Blair's best kept secret

Dec. 12, 2001, midnight | By Annie Peirce | 19 years, 1 month ago

Words to school songs a mystery to students

The pep rally is jumping and the cheerleaders are singing. No one can really hear what they are saying, but the sounds blasting from the band are recognizable as the same played when Blair scores a touchdown. Few stop to wonder why, besides the cheerleaders, such a small number know the words to Blair's theme songs.

Although printed on page eight of the student plan book, the two Blair songs: the alma mater and the fight song, are Blair's best kept secrets.

The Blair songs have never been taught in an organized manner. New teachers coming into the school are not taught the song. Teachers who have been working at Blair for many years often know little more than that the Blair songs exist. Instead of a oral tradition passed down from alumni to freshmen as is common in some universities, Blair's songs remain hidden in the plan books and in the minds of the few students who were taught them on a need-to-know basis.

Students rarely learn either of the school songs. The cheerleaders learn the fight song for pep rallies and the chamber choir learns the alma mater to sing at graduation and other Blair pride occasions.

The song dates back to an unknown age before the change in Blair's location and before the arrival of choir teacher Paul Newport who discovered it within the piles of music he inherited from the previous year. The chamber choir, he says, has traditionally sung Blair's alma mater at graduation, although they also sung the inspirational tune at Back to School Night for the parents.

Despite the change in Blair's location, the song has remained in its original form since before the celebration of Blair's rebirth in 1996 when it opened its doors to see Four Corners instead of "gentle hills of green." "By the old Sligo's winding waters" might more appropriately be changed to "By the old Sligo's winding beltway."

In order to build awareness of the musical aspect of Blair's pride, Newport has suggested a contest to rewrite the words of the alma meter, shown below, with words more appropriate for Blair's new situation. The words should be, however, able to stand true for many years and be appropriate for a learning environment.

Alma Mater:

By the old Sligo's winding waters
Gentle hills of green
Shelter as their proudest treasure
Alma mater queen
We thy students will be loyal
For thy glory fight
Always keep thy name untarnished
And thy honor bright
As the years shall bring thee power
And thy share of fame
Countless students coming after
Shall exalt thy name
Speak thee fairly speak thee proudly
Shout it to the air
Hail to thee our alma mater
Hair Montgomery Blair

Fight song:

Fight! Blazers, fight for old Blair high
Right behind you everyone is with you
Break the line and follow down the field
And you'll be upon the field
And you'll be upon the top, upon the top
On Blazers you will always win
Proud to see your colors flying skyward
In the end you'll win a victory
So Blazers fight for old Blair high

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Annie Peirce. Annie Peirce is a senior in the Communications Arts Program and the public relations manager for Silver Chips. She is also an opinions editor for Silver Chips Online. She was born on October 25, 1984, in a hospital somewhere in Prince George's County; but doesn't … More »

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