McGill songs

Like many other universities of the 1800s, McGill inspired its students to write all sorts of songs about student life and their devotion to "Alma Mater." These songs, along with other popular ones of the day, were often compiled into songbooks, which allow us today to see the evolution of the ways students expressed their appreciation for McGill.

Song title Audio clips
Hail, Alma Mater (1:15)

Audio icon hail_alma_mater.mp3

James McGill (0:32)

Audio icon james_mcgill.mp3

Put on Your Red and White Sweater (0:32)

Audio icon put_on_your_red_and_white_sweater.mp3

It's Winter Carnival Time (1:19)

Audio icon its_winter_carnival_time.mp3

McGill’s first songbook, published in 1879 by an anonymous "student in Arts," contains some of the earliest versions of Canadian folk songs in existence, as well as quite a few drinking songs. Later editions became first more polite, featuring four-part harmonies in praise of Dear Alma Mater; and then, as time went on and sports became ever more popular, more aggressive, with an entire section of the 1921 edition devoted to "McGill Yells" to be used in the stands at football games.

McGill University Song Book.
McGill University Song Book.

Hail, Alma Mater music sheet.
Hail, Alma Mater music sheet.

 * Audio clips were taken from a recording by the Merry Martlets. Presented by the Graduates' Society of McGill University, the Merry Martlets appeared courtesy of the McGill Choral Society under the direction of Gifford Mitchell. Copyright McGill University.

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