Beyond “For Boston”

Published: April 2008

Published in conjunction with the University’s 75th anniversary in 1938, Songs of Boston College contains 13 school songs, in “lead sheet” form, for voice and piano accompaniment. It was compiled and arranged by James Ecker, director of the Boston College Music Clubs from 1926 to 1936, and is dedicated to a women’s philanthropic group that supported Boston College during the first half of the twentieth century, “the ladies of the Philomatheia Club.” It contains “Hail! Alma Mater!” and the ever-popular “For Boston,” both by T.J. Hurley, 1885, along with lesser-known Hurley tunes “Hit ’er Up” and “The Workhouse” (“At the Heights the word is ever, work, work, work”).

Most of the songs are long forgotten, although former LSOE faculty member Vincent Nuccio ’49, a long-time performer in the University Chorale, recalls singing two other songs in the book, “Maroon and Gold,” by George Dennis, and “Sweep Down the Field,” by Theodore Marier ’34. University historian Thomas O’Connor ’49 says he always thought “Sweep Down the Field” was “the best of the bunch.” He recalls, “Groups of students would be brought together and taught these songs by student leaders,” and the music would be sung at pre-game rallies.

Boston’s Old Corner Books offers a copy of Songs of Boston College, in “very good” condition, for $105.60, but @BC is pleased to present online much of what is to be enjoyed in this collection. Our production staff has scanned the pages and prepared an edition that enables viewers to view and print each page. It also contains an audio track of the piano part for 10 of the songs. (Due to the quality of the original images, three of the songs could not be translated to audio.)

This feature was posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 and is filed under Audio.
Writer: Daniel Soyer, Producers: Miles Benson and Paul Dagnello