“Here’s to the college whose colors we wear,” circa 1916

There’s been a lot of thrashing around over the years about Rice songs, both the fight song and the alma mater. The search for the perfect thing hasn’t been constant but it certainly has been recurrent.

Yesterday I ran across this early attempt in the scrapbook that was kept by Albert Tomfohrde ’17. I suspect he didn’t write it–he was more of a football player than a musician–but he carefully tucked it away for me to find:


I kind of like the lyrics, which are pretty standard for the era, and I’m especially interested that whoever wrote them put gray before blue, an inversion of how we usually say it now.

I had time to do a little bit of digging and discovered this Thresher article from the same time period bemoaning the lack of a signature song and proposing a couple of choices.

Is it too late to switch to “We Stole A Goat”?? Because we absolutely should do that. (I can’t be sure but the tune was probably “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”)


Bonus: It was dreary today, grey and wet, and I had a funeral for a friend. But I couldn’t help smiling at the throngs of bright umbrellas headed every which way between classes. It would have looked cool from above.


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7 Responses to “Here’s to the college whose colors we wear,” circa 1916

  1. Bill Peebles, Hanszen '70 says:

    “We Stole a Goat.” That is an all-time great title for a college song. I’ll be one of many to point out that the text says the tune is “There Were Three Crows.”

  2. Keith Cooper says:

    I think “We stole a Goat is even superior to the song proposed in the 12/3/1959 Thresher (page 9) by Weaver and Fowler. See https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/66251/thr19591203.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

  3. Steve Lukingbeal, Hanszen '76 says:

    It’s hypocritical for us to criticize the advocacy of lawlessness in contemporary hip hop music when we glamorize the felonious theft of a farm animal in our music.

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