School Anthems

In America, college anthems are called “fight songs.” They're meant to be played at inter-collegiate matches, to inspire the home team and perhaps to intimidate the opposition. Right! Picture all those hulking football players turning tail when that tuba starts pumping.

St Mary's has had a lot of anthems. At least four since 1960. Some are assertive, and mix well with the immortal Soda lemon, soda lemon, ginger berry pop, St Mary's High School is always on the top. Others follow the more literal definition of an anthem: a prayer. With the passage of time the tune and lyrics fade from memory, then along comes a musically inclined staff member and starts a new one.  So here they are, music and lyrics documented for posterity. Don't stop at the first. A couple of the others are very nice.

1960s; 1981-

Tune: With Cat Like Tread, from The Pirates of Penzance by William S Gilbert
Lyricist unknown. Revived by Br Keane in 1981.
Catchy popular tune and nice fighting lyrics, but they sit uncomfortably in places.
The 1887 building
 The 1887 building

Together we stand, St Mary's loyal men
Comrades all, right on to the end
Our work well done, we always do our best
Every task with courage and with zest
Forever true, forever true
To God and country we shall be
And always our dear school to thee

Refrain (× 2): Faithful we'll ever be
To our Alma Mater now and ever after
So that all shall see that we stand for loyalty

Onward we go, no matter what the cost
Striving still in spite of every loss
Our flag on high, waving in the air
Follow boys, it's proudly waiting there
The green and gold, the green and gold
For thee we'll toil with joy and love
And keep thee floating up above


Tune: Original, written for SMS, music and lyrics by Br Brendan MacCarthaigh
Editor's pick. Original, short and to the point, dignified, and has a nice modulation in the middle

St. Mary's, our own dear school
Our voices we join in praise of you
Your glory, so widely known, we proudly own
In you we learn to work and play
You direct us how to pray
God we serve, and then our land
These the loves for which we stand
So God keep us true to you
And bless our school

Bonny saying mass
Fr. Bonaventure celebrates mass in the 1973 chapel 


Tune: The Merry Ploughboy aka Dublin in the Green by Dominic Behan
Lyricist unknown. Promoted by Br O'Neill. The Merry Ploughboy was an Irish pub song sympathetic to the IRA.
While boys of the 60s may remember this fondly, there was broad support for the replacement above.
The Plummies
Sgt. Plummy and Plummy

Oh we're the boys of dear St. Mary's School
In the hills of Rajasthan
Where we work and play, are employed each day
Till we end our allotted span
It's a school we all are proud to own
And our teachers join us too
In the dim and distant years to come
To our motto we'll be true

Refrain: Valiant boys, we'll forge our way ahead
Though the way be rough or be smooth
May God grant we'll all meet up above
Each and all from the one dear school

In our class, without, on the field of play
We strive with all our might
To make the name of St Mary's great
In the eyes of one and all
Long may our hearts recall each moment here
When the time comes to disband
To you we pledge our lives, to you we owe so much
Our own dear school in Rajasthan


Tune: The Boys of the County Armagh by Thomas Keenan. Lyrics by Br Cox, Br Rigney and Freddy Rosario (1966)
There's poetic charm in these lyrics, they weave beautiful sceneries, and may this song never be forgotten. But due to its length, easygoing rhythm and subsequent contenders now in the field, it comes across more like an affectionate campfire/reunion song than an inspirational anthem.

There's one fair spot in our country
With mem'ries so glorious and grand
Where nature has lavished its beauty
In the heart of the Rajputs' bright land

There lies our dear school with its teachers
The sons of St Patrick so true
And it bears in the depths of its bosom
High hopes for all and for you

Refrain  It's my own school so gay
But, yet one day
I know that I must leave you
In other climes to stray
No matter where I wander
In cities near or far
My thoughts will return to Mount Abu
And this joy no one can mar

We walk every path of the jungle
Old Plummy so oft do we climb
To the haunts of the tiger and panther
Then back by the old road again

Sometimes to the point where the sunset
Sinks into the streamlets and rills
To return when the shadows of evening
And darkness come over the hills

Paddy's Bridge
Paddy's Bridge, looking towards school 

Goethals Memorial School

What, another CB school's anthem?  Sure! We're all friends. As band master in 1968-69, Mr H J Ludwig introduced the Goethals anthem to St Mary's. Nice tune, we thought, but we found much later that it was from “On, Wisconsin,” the University of Wisconsin fight song, composed by William T Purdy. John Philip Sousa, the Mozart of American march music, is said to have described this as “the finest college marching song ever written,” so with credentials like that, here it is for the record. This is roughly the version arranged by Mr Ludwig for the school band: