Songs of Rensselaer, 1913The Alma Mater was published under the title "Here's to Old R.P.I." in the first book of Songs of Rensselaer printed in 1913. In 1918, there was some dissatisfaction expressed about the alma mater and the Phalanx sponsored a contest for a new school song. Because of the distraction of world war, there was little interest in producing a new song and only one entry was submitted. The Polytechnic Board, who was preparing a new edition of Songs of Rensselaer, attempted to resurrect the debate in the spring of 1920. A "large majority thinks the present song lacks the proper spirit, and that a new and more forceful song should be adopted." The song endured, however, and remains the Alma Mater of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Alma Mater      

Here's to old R.P.I. Her fame may never die,
Here's to old Rensselaer, she stands today without a peer,
Here's to those olden days,
Here's to those golden days,
Here's to the friends, we made at dear old R.P.I.

Ah Me My Poor Freshie, also known as the Freshman's Alma Mater, is one of the oldest songs of the Institute. The singing of this song was included in traditions such as the Frosh Smoker, March on Sage, and Grand Marshal Week. Upper classmen could demand freshmen to sing the tune at any time on campus. The traditions associated with the song were abolished in 1959. The song thereafter remained a nostalgic tune.

Ah Me My Poor Freshie  

Ah! Me! My poor Freshie,
Ah! Me! My poor Freshie,
What will thy mother say to thee,
When you come home with N.S.E.

Thy mother she will say to thee,
Thy mother she will say to thee,
My darling boy, I greatly fear,
That you've been drinking Lager Beer

Other Traditional Rensselaer Songs

A Son of Old R.P.I.
Air -"A Son of A Gambolier"

Upon a hillside in a town,
There stands a college old-
A college famed in history,
From hosts of stories told,
To teach the young idea to shoot,
It's worth its height in gold,
It gathers from lands far and near
Its children to the fold

Chorus -
Come and join my humble ditty;
From Troy town I steer
Like every honest fellow,
I drink my lager beer,
Like every honest fellow,
I will never go dry,
I'm a student from the Institute,
A son of old R.P.I.

A son, a son, a son, a son.
A son of old R.P.I.
Like every honest fellow,
I drink my whiskey clear,
I'm a moral wreck from the Polytech
And a hell of an engineer.

We students of the R.P.I.
Are of a jolly kind,
And though we study hard at times
To cultivate the mind,
You'll always find us in for fun.
We're never left behind;
A happier crowd of fellows o'er
This earth you'll never find.

The maidens sweet all smile on us,
As boys we pass they by.
The "cops" along the street all nod
And wink the other eye,
The people turn to look at us
And say: Oh me! Oh my!
There go those wicked college boys
From that bad R.P.I.

The faculty of R.P.I.
Are, yea, a noble band;
For brains and intellectual worth
They're noted through the land.
The students honor all of them-
We trust them heart and hand-
They credit dear Rensselaer,
Our Alma Mater Grand.

Stephen Van Rensselaer
Words and Music by E.M. Frost '11

In eighteen hundred and twenty-four, lived a man of great repute;
This good man founded the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
His aim was to furnish his country with men
Who could build better bridges than those
They used then.

Now a thousand or two such men pass in review,
And we'll give all the honor due
To Stephen Van Rensselaer,
A noble man with a grand career;
An A.B. from Harvard and an L.L.D. from Yale.
He saw the need of such an institution
So he straightway proceeded to establish a good one,
And its world-wide fame will perpetuate the name
Of Old Stephen Van Rensselaer



Loyal to Rensselaer (Old Williams)
Words and Melody by L.W.C. '06

Old Williams has her loyal sons,
And Colgate men are true,
Some prefer the Crimson,
While others choose the Blue,
But there is a fairer College,
Whose colors float on high,
Where the Cherry and the White proclaim
Old dear old R.P.I.

Once again to Thee our Alma Mater,
Raise we our songs of praise,
Loyal 'neath thy banner,
Shouts of triumph raise forever,
Pressing forward to the conflict,
Thy sons can know no fear,
For they fight for the fame
of the Cherry and the White
And the Glory of Rensselaer.

Rensselaer Forever

We're loyal sons of R.P.I., of good old Rensselaer
On Troy's most lofty hill-side our campus doth appear;
There's Carnegie and Pittsburgh and Russell Sage and all
Loom up in mighty grandeur, and we obey their call.

Rensselaer forever,
Her ties we'll never sever;
So let us cheer together
For good old Rensselaer

Through many, many decades, our famous Rensselaer
Has led all Schools of Science, and now we have no fear
To sing aloud her praises and herald wide her fame,
For of, there's glory in her, there's power in her name.
And now, our Alma Mater, to thee we'll e'er be true,
And when we've left thy portals, our youth we shall renew,
By joining the Alumni, we meet both far and near,
In cheering, loudly cheering, for good old Rensselaer.

Old Rensselaer
Adapted to the music of "Ar Hyd Y Nos."
Words by C. H. Jarrett.
Dedicated to the Class of 1889

Thou has sent us forth to labor,
Old Rensselaer.
We have wrought to win thy favor
Year after year.

Steel to weld and stone to shiver,
Sink the mine and span the river,
For thine honor tolling ever,
Old Rensselaer.

When thy sons are met together
From far and near,
Scarred with service, worn with weather,
Old Rensselaer.

Proud they lay their deed before thee,
Done to show the love they bore thee,
Stronger grown as years pass o'er thee,
Old Rensselaer.

When they write our nation's story,
Splendid and clear,
Surely great shall be thy glory,
Old Rensselaer.

In their works they sons enshrined thee,
Mighty works to leave behind thee,
Mother land, let these remind thee
Of Old Rensselaer.


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