"For Boston" for dummies

To the man who admitted T.J. Hurley into Boston College in 1881, a great deal of credit and a round of applause are deserved. T.J. Hurley is the fine gentleman of the class of 1885 credited with composing Boston College’s official fight song.

To the men and women who admitted the freshmen in 2012 that disrespect the playing of “For Boston” during hockey games by meowing like cats to the rhythm of the song, a pink slip is deserved.

A freshman myself, I can relate. Having hummed the melody of the song for most of the first semester, it was not until recently that I realized there are still people in the crowd that are unfamiliar with BC’s treasured anthem.

After only six short months at BC, however, I at least have the decency to revere the song that signifies this storied university. For those of you uncultured “SuperFans” who have yet to learn the words to “For Boston” – let alone the story behind the hymn – may this serve as a crash course.

First things first, here are the lyrics to the actual song, accompanied by a video montage of Matt Ryan being awesome which details the tempo and beat of the song.

“For Boston, for Boston,
We sing our proud refrain!
For Boston, for Boston,
'Tis Wisdom's earthly fane.
For here all are one
And their hearts are true,
And the towers on the Heights
Reach to Heav'ns own blue.
For Boston, for Boston,
Till the echoes ring again!
For Boston, for Boston,
Thy glory is our own!
For Boston, for Boston,
'Tis here that Truth is known.
And ever with the Right
Shall thy heirs be found,
Till time shall be no more
And thy work is crown'd.
For Boston, for Boston,
For Thee and Thine alone.”

The beat, as you may have realized in the video featuring the greatest quarterback ever to grace the field in an Atlanta Falcons jersey, normally supports at most three replays of the song. As a result, no one ever hears the second verse of the actual fight song. Do not blame the band, though. They happen to be a personal favorite of President Obama, who invited them to perform at his inauguration parade.

Photo Courtesy of benostrander/flickr

Photo Courtesy of benostrander/flickr


Here they are performing “For Boston,” considered the oldest college fight song in the United States, a bragging right owned by no other institution.

The song was modified in the 1980s to reflect coeducation and the inclusion of women. Lines five and sixteen, originally, “For here Men are Men,” and,  “Shall thy sons be found,” were changed to “For here all are one,” and, “Shall thy heirs be found,” respectively. Otherwise, our cherished anthem has remained unchanged for over 100 years.

This should suffice as a “'For Boston’ 101” discussion, touching on the brief history of the song that echoes through the halls of Conte Forum on cold winter nights and springs out of Alumni Stadium on those fall afternoons that we all wish were just a little warmer.


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School, major and year: Arts & Sciences, Economics and Environmental Geosciences, 2016

Hometown Billerica, MA
Favorite Beyonce lyric: "Everything you own in the box to the left"