troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Alma Mater Song
"Thank you, for my first encore I'd like to turn 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'll find yourself at a reunion of old grads, and old undergrads, and eh... 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."

An anthem sung in praise of a college, high school or other scholastic institution. Often sung at Class Reunions. May be used to begin a Flashback to school days.

The most traditional examples are based on old folk tunes. A common habit of students is making up parody, Filk-style versions of their Alma Mater Song, with the same tune and rhyme scheme but offbeat lyrics.

Not to be confused with the Football Fight Song.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Seitokai Yakuindomo's OP is this, which is weird considering the incredibly perverted nature of the show.
  • During the graduation scene of Angel Beats! Kanade writes one about mapo tofu.
    From the afterlife world in Heaven
    A comfy number
    Is sent
    Keep eating it until you die
    Mapo tofu
    Ahh~
    Mapo tofu
    Mapo tofu.

Live-Action TV
  • Welcome Back, Kotter had an episode revolving around the school anthem ("Oh Buchanan My Buchanan Fair Buchanan, Oh Buchanan My Fair"), which was written by Mr. Woodman many years previously and updated by the Sweathogs, which was discovered to be plagiarized.
  • Blackadder Goes Forth gives us a nice 'anthem' by General Melchett and Lt. George, two posh Cambridge grads:
    Row, row, row your boat,
    Gently down the stream,
    Belts off, trousers down,
    Isn't life a scream?!
    Hooray!
  • In Suits Mike nearly exposes his fraud when he's unable to recall the Harvard school song, having not studied it in advance. Harvey saves him by claiming most people forget it, then privately tells Mike to learn it.
  • On Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, X the Owl occasionally sang the Owl Correspondence School song:
    Owl Correspondence School
    Dear OCS
    We do our lessons
    And we get a U or an S
    We hope for an S
    Owl Correspondence School
    Dear OCS
    Owl Correspondence School
    We love you best
    We love you best
  • In one episode of Person of Interest, Harold (Who had attended MIT under one of his ridiculously numerous aliases) sings the school song with a former classmate. Shaw immediately snarks that Reese will be sorry that he missed that.

Live Action Film
  • The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T has one for the Terwilliker Institute.
  • Lean on Me: Joe Clark requires every student to know the school song and sing it on demand. He also requires no one move during a public singing of it, which provokes a memorable scene where he chews out then suspends a teacher for doing so.

Literature
  • Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter series has its own song.
  • Although the lyrics have never been revealed in the books, Unseen University in Discworld apparently has an official anthem, traditionally sung from the top of the Tower of Art by the UU choir at dawn on May Day. Since the tower is 800 feet tall, no-one can hear them, but the faculty and students gather beneath the tower, count off the five minutes it takes to sing the song, and then applaud.

Music
  • Before singing My Ding-a-Ling, Chuck Berry states, "We must do our alma mater, we must do our alma mater!" However, the song is not an example of the trope.
  • Does Alice Cooper's "Alma Mater" count? Maybe it's more of a subversion, but still...
  • Steely Dan's "My Old School" is a Subversion, about a grudge Walter Becker and Donald Fagen have against their alma mater, Bard College, for its complicity in the wrongful arrest of 50 students—including them—in 1969.
  • Tom Lehrer parodies the genre with "Bright College Days". Actually, it's less a parody of this than of "The Whiffenpoof Song" and other college drinking songs.
  • The never-officially-released Monty Python song "School Song" (available on the "Hastily Cobbled Together for a Fast Buck" bootleg album), features a high-pitched schoolboy singing one of these in an assembly, whilst Michael Palin's headmaster loudly berates other misbehaving pupils:
    "Will the boy, on top of the other boy, on top of the three boys, on top of the matron, kindly desist!"
    "Hamwell, Spotter, Cornflake, Swivel, Burter, Oddballs, and anyone else with a silly name, come and see me afterward."
    "I don't care what it is, Darcy, TAKE IT OUT OF DANKWORTH'S TROUSERS!"
  • Canadian comedy legends Bowser And Blue parody this in Life Will Be Great When We're Dead, about a suicide bomber training school in Pakistan.
    "Oh, our Alma-Martyr!
    Will you hear our call?
    As our heads fly through the air, like a big football!"

Theatre
  • Grease has the Rydell Alma Mater, followed by an unaffectionate parody.
  • Lady in the Dark has the Mapleton High Chorale in the Class Reunion that opens the second Dream Sequence.
    • In The American Way, the elementary school children of the same town sang "Mapleton, the Gem of Ohio."
  • The opera Street Scene uses the Real Life anthem of Julia Richman High School, New York (by Eva L. Bennett, not Kurt Weill).
  • "Students Are We Of Dear Old Tait College" from Good News.
  • "Dear Old Shiz" in Wicked.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons:
    Hail to thee, Kamp Krusty,
    By the shores of Big Snake Lake.
    Though your swings are rusty,
    We know they'll never break.
    From your gleaming mess hall,
    To your hallowed baseball field,
    Your spic-and-span infirmary,
    Where all our wounds are healed.
    Hail to thee, Kamp Krusty,
    Below Mount Avalanche.
    We will always love Kamp Krusty,
    A registered trademark of the Krusty Corporation,
    All rights reserved!
  • Super Chicken sings with a fellow alumnus of the Harvard School of Watch Repair (or: Tick Tock Tech):
    Time to chime our alma mater
    For the mainspring of all schools,
    Tick Tock Tech, great educator,
    Shock proof, knock proof, seventeen jewels! Rah!
  • The Dover Boys have one as well.
    Pimento U, oh sweet PU,
    Thy fragrant odor scents the air,
    A pox on Yale, poo-pooh Purdue,
    Pimento U, my college fair.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle have a memorable one:
    Wossamatta, hats off to you!
    To thy college, ocher and Alice blue
    We will e'er be faithful and true
    Hail, Wossamatta, hail, better we should be in jail

Real Life
  • Frequently set to the tune of an old song called "Annie Lisle" (no, really, see that Wikipedia entry for a listing of the schools that use it, and it's not even a complete one).
  • "Gaudeamus Igitur" is an old college-y song with Bilingual Bonus for those who can translate the (raunchy, for medieval standards) Latin lyrics.
    • Frequently performed as a borderline dirge by those who can't understand the lyrics, have never heard it performed properly and don't realize that it's supposed to be a cheerful drinking song.
      • Smith College students stop on the last verse, maybe that's why.
  • Mount Holyoke's official song starts out, "Mount Holyoke, we pay thee devotion..." Quite naturally, the parody starts out, "Mount Holyoke, we pay thee tuition..." and eventually ends up describing pulling an all-nighter and running swearing across campus to hand your still-unfinished essay in on time. Spot on.

Age Progression SongMusic TropesAnti-Christmas Song

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
17137
4