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Songs of the Scarlet and Gray

Songs of the Scarlet and Gray; Ohio State Men's Glee Club;
Charles Welton Gayman, 1900; Dudley Scott, 1900; Harry Porter Weld, 1900
1900, 1904; The Champlin Press

With a big thanks to Tamar Chute at The Ohio State University Archives, I was able to obtain a photocopy of the 1904 edition of Songs of the Scarlet and Gray. I will say that the money I sent them to do this work, was money well spent. Considering the book originally sold for 50 cents (1900 edition) and not much more in 1904, it contained 120 pages of songs in use at the turn of the 20th Century.

What was very interesting, was to see the number of songs which were popular in 1900, were no longer in use in 1916. The explanation for this could be attributed to changes in the testes of the students and Ohio State starting to come of age as an educational institution. By 1916, Ohio State adopted Carmen Ohio as its Alma Mater, and Across the Field as its primary fight song. Drinking songs were fading, because of the onset of Prohibition and the clouds of World War I ("The Great War") was pulling the United States into the great conflict. In other words, it was becoming serious times at Ohio State and many colleges throughout the nation.

The Songs of the Scarlet and Gray is also a treasure trove of culture at Ohio State, at the turn of the 20th Century. One can see the innocence of the times, by reviewing the songs long gone from memory. One can see it was a carefree time, but the students worked hard to get through school. Also, for Ohio State, the student enrollment was small enough that gave the school a sense of community. I still enjoy the ad in the Ohio State University Football Scrapbook showing an advertisement for Ohio State emphasizing a great school and it was tuition free. Imagine not having to pay to go to Ohio State today?

In the song book, one would notice that many of the songs used melodies from songs commonly in use, circa 1900. In addition, there was a great number of new melodies written, as well. The Ohio State University Men's Glee Club seemed to be the keeper of the song tradition, as well as, the composers of new songs. Charles W. Gayman, Class of 1900, and Glee Club Musical Director (1898 - 1900), contributed his talents to almost a dozen songs. Some were performed as part of concerts, other became popular with the student body. By 1916, however, only The Scarlet and Gray Forever survived. Mr. Gayman's brilliance can be seen in some of the scores he wrote, unfortunately his talent has been obscured by the passage of time. Hopefully, by writing this, that more people will discover this lost era of Ohio State University.


The following is a list of Ohio State specific songs found in the 1900 and 1904 editions of Songs of the Scarlet and Gray. The Name of the song, year written, melody (if available), authors and year of graduation (if applicable):

Songs In Use, circa 1900:

BINGO - 1890s - Original - Unknown
Bohunkus - 1890s - Auld Lang Syne - Unknown
Down by the Riverside (OSU Version) - 1890s - Down by the Riverside - Unknown
It's a Way We Have it at O. S. U. - 1890s - Jolly Good Fellow - Unknown
Jimmie Kelley - 1904 - Solomon Levi - JR Taylor, 1897
Our Alma Mater (Alma Mater - Ohio State University) - 1890s - Original - Rev. RP Smith
The Scarlet and Gray Forever - 1900 - Original - CW Gayman, 1900
Scarlet and Gray March - 1896 - El Capitan - GK Dowd, 1898
There's Music in the Air - 1895 - Original - Unknown
Vive La OSU/Es Lebe die O. S. U. - 1893 - Vive La Companie - Unknown
Wahoo! Wahoo! - 1895 - Roll Jordan Roll - Unknown
Walking is a Good Exercise (Rig-a-jig-jig and Away We Go) - 1893 - Original - Unknown

Possible Songs In Use, circa 1900:

Hurrah for O. S. U. - 1891 - Delaware Lyre - Published in The Lantern
I Didn't Do A Thing But Smile - 1890s - Original - Unknown
Lantern Subscriptions - 1886 - On A Tree, By A River - Unknown
Listen to My Tale of Woe - 1891 - Listen to My Take of Woe - FS Kershahe
Lo! The Poor Freshman - 1890s - Original - Unknown
Ohio's Jewels - 1894 - Der Tannenbaum - Published in The Lantern
Our Inspiration - 1890s - Original - JS Glenn, H Eckhardt
Those Final Exams - 1890 - Original - Published in The Lantern
We Come From the Fair O. S. U. - 1890s - Original - Unknown

Ohio State Men's Glee Club Songs:

An O. S. U. Love Story - 1900 - Original - "Bill"
Captain of the Football Team - 1899 - HMS Pinafore ("My Gallant Crew") - CW Gayman, 1900
Gab Room Song - 1896 - There is a Tavern in the Town - T. Herbert Dickinson
Good-night, My Love - 189os - Unknown - Unknown
The O. S. U. Football Team - 1899 - HMS Pinafore ("I'm Called Little Buttercup") - CW Gayman, 1900
We Hail from O. S. U. - 1899 - HMS Pinafore ("We Sail the Ocean Blue") - CW Gayman, 1900
What a Happy College Life This Would Be - 1900 - Original - CW Gayman, 1900
Who Are We? - 1895 - Original - Unknown
Yell, Ike, Yell! - 1890s - Original - "Bill"

Songs added to the 1904 edition:

Yells (Collection of Yells up to 1904)
Hymn of Ohio - 1893 - Le Marsellaise - WL Graves, 1893
Carmen Ohio - Spanish Hymn - FA Cornell, 1902
Freshman Ditty - 1904 - Blow Ye Winds Heigh-ho - GW Bellows 1905
If I Had a Daughter - 1890s - Son of a Gambolier (Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech) - Unknown
My Girl's Too Good for You - 1890s - No Score - Unknown

A couple notes, related to the 1904 edition. It is very likely that the above 1904 edition songs, with the exception of Carmen Ohio, were also written by The Ohio State University Men's Glee Club. Also, other then the above six items, plus an introduction to the 1904 edition; both song books are identical. The 1900 edition also includes a photo of the Ohio State University Men's Glee Club, which is not in the 1904 edition.


Please e-mail any comments, problems or suggestions to nmetro@sgsosu.net

Webmaster: Nick Metrowsky
The Ohio State University, BA, History, 1979
Life Member The Ohio State University Alumni Association
Life Member of The Ohio State University President's Club
Annual Member of The Ohio State University Varsity "O" Association

Last Updated: 18 September, 2015


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