In the course of writing the book -‘The GBSS Hostel-Reminiscing on a boarding school life in Grenada’- my reflections led me to truly appreciate the genius of the song, the wisdom of its writers, and the pearls it contains. I wondered that our lusty singing of the song while at GBSS never gave us pause to analyze it then.
In fact I don’t think I have ever seen an analysis of a School Song related to its teachings and someone’s life experiences out of school. I raised this matter with some colleagues at the 2010 GBSS Alumni Association of Toronto Brunch.
Amidst our general agreement on the power of the words, one colleague wisely pointed out that it took us all our years and experiences to appreciate the School Song since it had not only played out in our lives, but we were able to put its teachings to use during this time. In that group, the average age was around 60 years, meaning a whole lot of ‘shareable’ experience.
Like most of the articles in this blog, this is an appreciation based on my own social and professional experiences. It would be great to see other views on the matter.
Every GBSS student (past and present) loves the School Song. We sing it lustily because it has a great cadence and more than a suggestion of marching nuance. I like the idea of singing the School Song at GBSS alumni funerals, although it is hardly funereal. But that makes the point – a song one can boldly sing anytime, anywhere……, but not anyhow!!
The truth is that we always have sung it lustily, never paying much attention to the meanings in the words. In my own experience, it’s the same way we say the Lord’s Prayer, though in this case, an added impetus to the rote delivery may be to get it over as quickly as possible.
But the Song contains many ‘pearls of wisdom and exhortation’ which are missed in its nicety and ease of singing. i have vivid memories of the frequent use by our Headmaster, K.I. Smith (Sarcies) of the Bible verses 1Corinthians 13 about ‘sounding brass and clanging cymbals’ and about ‘casting pearls before swine’.
I cannot remember the placement of the Song and the Bible reading in the Assembly sequence, but do any of my colleagues think it far-fetched that Sarcies at its end may have often muttered – “those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, let them understand”?
I don’t think that anyone can take as many assemblies as our Headmasters and not at some time experienced this type of revelation (they know not what they sing!).
Before any comment, and in quick time, my next article will present the School Song in full.