The Triangle • Spring 2016

Page 13

inside sigma sigma sigma

Sisterhood through Song: Over 100 Years of Singing Sigmas By: Liz Johns, Delta Omicron • National Archivist Song has a way of bringing people together, and any time I attend

Theta’s lyrics to the same tune gave a similar message, reminding

a Sigma event, I can be sure to either learn a new song, teach

sisters to be faithful unto death:

one to another sister, or join in with others on a familiar tune. Last

Aye, faithful unto death, The words our lips repeat Shall win our hearts’ devotion To the bonds of Sigma sweet.

In the glad dreams of the future, In the mem’ries of the past, Thou wilt hold our love, O Sigma, Still faithful to the last.

year at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Mabel Lee Walton House, I chanted and sang with collegiates, alumnae, Executive Council members, and Golden Violets over s’mores. Song can help us become more connected to our sisterhood and stay with us as a reminder of our commitment throughout our lives. Sigmas have a long history of song; our first song book being printed in 1910. For over 100 years, Tri Sigmas have been singing about our sisterhood and its long-lasting presence in our lives.

Even as the sorority was entering only its second decade, the women knew that their sisterhood would last for years and

Many of our songs are made of Sigma lyrics, but are sung to

years to come. Song can enrich our lives and strengthen our

familiar tunes, such as one of my favorites, “1492”, which is

sisterhood. By 1925, the revised song book contained many

sung to the tune of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” “Fins,” sung to

more tunes, and many more official songs, such as an “Opening

the Jimmy Buffett tune of the same name, was written by the

Song,” “Founders’ Day” song, “Initiation Song,” and even a

Delta Pi chapter; and “Sigma, Tri Sigma,” submitted by Omicron,

“Convention Song.” Although we no longer sing these songs,

is sung to the tune of “Frosty the Snowman.” When I came

the general theme of love, friendship, and sisterhood live on in

across the original “Sigma Sigma Sigma Song Book” in the

the new songs that touch the hearts of Sigmas today. With each

archives, published in 1910, I eagerly cracked it open to see

new song book, new music enters our shared Sigma experience;

if there was anything familiar.

though some songs do eventually fade away. Through careful

The first song printed was “Stately and Royal,” and the lyrics

preservation and digitization, the Archives Committee will ensure

have not changed a bit in over 100 years. Besides “Stately and

that Tri Sigmas’ song history will never be truly lost.

Royal,” all other songs in the book were written by Sigmas

For questions about the archives and its collections, or submitting

from various chapters. The first song book was created after

materials to the Archives, contact Liz Johns, National Archivist at

the passing of a resolution at the Sixth Convention in 1908 in

Chattanooga, TN. “The committee made every effort to obtain all Sigma songs,”* and songs were solicited from all chapters, yielding in almost 30 Sigma tunes. The Sigmas of the early 20th century often did as we do now, choosing familiar tunes and writing their own lyrics. Two songs were written to the tune “Annie Laurie,” a Scottish song. The version from the Gamma chapter reminds sisters that Tri Sigma lasts even after college:

Long live the white and purple, The fragrant violet blue, And to Sigma Sigma Sigma, May each of us be true, And faithful, too, for aye, Yes, Sigma we will love you Better as the years go by.

* Song Committee [Margaret B. Goodman, Lila MacDonald, and Jessie McCullough]

Sigma Sigma Sigma Song Book, 1910, 1st ed. Compiled by Margaret B. Goodman, Lila Macdonald, and Jessie McCullough.

Sigma Sigma Sigma Song Book, Revised Edition, 1925.

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