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News > Archives > The School Song

The School Song

Who remembers singing this?

10 Dec 2019
Archives
The Old Red Wall

Words by C E W Bean (OB), music by T R Cockell

1. They bound a lad by a green elm tree
And they burn’d him there for folks to see:
And in shame for his brothers and play-mates all
They built them a school with a new red wall.

Chorus
We may ride by land, we may ride by sea,
Ten thousand miles from the old grey tree,
But the best of days were, after all,
The days that we liv’d by the old red wall.


2. The lads and their sons are long since cold,
And hundred on hundred of years have rolled,
But still there stands for folk to see,
An old red wall by an old grey tree.

3. Drake rolled the Spaniards down the sea,
And they heard the guns by the old grey tree;
the Dutchmen left our ships aflare
And the wall looked out on a far red glare.

4. And still for a hundred years or two
We worked, and played, and talked, and grew
And the fate of Earth and Heaven above
We settled them all by the Big School stove.

5. The game was fast and the fight was clean,
And our foes were few and friend-ships keen
For old and young, and great and small,
We were all of us one by the old red wall.

6. And most that we’ve written, and said and done,
And the goals we’ve missed, and the prizes won
And why we conquered, and how we strove,
They tell of it still by the Big School stove.

7. The old red wall may hear again
The guns of an enemy sweep the main,
And if ships must fight and men must dare,
The old red wall will send its share.

8. And I wish them this: Whate’er befall
To live as they lived by the old red wall,
To live as they lived-and, if need should be,
To die as one died by the old grey tree.
 

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