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Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Patriots theology watch.

The Super Bowl was fun to watch — Mrs Philocrites and I saw the game with two other couples we love to hang out with who also work in the "religion industry" — but I thought the football season would pass without needing so much as a comment from me. Massachusetts UU religious educator and blogger Happy Cindy tempts me out of my contented silence, however, with a boy-friendly Super Bowl revision of the UUA's Principles and Sources she says went over well among her young sports fans. The best one:

The living tradition we share draws from many sources, including . . .

The words and deeds of coaches which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil. While we would hesitate to name the Philadelphia Eagles "evil" per se, we would probably be comfortable claiming that they embody the structure of evil ... Well maybe not, but still, the confronting powers part, and listening to coaches, that part for sure...

Reminds me of the Quaker school fight song: "Fight, fight, Inner Light, / Kill, Quakers, kill! / Knock 'em down, beat 'em senseless, / Do it till we reach consensus!" (Is that apocryphal? Inquiring minds want to know.)

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 9 February 2005 at 5:06 PM

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Next: 'Cooking with crucifers.'




February 9, 2005 11:51 PM | Permalink for this comment

The fight song of the university where I attended grad school, whose football team really was known as the "Fighting Quakers", was not nearly so theological or witty, or even peppy, for that matter:

Drink a highball
At nightfall,
Be good fellows while ye may,
For tomorrow may bring sorrow,
But tonight we'll all be gay!
Tell the story
Of glory
Of Penn-syl-vay-nye-ay,
Drink a highball and be jolly:
Here's a toast to dear old Penn!


February 10, 2005 12:43 AM | Permalink for this comment

Still beats the hell out of "hail to thee, St. Andrews," I can assure you.l



February 10, 2005 03:57 PM | Permalink for this comment

Speaking of Quakers and consensus, here's the rather mild and inclusive Swarthmore College fight song:

"Hip, Hip, Hip, for Old Swarthmore"

Cornell may have her Royal Red,
Old Yale may have her Blue;
The Crimson of old Harvard,
Is very noted too;
The Red and Black of Haverford,
Has rooters by the score;
But here's to the dear old Garnet,
And the sons of old Swarthmore.

Then Hip, Hip, Hip, for old Swarthmore,
Our Alma Mater dear;
Each staunch foe will quickly yield
As her sons so strong draw near.
Then let us rise in loyalty
And cheer in Fame's bright Hall
With a hip, hip, hip, hurray, hurray,
For the college best of all.

Though dark defeat may haunt our team,
With vict'ry far away;
Though Fate may work against us,
And make the day seem gray;
Though the standard of our enemies,
May conquer old Swarthmore;
'Tis then we will rise and praise thee,
As we did in days of yore.

And here's a reminiscence of an appropriately Quaker cheer (to which many UUs can also relate) that I found on the net, passed on by a Swarthmore alumnus:

At Basketball games (and occasionally football...), when the crowd would chant "Defense!" we would answer "Social spending!"


February 10, 2005 05:09 PM | Permalink for this comment

My alma-mater small liberal arts college featured these cheers:

Co-sine, secant, tangent, sine,
Come on team, hold that line!

Two, Four, Six, Eight,
God is dead and Nietzsche's great!

Kant, Hegel, Marx, Spinoza
Come on team, hit 'em in the nosa.


February 10, 2005 05:40 PM | Permalink for this comment

I have no idea what my alma mater's fight song was. Utes this or Utes that, I'm sure. "We're not BYU!" probably covered the basic gist.

Allan Dash:

April 8, 2005 10:43 AM | Permalink for this comment

"fausto" was a bit off base when he referred to "Drink a Highball" as the University of Pennsylvania's "fight song." A quick look at the lyrics shows just the opposite: it's a sentimental, nostalgic song -- originally sung the night before the game and now sung in the stadium after the third quarter -- which basically says, "win or lose, we'll drink to your greatness."

The Penn fight song (written by two members of the Class of '23) is actually this:
Fight on, Pennsylvania,
Put the ball across the line.
Fight, you Pennsylvanians,
There it goes across this time.
Red and Blue, we're with you,
And we're cheering for your men.
So it's fight, fight, fight, Pennsylvan-i-a.
Fight on for Penn!

Incidentally, Penn (unlike Swarthmore) is not, and never was, a Quaker institution. Their "Quaker" nickname simply refers to William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, but not of the University. That task fell to Ben Franklin in 1740.

One last thing: Penn is not, and never was, known as the "Fighting Quakers." Leave off the "fighting" and you've got it.

Allan Dash, U of P Class of '63


April 8, 2005 12:04 PM | Permalink for this comment

Whoa, Nellie! Any ice today, lady? No? Giddyup!

All I know is, when I was there, everybody in the stands at Franklin Field knew the words to "Drink a Highball" when the band started playing it, but not everybody knew "Fight On, Pennsylvania".

If you know your Penn football history, Allan, you know that in the '70's those Quakers didn't have much fight left in them, but in the early '80's Villanova ended its football program and Penn picked up some of the Villanova players. (I'm not aware that they picked up any Swarthmore players when the Swat football program ended, though.) Also in the early '80's, Penn quietly petitioned the Ivy League for permission to relax its SAT standards for entering freshmen football players. The league granted a temporary dispensation, and the Quakers rediscovered their fight and won a few Ivy championships. (Columbia has also has to request the same indulgence.)

--Fausto, UPenn WG '84, GSFA '84; St. Anthony Hall '75

Michael Edwards:

September 15, 2005 01:56 PM | Permalink for this comment

I can attest to the use of "Fighting Quakers" as a colloquialism to refer to Penn's teams.

I do not know how people used that term in the mid-twentieth century, but from 1998 through the present it has been used reasonably frequently on campus. It has also been used in print and internet reports of Penn football and basketball games. Penn basketball radio commentators on WXPN use the term "Fighting Quakers" on occasion.

In my experience, most people use the official name: "Quakers." Saying "Fighting Quakers" is acceptable if you want to be dramatic.

-Michael Edwards U of P C'02


September 15, 2005 07:54 PM | Permalink for this comment

Here's a highball to you, then, good fellow Mike!

If I've got my history right, Penn was founded by (arguably Unitarian) Ben Franklin, but under Anglican/Episcopalian sponsorship. It might have been an ideal place for Mr. and Mrs. Philocrites to meet in a former life. These days, of course, the Jewish presence on campus is pretty hard to miss.

Now please join me in a little Quaker salvation ditty:

Oh, some folks D-R-I-V-E to the drive-in picture show,
But me, I stay H-O-M-E by my R-A-D-I-O;
I once was B-O-U-N-D in the bonds of S-&-M;
Now I get my K-I-C-K-S from W-X-P-N!


September 21, 2005 07:58 AM | Permalink for this comment

Does anyone have a link to a downloadable midi file of any Penn songs like Drink a Highball, Fight on Pennsylvania (the Penn Fight Song)?

I was in the Penn band between 1961-64 and thought any of those would make good ringtones.

David Groves:

July 7, 2006 06:15 AM | Permalink for this comment

Michael, I am actually working on a version of Fight On, Pennsylvania. I might be able to send you a midi file of it. E-mail me about it if you like.

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