School days, school days, dear old golden rule days. Reading and writing and ‘rithmetic, taught to the tune of a hickory stick. Many adults might remember hearing the ‘School Days’ song, perhaps sung by our parents or grandparents. ‘School Days’ was composed by Will Cobb and Gus Edwards and first heard in 1907.
Zephyrhills School History, like educational history throughout the USA, is full of song. Today the song may be found on the student’s iPods or other electronic devises. School music lives on as the ZHS Band and Chorus with teachers, Russell Schmidt and Luan Gore infuse music into the school’s culture. For those of us who are products of the 1960’s era, we may have participated in some folk song experiences around a peace rally or built camaraderie and good humor in our various songs. When we call up the memories of our school days, songs enter into our recollections.
We thought it would be fun to share some songs with you for this week’s countdown. The school song that we have in the records is the “We are the…” song. Does anyone know who penned the lyrics and when the song first became popular? For the graduates of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, the lyrics are quite imprinted. At the 2006 open-house of the demolition of the 1926 ZHS building at the site of what is now R.B. Stewart Middle School, the DVD created by Steve Turner, has some episodes of alumni singing this nostalgic song as they reminisce about the times they spent in high school.
We are the girls/boys of old Zephyr High,
To her, we’ll ever be true,
Where the girls are the fairest,
And the boys are the squarest of any school we ever knew.
We will be true to old Zephyr High,
Down where the old Bulldogs play,
In all kinds of weather,
We’ll all stick together,
For Z.H.S. all the way…
The fight song that has been commonly chanted since the 1960’s is as follows:
Hoorah for Bulldogs, Hoorah for Bulldogs
Someone’s in the crowd yelling Hoorah for Bulldogs
1-2-3-4 who you going to yell for…
Bulldogs – that’s us.
In researching Zephyrhills Schools, it is impossible to capture the significance and the range of songs and music. Every graduation program is infused with songs from the various eras. The early school years that included weekly chapel, offer an array of religious songs. Soloists are often featured in the PTA programs. A Glee Club, annual community musicals and seasonal events provided song after song.
We particularly enjoyed a March 27, 1941 Zephyrhills News article about some songs which were unveiled that year to be sung on the school bus. The article said, “Public School Songs–Dr. S.C. Kimm has furnished this week’s issue of the News a couple of school songs for the boys and girls of Zephyrhills schools, one of which he dedicates to the bus drivers written to the tune of Home On The Range. Students were encouraged to sing while riding the school bus.”
ZEPHYRHILLS SCHOOL SONG (1941)
(words by Kimm—Music, “Home on the Range”)
We sing of a school, where the teachers all rule.
In a building of brick and so grand.
Whose corridors long, often echo with song.
Or the notes of a musical band.
School, school of a kind.
Where the pupils are neat and refined.
Where the teachers with joy, give each girl and each boy,
The good that centers the mind.
The land of the strong in which story and song
Tell a tale of brave men of renown.
Who ventured after, as they followed their star,
To reside in our beautiful town.
From this people sprung such a band of our young,
Whose broad-thinking is now the world’s rule.
And years ago, when that furnished the men
For they gave us this beautiful school.
Dedicated to the school bus drivers—Tune Mola, Mola Shaving Cream)
Away! Away! We’ll sing a round delay,
While our buses go rolling along.
Every morn, just to warn, we foot the auto horn,
While the busses go rolling along.
Then shout, boys, shout for our drivers brave and stout.
Who never let the racket stop our song.
For they always let us sing,
Till we make the country ring,
As our buses go rolling along.
We also found in the historical archives a note from an alumni celebration in 1977. It said that alumni, Austin Smith, provided copies of the then state song, Florida My Florida, which Smith stated had been revised by well-known ZHS teacher/scholar, Dr. J.B. Blanchet. Mr. Smith stated that his (Blanchet’s) particular song was believed to be more than 100 years old and was from a
Smith family scrapbook. The former state song was officially written in 1894 by Reverend C.V. Waugh, a professor at then Florida College in Lake City. We can only surmise that the scholarly ZHS teacher, Blanchet consulted on the song. Does anyone know?
What other information might our alumni members have about songs and ZHS?
All rights reserved. Photos © Madonna Jervis Wise