Appendix 5 – Two Dalhousie Student Songs

Two Dalhousie Student Songs
In cold print, without music or a properly raucous setting, student songs can look silly. “There’s not a flaw, flaw, flaw/ In the boys in Law, Law, Law…” Still, one ought not to underestimate old memories, old loyalties. When R.B. Bennett visited Dalhousie in 1934, forty-one years after his graduation, to the parting cheers of the students, the prime minister replied, with a smile,

One, two, three,

Two songs from around 1906 can stand on their own legs, even without the music:

Engineer’s Song

Transits, levels, tapes and chains,
Dynamos, bridges, turbines, cranes,
Who was it drained away the flood –
Dammed the Nile to save the mud –
Engineers of Dalhousie.

Who build walls to balk the sea –
Who drink their fill of T.N.T.
Who pulled Jonah out of the whale
Built the ark that Noah sailed –
Engineers of Dalhousie.
Who really love the girls the most –
Men who do and never boast –
Engineers –
Who was it put the heat in H—
Slammed the door and rang the bell –

Who’ll go to Heaven when they die –
Who’ll grow wings and learn to fly –
Who will keep the Golden Gate,
And swear at those who come in late –


I’m a meek and humble Freshman,
From a Cape Breton home I steer.
I’ve always thought it a dreadful sin
To look at a glass of beer.
But now I’m down at Dalhousie,
My life’s both bold and gay,
For I’ve joined the gang of terrible toughs,
  Dalhousie’s Y.M.C.A.

Yes, now I am the gayest sport
That ever walked the town.
It takes a mighty cantankerous Prof, to
  dare to call me down.
And I drink my glass, and I hug my lass,
And I turn night into day,
When I’m off with the gang of pirates
  known as Dalhousie’s Y.M.C.A.

Now if I had a barrel of rum
And sugar three hundred pound,
With the college bell to mix it in,
And the clapper to stir it round,
I’d stand on the top of the Citadel
And loudly I would say,
Come, drink to President Forrest and
  Dalhousie’s Y.M.C.A.



The Lives of Dalhousie University: Volume One, 1818-1925 Copyright © by Governors of Dalhousie College and University. All Rights Reserved.

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