Princeton, New Jersey, June 9, 1991 - Among all the stuff I found in my basement the other week was my Senior Step Sing booklet. Step Sing is an old Princeton tradition, in which the senior class, all wearing their beer jackets, gathers a couple of days before graduation to, well, sing. We sit on the steps of Blair Hall and sing good ol' Princeton songs, as well as "Songs Of Our Times" ("Our Times" being defined rather loosely, as you can see from the song list below). The lyrics are conveniently printed in the booklets. And all parents and guests are invited to watch, proud of their sons and daughters, as they should be.
It's a great idea in theory - it's one of those traditions that should make one's eyes go misty and one's chest swell with pride - but the execution is a bit lacking. Never mind that, sadly, most seniors don't know most of the Princeton songs, but most seniors are singing the songs they do know in every possible key and rhythm. Not that anyone can hear over the songs blaring over the loudspeakers, anyway.
Things really fell apart at "U Can't Touch This" - a thousand people just can't rap in unison. There were those who fell asleep to James Taylor, most everyone was perplexed at the choice of "Peace Frog", and at the seventeenth minute of "American Pie", a good number of the crowd was probably wishing they had brought a bigger flask.
So it was long and uncomfortable and kind of boring, and I'd love to do it again. Sitting out on a beautiful night on a beautiful campus singing badly with a thousand of your classmates isn't all bad.
(PS to any Princetonians reading this: Comment and let me know what songs you sang your senior year!)
- Old Nassau
- East Of The Sun
- Locomotive Cheer for the Class of 1991
- Going Back To Nassau Hall
- The Orange and the Black
- The Princeton Cannon Song
- Step Song
Songs Of Our Times
- Brown-Eyed Girl - Van Morrison (1967)
- The Theme from Cheers - Gary Portnoy (1982)
- Closer To Fine - The Indigo Girls (1989)
- Wild World - Cat Stevens (1971)
- U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer (1990)
- You've Got A Friend - James Taylor (1971)
- Peace Frog - The Doors (1970)
- Lean On Me - Bill Withers (1972)
- Love Shack - The B-52's (1989)
- American Pie - Don McLean (1972)
- With A Little Help From My Friends - The Beatles (1967)