On the Banks of the Old Raritan

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On the Banks of the Old Raritan  (1873) 
Howard N. Fuller
On the Banks of the Old Raritan is the alma mater of Rutgers University, written in 1873.

Original lyrics (1873)

I.
My father sent me to old Rutgers,
And resolv'd that I should be a man;
And so I settled down,
In that noisy college town,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
On the banks of the old Raritan, my boys,
where old Rutgers ever more shall stand,
For has she not stood since the time of the flood,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
II.
As Fresh, they used me rather roughly,
But I the fearful gauntlet ran,
And they shook me so about
That they turned me inside out,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
III.
I passed through all these tortures nobly,
And then, as Soph, my turn began,
And I hazed the poor Fresh so,
That they longed for Heaven, I know,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
IV.
And then I rested at my pleasure,
And steered quite clear of Prex's ban,
And the stars their good-bye kissing
Found me not from euchre missing,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
V.
And soon I made my social entrée
When I laid full many a wicked plan,
And by my cunning art
Slew many a maiden's heart,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
VI.
Then sing aloud to Alma Mater,
And keep the Scarlet in the van;
For with her motto high
Rutgers' name shall never die
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)

Revised lyrics (1914)

I.
My father sent me to old Rutgers,
And resolv'd that I should be a man;
And so I settled down,
In that noisy college town,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
On the banks of the old Raritan, my boys,β
where old Rutgers ever more shall stand,
For has she not stood since the time of the flood,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
II.
Her ardent spirit stirred and cheered me
From the day me college years began;
Gracious Alma Mater mine;
Learning's fair and honored shrine;
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
III.
I love her flaming far-flung banner
I love her triumphs proud to scan,
And I glory in her fame
That's immortalized her name.
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
IV.
My heart clings closer than the ivy
As life runs out its fleeting span,
To the stately, ancient walls
Of her hallowed, classic halls
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
V.
Then sing aloud to Alma Mater,
And keep the scarlet in the van';
For with her motto high,
Rutgers' name shall never die,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)

Revised lyrics (2013)α

I.
From far and near we came to Rutgers,
And resolved to learn all that we can;
And so we settled down,
in that noisy college town,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
On the banks of the old Raritan, my friends,
where old Rutgers ever more shall stand,
For has she not stood since the time of the flood,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
II.
Her ardent spirit stirred and cheered me
From the day me college years began;
Gracious Alma Mater mine;
Learning's fair and honored shrine;
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
III.
I love her flaming far-flung banner
I love her triumphs proud to scan,
And I glory in her fame
That's immortalized her name.
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
IV.
My heart clings closer than the ivy
As life runs out its fleeting span,
To the stately, ancient walls
Of her hallowed, classic halls
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)
V.
Then sing aloud to Alma Mater,
And keep the scarlet in the van';
For with her motto high,
Rutgers' name shall never die,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
(Chorus)

 In August 2013, a new version of the song debuted at the university's convocation. Penned by Rutgers Director of Choral Studies Patrick Gardner, the lyrics "My father sent me to old Rutgers, and resolved that I should be a man" were changed to "From far and near we came to Rutgers, and resolved to learn all that we can."[1] The following line was also changed to "we settled down" instead of "I settled down".[2]

 In 1989, several years after Rutgers became coeducational (1972), the University's administration changed the official lyrics to reflect to be gender-neutral, substituting the words "my friends" in place of Fuller's original words "my boys" in the first line of the chorus.[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. "Rutgers Updates Its Anthem to Include Women", The New York Times, September 24, 2013
  2. "Traditional Rutgers Songs: On the Banks of the Old Raritan (Alma Mater)". Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  3. On the Banks of the Old Raritan accessed 12 August 2006.
  4. "Singing Songs of Scarlet" from the Daily Targum 18 May 2006.