Albion is known for its small size and friendly community, but it isn’t the first place you would think of as a place where famous songs were written. Although it’s no Los Angeles, many famous songs had their humble beginnings right here in Albion.
Old Rugged Cross
“So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.”
Albion 1913 was the home of the most popular Methodist hymns. “The Old Rugged Cross” was written by Reverend George Bennard, who wrote the song about his own experiences in his faith. Drawing inspiration from Luke 9:23-24, Hebrews 13:12-13 and Galatians 6:14, “The Old Rugged Cross” compares the suffering of carrying one owns burdens to Jesus carrying his own cross.
The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi
“And the moonlight beams
On the girl of my dreams
She’s the Sweetheart of Sigma Chi.”
Around the same time that Bennard was composing an inspirational hymn, fraternity brothers Byron D. Stokes and F. Dudleigh Vernor were writing a song that would impress generations of Sigma Chis. Although it is likely written about a specific girl or girlfriend, Sigma Chis all over the country related to the song and introduce it into their chapters. Since then, “The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi”has been featured in multiple TV shows and movies.Today, you can find a tribute to this historic song on a plaque on the outside of the Kellogg Center.
One Shining Moment
“The ball is tipped
and there you are
you’re running for your life
you’re a shooting star
And all the years
no one knows
just how hard you worked
but now it shows…
(in) one shining moment, it’s all on the line
one shining moment, there frozen in time”
Anyone who has spent their time watching the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship will be familiar with “One Shining Moment” by David Barrett. This promotion wasn’t the first amazing experience the musician had with basketball, as Barrett played college basketball himself here at Albion College before his graduation in 1977.
“Fyte Onne, for Albion,
Her destiny is in your hands!
Fyte Onne, and don’t give in,
No fighting Briton ever has!”
Although this fight song may seem normal to an average Albion College student, both The New York Times and The Huffington Post have given it an honorable mention of weirdness. Written in what is most likely Middle English, the lyrics to this song are definitely out of place in time. Regardless, it has been and will continue to be a source of spirit for all the “fighting Britons” out there.
Whether it’s a song about religion, sports or a girl, Albion has produced unique music that has reached people all over. With such a history of creativity, it is exciting to anticipate what will be created here next.
Photo by Clare Kolenda