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Last night's "capping" ceremony in codnection with the Univereity was remarkable for the dryness of the speeches and for the cleverness of the songs composed by the students for the occasion. In the songs the professorial staff came in for some goodhumored though pretty hard knocks, and as a consequence the Professors of Biology, Physics, Classics, Anatomy, English, and Mathematics resolved to absent themselves from the ceremony. On this becoming known a few days ago, the spirits of the students were in no wise dampened, and they set to work to make an even more striking display than usual. They had the centre of the hall railed off for themselves, and there, in semi-dJßguise, and—as many of them as possessed the necessary skill—armed with a variety of musical instruments, they treated the large audience to a lengthy programme of instrumental and vocal selections. Those who could not play made up for it by singing lustily and untiringly. At times their conductor was one of their number; but this gentleman was occasionally relieved by a ghastly wielder of the baton, in the shape of a human skeleton, which was arrayed in a dress-coat, and which, by means of cunning contrivances, wagged its jaws and went through the motions of a band conductor in very impressive style. The opening SOUg — hymn, it was termed—was to the tune of 'The Wooing o't,' and it called on the students to enjoy to the utmost the recurrence of the annual opportunity for indulging in " mirth and fun." Next came a ditty, 'English as she is taught,' levelled, of course, against the Professor of English, and adapted to a well-known air from ' lolanthe, The following three verses will give an idea of the manner in which the poet treated his theme:— When I'm a Professor I'll make my mark, Slid I to myself, said I. I'll see that no student is up to a lark. Said I to myself, said I. These fitudente, yon know, are tco smart by half, They disgrace the inaugurals with larrikin chaff, But at me they'll find thev've no cause to laugh, Said I to myself, said I. ****** I've made schoolboys with (error to shake, Said I to myself, said I. You'll see how ihete 'Varsity students will quake, Said I to myself, said I. When I threaten, and bully, ard snarl, and sneer. They'll be ready to fall through the floor with fear, And the ladies will drop full many a tear. Slid I i,o myself, said I. If they're absent a night they shall bring an excuse. Slid I to myself, said I. With mo there's no playing at fast and loose, Said I to myself, siid I. Be they single or married it'H all the same, Papi, or mamma, or '• the missus" must frame The excuse th 11 want, (or these students I'll tame. Said I to myself, said I. The Professor of "Chemistree " next came in for attention, and while a banner having for its device a capital portrait of that gentleman half embedded in a Stewart Island oyster tin was uplifted, the students Bang to the air of the football song 'On the ball' three verses, of which the following is a fair sample:— To the Isle of the South the Professor has gone— To leave us he thought was n» sin— And lingering there, he neglected bis chair. To fill up his pockets with " tin." Oh it's tin! tons of tin ! Wullle, tin ! To test it at once we'll begin. Why, Wull, man alive, there's per oent. ninety-five— We'll both make our pile, boy, from tin. A lament {air, ' Far, far away') by the Professor of English at having left Timaru for Dunedin, and at finding he cannot keep order among his naughty boys, was succeeded by 'lsn't it?'—a severe cut at the Professor of Mathematics, who, to an easily recognisable air from ' Patience,' is described as A six-feet-high young man, A cold-grey-eye young man ; A well-brushed-hair* Noae-in-the-air-And-cynical-sneer young man. A learned and sage young man, A light-of-the-age ycung man; A Hlghly-quadratieal-Know-a-deuce-ot-a-lot young man. Romberg's * Toy Symphony' followed, but this celebrated work was not particularly well rendered. The graduates at this juncture entering the hall and taking up their positions on the platform, they were saluted with an ode entitled «The Grads,' which, to the sprightly nigger melody 'So early in the morning,' started as follows : Welcome, welcome one and all! Welcome to this festive hall. Watch our lions graduate, While us undergrade you rate. So sadly at the capping I So badly at the capping! So madly at the capping! 01 eighteen eighty-nine. The professors seriatim were then gently satirised in a parody on 'John Brown's body,' the last verse of which we give as finding most favor among the audience : And D n tried to come on us the High School martinet, \ But found it wouldn't answer—at least it hasn't yet; He wanted us to stand—lt reilly wasn't right— And bring a note from our mamma if absent tor a ' night The chairman's entry into Parliamentary life was touched on to the strains of a wellknown chorus in ' lolanthe' : Henceforth, Fitohett, cast away Brief, and wig, and ribbon gay, Fee of client, high or low; For into Parliament you did go. Into Parliament be did go, Backed by our supreme authority; He commands a large majority, Into Parliament, etc. The 'Student's anthem,'to which allusion is made in our report, followed, and from it we take the following lines:— We're wedded to our books, And loyal to our Professors. Don't Judge us by our look?, Of Brains we are possessore. The Grads are on the p'atform, And well deserve a cteer; Good men there are among them, but Tub bsbt are all down hseb t The 'Students' march' was sung with great vigor, and then oame the finishing touch with the following clever parody on •THE PROMISED LAND.' (Church Praise, No. 414.) There is a land of pure delight, Where endless riohes reign. Unbounded tin-fields strew the ground, And yield infinite gain. Oh 1 eould I stand where Wullie stood. And peg the landscape o'er, I'd sling my teat tabes to the wind, Beslgn as professor. This smouldering life, mid hateful fames Of H S and 0, How eagerly wonjd I resign, And to the tin mines go. Here all is tinsel, but no tic, Thoufh chalk comes down in showers - And three months' lectures yet divide That heavenly land from ours. When shall this veary bondage ocase, This endless round ef care, That chains my body, while my soul Is tinned away down there r Oh! hour of my departure come 1 And call to pastures new; To teaching weary B.A. work Fain would I bid adieu!

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Bibliographic details

"CAPPING" SONGS., Evening Star, Issue 7998, 29 August 1889

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"CAPPING" SONGS. Evening Star, Issue 7998, 29 August 1889