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September 10th, 2006
02:33 pm


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Step Sing 1991

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!)

Princeton Songs

  • 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)


(Yay! 4 comments! | Please leave a comment!)

Date:September 13th, 2006 07:14 am (UTC)

Ah.. the step sing

Yes, we really did suck it big time with "U Can't Touch This." I tried. I really tried!

I find it hilarious that the Class of 2006, if the list on the Princetonian Web site is accurate, didn't sing a single song from this century and that every song listed could have been sung... by us!

Somehow, Journey and Def Leppard have truly stood the test of time!

[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Ah.. the step sing

Rodney tells me that the Class of 2006 set list, according to the Princetonian Web site (if we can trust them :-) was:

1. Don't Stop Believing - Journey
2. Senior Step Song
3. Integer Vitae
4. Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
5. The Orange and Black
6. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
7. Going Back To Nassau Hall
8. Piano Man - Billy Joel
9. Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
10. Old Nassau

And I thought our songs were out of date! Someone from the Class of 2005 told me that among the songs they sung were "Piano Man" by Billy Joel; "This Love" by Maroon 5; "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen; "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi; and "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks. Most of which, she points out, are non-contemporary songs about being down-and-out blue collar workers who have wasted the best years of their lives. (Except for "This Love", which is contemporary, yet I'd consider it a strange choice, period.)

Date:September 14th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC)

Singin American Pie

Until you reminded me of the "U Can't Touch This" debacle, about the only thing I remembered from the Step Sing is hearing complaints about the length of American Pie--maybe it was you! This sticks in my mind because I actually enjoyed singing the whole thing, but figured I was the only one. Oh yeah, I also remember my butt going numb....

-Rob E
[User Picture]
Date:September 14th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)

Re: Singin American Pie

Yeah, I complained about American Pie, but I don't recall if I complained specifically to you... I don't ordinarily mind the song, but remember we had been sitting on the stone steps for over an hour and a half before we got to it!

And boy oh boy, we can't rap. I remember about twenty of us spring of senior year trying to record a karaoke version of "Ice Ice Baby" and that didn't turn out too well to say the least. But it was just a preview of the disaster to come. Karen Corrigan says she has a video of our Step Sing, which might actually be funny to watch...
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