Gosport County Grammar School Song
When down the swift tide of life we are gliding
Days of our childhood left far behind
Oft in fond mem'ry Rises a picture
Calling thoughts joyful or sad to the mind
What strikes the chord of so sweet recollection?
Sportsfield and classroom, the disciplined rule
Triumphs and failures Companions so faithful
Scene of life's springtime, the School!
So in chorus old and young
Cheerily sing! Let it ring!
Comrades faithful, true and strong
Let it rise! To the skies!
Staunch in fair and stormy weather
Join with heart and voice together
Side by side, companions ever
To the end.
Where once a Bishop storm-tossed on the ocean
Sought peace and rest on Alwara's shore
By the historic Waters of Solent
Rises our School, may it flourish e'er more
Long through the years may its praises be sounded
If past and present we make it our rule
Whether in work or in pastime the contest
Ever to strive for the School!
Then when our schooldays are o'er, and reluctant
Leave we at last its sheltering care
Shaping our course by worthy traditions
Calmly good fortune or evil we'll bear
And in the struggle for fame and position
With heart undaunted and courage e'er cool
Playing the game we will put into practice
Lessons we learnt at the School!
It's a good tune but moderately challenging; at least as pitched in his MIDI, it goes right to the top of my range. According to Dave Mack's alumni site (currently down - see archive) the tune was written by Ernest Douglass (from Dictionary of organs and organists (1912): Organist Holy Trinity, Gosport, 1893-9; St. Mary's, Alverstoke, Gosport, since 1899. Conductor Gosport and Alverstoke Choral Society) and the words by S H Barker, B. Litt.
The lyrics are a masterwork of stiff-upper-lip cliché, very much the kind of thing Tom Lehrer ridiculed in Bright College Days, and the "When down the swift tide of life we are gliding" line distinctly recalls Lehrer's "sliding down the razor-blade of life", and indeed our own parody recalled by Derek Ive in a HantsWeb thread:
When down the school bannisters we are sliding
Seats of our trousers left far behind,
Oft in memory rises a splinter
Calling thoughts painful and sad to the mind.
Who is it waits at the bottom to catch you,
Tells you you've broken the discipline rule?
One of the prefects - companions so faithful -
Inhabitants of the school.
The second verse of the song refers to a Victorian-originated founding myth for the town of Gosport (whose real etymology is most likely "Goose-port"): a claimed derivation iconised on the town's old crest as "God's port, our haven" - a motto said to have been coined by either King Stephen or his brother Henry de Blois after safe delivery from shipwreck. As described in The origins of Gosport by Philip Eley, the story arose from a piece of doubtful scholarship, probably by Henry Slight, published in the Hampshire Telegraph in 1811. Despite doubts expressed by Robert Mudie in his 1838 Hampshire: The northern, eastern, and southern slopes, and the New Forest, various 19th century gazetteers swallowed the anecdote whole. ("Alwara" was the lady of the manor of what is now Alverstoke).