, a typical such song might be called Bright College Days*, and might go like this:

Bright college days, oh, carefree days that fly,
To thee we sing with our glasses raised on high.  [holds up eyeglasses]
Let's drink a toast as each of us recalls
Ivy-covered professors in ivy-covered halls.

Turn on the spigot,
Pour the beer and swig it,
And gaudeamus igit-itur.**

Here's to parties we tossed,
To the games that we lost
(We shall claim that we won them someday).
To the girls, young and sweet,
To the spacious back seat
Of our roommate's beat up Chevrolet.
To the beer and Benzedrine,
To the way that the dean
Tried so hard to be pals with us all.
To excuses we fibbed,
To the papers we cribbed
From the genius who lived down the hall.

To the tables down at Mory's***
(Wherever that may be),
Let us drink a toast to all we love the best.
We will sleep through all the lectures,
And cheat on the exams,
And we'll pass, and be forgotten with the rest.

Oh, soon we'll be out amid the cold world's strife.
Soon we'll be sliding down the razor blade of life.  (Oooh!)
(laughter) ... Ready? ...
But as we go our sordid separate ways,
We shall ne'er forget thee, thou golden college days.

Hearts full of youth,
Hearts full of truth,
Six parts gin to one part vermouth.


      * The Yale alma mater is called Bright College Years. The lyrics are as follows

Bright college years, with pleasure rife,
The shortest, gladdest years of life;
How swiftly are ye gliding by!
Oh, why doth time so quickly fly?
The seasons come, the seasons go,
The earth is green or white with snow,
But time and change shall naught avail
To break the friendships formed at Yale.

In after years should trouble rise
To cloud the blue of sunny skies,
How bright will seem thru mem'ry's haze,
Those happy, golden, bygone days!
Oh, let us strive that ever we
May let these words our watchcry be,
Where'er upon life's sea we sail
"For God, for country, and for Yale!"

      ** From the Latin song, Gaudeamus igitur

Nach C.W. Kindleben 1781

1. |: Gaudeamus igitur,
   Juvenes dum sumus; :|
Post jucundam juventutem,
Post molestam senectutem
|: Nos habebit humus! :|

2. |: Vita nostra brevis est,
   Brevi finietur, :|
Venit mors velociter,
Rapit nos atrociter,
|: Nemini parcetur. :|

3. |: Ubi sunt qui ante
   Nos in mundo fuere? :|
Vadite ad superos,
Transite ad inferos,
|: Hos si vis videre. :|

4. |: Vivat academia,
   Vivant professores, :|
Vivat membrum quodlibet,
Vivant membra quaelibet,
|: Semper sint in flore! :|

5. |: Vivant omnes virgines
   Faciles, formosae, :|
Vivant et mulieres,
Tenerae, amabiles,
|: Bonae, laboriosae! :|

6. |: Vivat et respublica
   Et qui illam regit, :|
Vivat nostra civitas,
Maecenatum caritas,
|: Quae nos hic protegit! :|

7. |: Pereat tristitia,
   Pereant osores, :|
Pereat diabolus,
Quivis antiburschius,
|: Atque irrisores! :|

8. |: Quis confluxus hodie
   Academicorum? :|
E longinquo convenerunt,
Protinusque successerunt
|: In commune forum; :|

9. |: Vivat nostra societas,
   Vivant studiosi :|
Crescat una veritas,
Floreat fraternitas,
|: Patriae prosperitas. :|

10. |: Alma Mater floreat,
   Quae nos educavit; :|
Caros et commilitones,
Dissitas in regiones
|: Sparsos, congregavit; :|

Tr. J. Mark Sugars 1997

|: While we're young, let us rejoice,
   Singing out in gleeful tones; :|
After youth's delightful frolic,
And old age (so melancholic!),
|: Earth will cover our bones. :|

|: Life is short and all too soon
   We emit our final gasp; :|
Death ere long is on our back;
Terrible is his attack;
|: None escapes his dread grasp. :|

|: Where are those who trod this globe
   In the years before us? :|
They in hellish fires below,
Or in Heaven's kindly glow,
|: Swell th' eternal chorus. :|

|: Long live our academy,
   Teachers whom we cherish; :|
Long live all the graduates,
And the undergraduates;
|: Ever may they flourish. :|

|: Long live all the maidens fair,
   Easy-going, pretty; :|
Long live all good ladies who
Are tender and so friendly to
|: Students in this city. :|

|: Long live our Republic and
   The gentlefolk who lead us; :|
May the ones who hold the purse
Be always ready to disburse
|: Funds required to feed us. :|

|: Down with sadness, down with gloom,
   Down with all who hate us; :|
Down with those who criticize,
Look with envy in their eyes,
|: Scoff, mock and berate us. :|

|: Why has such a multitude
   Come here during winter break? :|
Despite distance, despite weather,
They have gathered here together
|: For Philology's sake. :|

|: Long live our society,
   Scholars wise and learn-ed; :|
May truth and sincerity
Nourish our fraternity
|: And our land's prosperity. :|

|: May our Alma Mater thrive,
   A font of education; :|
Friends and colleagues, where'er they are,
  Whether near or from afar,
|: Heed her invitation. :|

      *** Mory's is a dining club located at 306 York Street, in New Haven, Connecticut, that was originally open only to Yale faculty and students. The phrase "the tables down at Mory's", as well as the "glasses raised on high", and "temple bar we love so well", is a reference to the Whiffenpoof Song, that goes (Wow, FOUR songs on one page! Aren't you lucky?):

To the tables down at Mory's
To the place where Louie dwells
To the dear old Temple bar we love so well
Sing the Whiffenpoofs assembled with their glasses raised on high
And the magic of their singing casts its spell

Yes, the magic of their singing of the songs we love so well
"Shall I Wasting" and "Mavourneen" and the rest
We will serenade our Louie while life and voice shall last
Then we'll pass and be forgotten with the rest

We're poor little lambs who have lost our way
Baa, baa, baa
We're little black sheep who have gone astray
Baa, baa, baa

Gentleman songsters off on a spree
Doomed from here to eternity
Lord have mercy on such as we
Baa, baa, baa

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