Faculty Song,

Faculty Song, a ballad about their professors, has been sung by Princeton seniors on the steps of Nassau Hall on Spring evenings since 1895. The verses are generally irreverent, sometimes barbed, but seldom ill-natured. Campus favorites other than faculty members have been sung about, too. The tune, a sample verse, and the chorus are shown below.

(???????? Actual bars of music in the original book--below are just the words) Here's to Eli Walter Hall, If he had any dope at all, He'd shoot that darned New Haven pup And bring a Princeton Tiger up! Away away with rum, by gum! Here they come, with a rubby-dum-dum! Looking as if they'd been off on a bum, The Faculty of Princeton College, oh! Arranged by Kenneth S. Clark, '05

The idea of the song was borrowed from students at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut by Andrew C. Imbrie 1895, who composed the first verses. He and his classmates did not inquire about the origin of the tune at the time; years later they were delighted to learn from a Scottish bagpipe band that played the Faculty Song at a class reunion that it was an old Scottish ballad, ``The Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre'' (``The Cleaning out of the Dung from George's Cowshed'').

The life expectancy of the average faculty verse is only a few years, but some have gone on for a decade or more. A verse for Professor William Berryman Scott, composed in 1902, was still being sung in 1919. Another, celebrating the arrival of the original preceptors in 1905, was still being sung in 1930. Some of the best known personalities like Walter P. Hall, J. Duncan Spaeth, Dean Eisenhart, and Dean Gauss, had a different verse sung about them almost every other year. Countless verses have been sung over the years.

Following are some of the favorites, with identifying captions and the year each was composed:

PROFESSOR WILLIAM BERRYMAN SCOTT (1902)
Here's to Bill Geology Scott
He has a carboniferous knot,
He tells us how the earth was made,
And how the Lord his side-walks laid.

THE FlRST GROUP OF PRECEPTORS (1906)
Here's to those preceptor guys,
Fifty stiffs to make us wise.
Easy jobs and lots of pay,
Work the students night and day.

PRINCETON'S 13TH PRESIDENT; THE U.S.A.'S 28TH (1913)
Here's to Woodrow Wilson who
Cleaned up Taft and Teddy too;
So once a hundred years we'd nip
The presidential championship.

THE OSBORN PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGY (1915)
Here's to Conklin, Edwin Grant,
Who knows the habits of the ant.
And why the present human shape
Is not exactly like the ape.

MARQUAND PROFESSOR FRANK JEWETT MATHER (1920)
Here's to Mather, who teaches art,
What hair he has is mostly part.
He shows that he is not a prude
By inclination for the nude.

THE SECOND DEAN OF THE COLLEGE (1923)
Here's to Dean McClenahan,
He cans as many as he can;
It seems to put his mind at ease
To reunite the families.

A TEACHER OF COMPOSITION, EFFECTIVE BUT DOUR (1925)
Here's to Herbert Spenser Murch
Who seems as solemn as a church.
His looks would make you think indeed
His lunch and he had disagreed.

EISENHART AND GAUSS SUCCEED MAGIE AND MCCLENAHAN (1925)
Concerning deans, the old and new,
From history we get the clue:
The Irish refuse to make concessions,
And leave old Nassau to the Hessians.

FIRST DEAN OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL (1926)
Here's to Andrew Fleming West,
A Latin scholar self-confessed.
He lived to see a lifetime's hope
Constructed out of Ivory Soap.

GEORGE McLEAN HARPER, AUTHOR OF WORDSWORTH'S FRENCH DAUGHTER (1927)
Harper went to France to get
The red-hot dope on dear Annette;
And there performed a deed of note,
Revealing Wordsworth's one wild oat.

A VERSATILE DEAN THE OBJECT OF ENVY DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION (1932)
Professor Gauss, he teaches French,
Dean Gauss, he judges on the bench,
Mr. Gauss don't write for fun;
He's got three jobs, and we've got none.

ERNEST GORDON, SCOTTISH DEAN OF THE CHAPEL (1966)
All hail to Gordon, Earnest Dean,
Of Heaven and Hell, he paints the scene;
If you can take his brimstone brew,
You'll get your Scotch on Sunday too.


From Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, copyright Princeton University Press (1978).

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