Loyola’s Original Music Sir

For decades, the Loyola school song has inspired us all. Today, I discovered the person who inspired the school song.

Source: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/s/o/soundbat.htm

William F. Sherwin.

His church song Sound the Battle Cry marches thus:

O Thou God of all, hear us when we call,
Help us one and all by Thy grace;
When the battleโ€™s done, and the victโ€™ryโ€™s won,
May we wear the crown before Thy face.

Published in several hymn books, Sherwin’s song is high on military imagery and apparently refers to spiritual warfare. In the Bible, the phrase “sound the battle cry” appears in some versions of Jeremiah 49:2; the hymn, however, is popularly associated with Isaiah 59:19.

Take Sherwin, tweak the third and fourth lines, and you have the second third stanza of the Loyola school song.

O Thou God of all, hear us when we call
Help us one and all, by Thy grace
When life’s game is done, and the victory won
May we wear the crown of joy and grace.

Pic courtesy: Logitech

Er…the inspiration is not limited to the lyrics. In 1869, a good 100 years before the first batch left Loyola, Sherwin Sir had also composed this wonderful tune.

21 Comments

  • This is an amazing find. All this while I used to wonder who compsed the anthem, and assumed it was the late Mr. Antony.

    A slight correction: the stanza quoted is the third, not the second in the school anthem. The second begins thus: “Loyola’s sons acclaim brave Loyola’s fame…”

  • Thanks, Deepak. Third stanza it is. Corrected.

    The incorrect version is the only one on the web. I don’t see the song at the school’s official website. A few years ago, your personal site had the correct version in full. Bring it on again!

  • Holy cow!….The works of Bappi Lahiri, Annu Malik and some latest numbers of ARR have all found their traces: shallow, buried and deep (in the same order) in some folk songs of the West…Little did I imagine our very own anthem was inspired from elsewhere…Good find I say! …
    Congrats Ashok…Nice one!

  • Abishek, maybe we should spin this…you know…as reflecting the school’s international character, openness, etc. ๐Ÿ˜‰ If this blogpost triggers a change in the school song tune, that would be really sad. I can live with the St Thomas guys taunting us. ๐Ÿ™‚ Wouldn’t mind if our lyrics were made original, though. After all, we rarely sang ‘O Thou God of all’.

  • Ajith, I was researching the school song from another angle. A bit like searching for a needle in a haystack, and ending up with the farmer’s daughter.

  • A non-Indian, Christian friend of mine mentioned to me the couple of times she heard me hum our song that the tune is very reminiscent of a church song. I strongly maintained that she must have it mixed up. Well, now I know better ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great work, Ashok!

  • Senthil, the next time you hear any such comment on Loyola, please buzz me. I’m always looking for crime stories on Loyola. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ashok,

    Good find. That School Anthem was put together my a teacher in the Junior school (not sure if it was Mrs. Murray or not). The music was composed by Antony sir I think. Not 100% sure on those.

    The same goes for our flag. It was designed by a teacher of our school (again some thing reminds me it was a Junior school teacher).

    I still vividly remember the assembly during which they were presented. We basically had to un-learn the earlier song and learn this new anthem. Any other oldies remember the creators of these?

    So were the house-names Apollo Pioneers, Gemini Giants, Jupiter Jetsettter and Sputnik Spacemen. The names and flags were designed by the teachers. I forget who. Prior to that, they were just called the Green house, Yellow house, Blue House and Red house. Does the Junior school still have the bird names (Magpies, Sparrows, etc)?? I forget the other two.

    Love,
    -Radhakrishnan

  • Radhakrishnan, I’ve presented evidence that the music was composed by Sherwin, not Mr Antony or anybody in India. The logos and flags of the Space Houses were not designed by teachers, if what I’ve heard is true.

    Didn’t know that the houses were initially the names of colours. Might have been exciting to get the Space names! In my time in junior school (1981-1984), we had only two groups — Sparrows and Magpies. Your comment evoked a few memories. Thanks!

  • I’d love to hear more about Junior School groups. Never knew we had those, and what happened by the time we were studying in junior school?

  • John, in my time, each class was divided into two groups — Sparrows, and Magpies. Typically, the division was decided by seating arrangement. There used to be 2 columns of students, and those who sat in one column (or on one side of the class) would be Sparrows. If the guys on the left side were Sparrows, the guys on the right-hand side benches would be Magpies. The teacher would give points to each group — including for discipline/silence in class! The points of Sparrows in each junior school class (I-IV in my time) were added to build the total score of Sparrows for the junior school. Medals were hung on the junior-school notice-board to indicate the total score of each group.

  • May I mention, that listening to the piano tune of the school song-inspiration gave me goosebumps! Your blogs send me into a helpless nostalgia trip, everytime. Great work!

  • Ashok, as per my knowledge tune of New School Anthem is introduced by Fr. Maurice Stanford S. J. (principal Loyola School 1973-76). It is inspired from the old tune as you have mentioned. But, why Fr. Maurice Stanford S. J. selected this tune?
    I think this tune will help the students to refresh their minds and returned the class room with a fresh mind. You can feel it while singing the song in assembly.

    About Loyola LOGO.
    This is the third LOGO we are having now, it is designed by Mr. Laurie Baker (famous Architect) in 1974. Why this LOGO and why the similarities with the other Jesuit LOGOs? The answer is there in the official website. (www.loyolaschooltrivandrum.com)

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