The All-Southwest Conference performer is currently a radio host and analyst for CBS Sports. In March 1903, while Johnson waited in line at the University Post Office in the old Main Building, Sinclair arrived with a grin, quietly handed Johnson a folded scrap of brown paper torn from a wrapped bundle from Bosche’s Laundry in downtown Austin, and left. He recently penned a column for the Houston Chronicle with an idea to help turn the school's traditional song into "an anthem of accountability". The speech was so well received, Prather decided to get all he could of it and ended most of his talks with the same phrase. Music video by Restless Heart performing The Bluest Eyes in Texas. Sing me a song of Prexy, Of days long since gone by. With dispute still raging over “The Eyes of Texas,” the University of Texas band won’t play at the school’s final two home football games against West Virginia and Iowa State. As the Big 12 Conference ramps up its 25th football season, it's a good time to look back through the league’s illustrious history and identify the best football players ever to suit up. Sing me a song of Texas, and Texas’ myriad eyes. ( Log Out /  The Eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away. Sing me a song of Prexy, of days long since gone by. “The Eyes of Texas” is nearly as old as the University of Texas itself. The young running back continues to build hype going into the 2020 season. The song was written in 1903 by John Sinclair. The song the Longhorn band usually plays, Eyes OF Texas, has racist roots that are fracturing the campus. (The earliest recording of The Eyes of Texas was made in 1928 by the Longhorn Band. Flashback: Students at the University of Texas called for the school to drop the song over the summer during the Black Lives Matter protests.. The Eyes of Texas are upon you, all the livelong day. AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — There was still no school band but the song still played. Do not think you can escape them At night or early in the morn --The Eyes of Texas are upon you Til Gabriel blows his horn. And the UT track team won the All-South meet in Atlanta, it’s first victory in a regional competition. Johnson contacted the composer in Detroit for permission to use the music, while Sinclair re-fashioned the words and extended the song to six verses. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. But the University had no song to call its own, for years a sore topic regularly discussed in the student newspapers. One evening in early May 1902, Johnson and Sinclair were returning from a comic opera performance in downtown Austin, when they stopped at Jacoby’s Beer Garden, just south of the campus on Lavaca Street. Ivory black and crimson lac, and eyes of every hue. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Varsity Band learned the tune, and the following evening included The Eyes on its Promenade Concert around the campus. They’re with you all the way. Prather particularly liked this phrase, though apparently his talent for public speaking wasn’t popular with everyone. We are asking the University of Texas administration to keep "The Eyes of Texas" as UT's alma mater Some put up the traditional “Hook’em Horns” hand sign, … Update 06/17: This article has been amended to reflect that “The Eyes of Texas” is UT’s alma mater and an unofficial fight song. UT students and administration were surprised in the late 1970s to hear that a man living in Oregon was claiming the ownership of the "Eyes of Texas" and collecting on his version of the composition. They went to Sinclair’s room on the second floor of old Brackenridge Hall – popularly called “B. As the work progressed, the two decided to make the song a spoof on UT President William Prather, and Sinclair made some significant revisions to the words. The Eyes of Texas are upon you, All the livelong day. And, always, everywhere he went, he saw the Eyes of Texas. He saw the eyes of Texas. That’s why we now know the tune for the Eyes of Texas as I’ve Been Working on the Railroad instead of the much more explicitly racist Levee Song. Though not a composer himself, Johnson decided to find a way to create one. ... “The Eyes of Texas are upon you until Gabriel blows his horn.” University of Texas fans stood and sang the school’s song, The Eyes of Texas, Saturday, despite the band’s refusal to play the song over claims that it is racist. Gabriel's horn also makes an appearance in The Eyes of Texas (1903) in which it signifies the rapture. Prather, though, had the last laugh. Travis County interim health authority Dr. Mark Escott believes that Darrell K Royal stadium will not be able to successfully hold the agreed upon 25% capacity. Here's an excerpt from his recent column: To mark the moment of the song’s transformation from school song to anthem of accountability, I hope the team will not only sing along with their “Hook ’em Horns” hand sign, but do so kneeling, signaling not submission but instead taking a reverential pose to convey their embrace of the solemnity of the moment. The Eyes of Texas are upon you, All the live long day. As the Big 12 Conference ramps up its 25th football season, it seems like a good time to look back through the league’s illustrious history and identify the best football players ever to suit up. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Prather (photo at right) was a UT regent who was surprised by his fellow regents when they chose him to lead the University in 1899. Back to Key Issues As people discuss the history of the university’s famous spirit song, “The Eyes of Texas,” it’s worth considering both its present-day and historical contexts. 1928: First Recording of The Eyes of Texas. Composition Licence: "The Eyes of Texas" is the alma mater of the University of Texas at Austin. Sinclair was an editor of the Cactus yearbook, a regular contributor to the University of Texas Literary Magazine, and was widely known as the campus poet. Do not think you can escape them At night or early in the morn - The Eyes of Texas are upon you Til Gabriel blows his horn. Before Johnson read the last line, he knew Sinclair had produced something for the University that would last long after their time as students had passed. In the chorus, the Avenue referred to Congress Avenue downtown. But Johnson felt the song still lacked a distinct Texas identity. ( Log Out /  The university said it would improve Black student enrollment and recruitment, but would keep the song because of history and context, according to the Texas Tribune. Texas' next home game is scheduled for Oct. 24 against Baylor. The idea of a stadium full of Longhorns players and fans kneeling together is almost too moving to imagine.With that new underpinning, the song will take on even greater meaning, whether it is sung at sporting events or Longhorns family reunions and weddings. Music (and inspiration) came from the nationally-known tune, Jolly Students of America. Change ). ( Log Out /  The Eyes of Texas are upon you, You can not get away. Do not think you can escape them, at night or early in the morn – The Eyes of Texas are upon you, ’til Gabriel blows his horn. A roving party, the concerts were a great success. Sing me a song of Prexy, of days long since gone by. The eyes of Texas are upon you All the live long days The eyes of Texas are upon you And you cannot get away. While the song evolved beyond its problematic origins, it's still a sore subject for some in the University of Texas family. Sam Ehlinger has already cemented a spot in Texas Longhorns lore, but does he need a Big 12 Championship ring to complete his resume? And the proud and sovereign State of Texas, feels, too, that the old song that told you the eyes of Texas are upon you, all the livelong day, might have had some updating. Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, he expects players to “stand together as a unified group” to show appreciation for the school and fans during the playing of the school song “The Eyes of Texas” after games, but didn't say what will happen if they refuse. Less than a month after the minstrel show, on June 10th, spring commencement ceremonies were held in the auditorium of Old Main. They watch you through the peaceful night. Johnson brought up the topic of a UT song once again and, perhaps with the help of Mr. Jacoby’s ales, Sinclair finally acquiesced to Johnson’s requests. The Eyes of Texas are upon you, All the livelong day. Prather took the good-natured kidding as it was intended. Leading off the show was an overture by the Varsity Band, followed by songs titled Oh, The Lovely Girls, Old Kentucky Home and The Castle on the Nile performed by the University Chorus or student soloists. To get the latest Texas Longhorns Posts posts as they happen, join the Texas Longhorns Community by clicking “Follow” at the top right corner of the page (mobile users can click the notifications bell icon), and follow Texas Longhorns SI on Twitter @LonghornsSI. He’d attended Washington College in Virginia (now Washington and Lee University), and often heard its president at the time, Robert E. Lee, tell his students, “Remember, the eyes of the South are upon you,” as he reminded them that they were the leaders of the future. Again I seek to greet him, and hear his kind reply. The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the livelong day. ( Log Out /  Texas alum Matthew McConaughey: I say don’t change ‘The Eyes of Texas’, just change the way the eyes see The Oscar-winning actor believes the school tradition can be preserved. TM This Week The stories you want, in one weekly newsletter. Read more about "The Eyes of Texas" The Jolly Students was introduced at a concert in late May, and was instantly popular with UT students. He first contacted alumni known to have literary talent, and hoped to recruit a volunteer to write a UT song, but received only polite refusals. The Eyes of Texas are upon you, You cannot get away. Prather made his farewell speech to the senior class, and turned the joke back on them. Former Texas Longhorn Brian Jones believes Texas fans and players can transform song into 'an anthem of accountability. On it, scribbled in pencil with scratched-out lines and corrections, was the first draft of a poem: They watch above you all the day, the bright blue eyes of Texas. (C) 1988 Sony Music Entertainment#RestlessHeart #TheBluestEyesInTexas #Vevo Long Description: The "Til Gabriel Blows His Horn" statue was placed here in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Longhorn Band. HOUSTON — "The Eyes of Texas," a University of Texas song meant to inspire school pride, is facing renewed criticism after student-athletes requested it … Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. As more have discovered the song's questionable origins. Favorite Answer. Sing me a song of Prexy, Of days long since gone by. As athletes across the country continue to find their voice, speaking out against social and racial injustice across the country, the University of Texas has become a particular catalyst for such changes. The eyes of Texas are upon you. It is set to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Not one to give up easily, Johnson turned to his fellow students, specifically to fellow band member John Lang Sinclair. And this time, the Texas players stayed on the field for “The Eyes of Texas.” While some sang with the crowd, others stayed quiet. A Varsity minstrel show was scheduled for Wednesday evening, May 12, 1903, in the Hancock Opera House on West Sixth Street, and was packed with music, dances, skits, and even a tumbling act. Last week, the school band sponsored a poll of members and found that about half were against the school’s more than 100-year-old song because of its supposed ties to minstrel performances during the early 1900s. One of the most talked-about subjects through these discussions has been the song "The Eyes of Texas". The eyes of Texas are upon you All the live long days The eyes of Texas are upon you And you cannot get away The students, of course, picked up on it immediately, and it became an ongoing campus joke to chant, “Remember, the eyes of Texas are upon you!” at sporting events, concerts, and just about every social occasion. Sinclair resisted at first, but Johnson continued to pester. AUSTIN, Texas -- Losing football games is one thing at the University of Texas. (Photo at left.) Former Longhorn Brian Jones is the latest to do so. The following spring he prodded Sinclair to try again. Countless as the bright stars, that fill the midnight skies. The song was written to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad", which disparaged black laborers who worked in railroad and levee camps in the 19th century. When from the eastern skies the high light, tells that the night is gone. The crowd followed along, listened, clapped, danced, and occasionally sang. Again I seek to greet him, And hear his kind reply. Football Anger over ‘The Eyes of Texas’ threatens to engulf the Longhorns’ entire season Herman: Players are encouraged to stay for school song but others still have concerns over its history Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Listen to it – as well as the first recording of “Texas Fight” – here.). By the end of the song, the audience was pounding the floor and demanding so many encores that members of the quartet grew hoarse and had to sing We’re Tired Out. In the 1900s, the term ” ‘varsity ” was a contraction of the word “university.” In the Lone Star State, students who attended ‘Varsity, were understood to be enrolled in the University of Texas, while those studying at the “College” were in the A&M College of Texas (as Texas A&M was then called). Do not think you can escape them From night till early in the morn The eyes of Texas are upon you Till Gabriel blows his horn. The chorus was: For we are jolly students of the ‘Varsity, the ‘Varsity! The eyes of Texas are upon you. A controversy over “The Eyes of Texas… The University of Texas band plans to boycott today's football game against Baylor. Many have weighed in with suggestions to help make the song more inclusive. ... Sinclair wrote the song as a parody to UT president William L. Prather's signature closing statement at all public events. Again I seek to greet him, and hear his kind reply. Former Doak Walker Award winner D'Onta Foreman is looking to catch on with his third NFL team, The NCAA will vote on the recommendation on Friday. The fourth piece listed on the printed program was cryptically labeled a “Selection” by the Varsity Quartet. The Texas version of the song was written in 1903 and in its public debut came from white singers performing the song in blackface. Do not think you can escape them, at night or early in the morn –. He knew that, at the least, the students were listening to him. Between classes, he played tuba in the Varsity Band, directed the University Chorus, and arranged for concerts on the Forty Acres. Vandyke brown, vermillion, sepia, Prussian blue. They watch you in the early dawn. The Eyes of Texas are upon you, You cannot get away. Do not think you can escape them At night or early in the morn- The Eyes of Texas are upon you ‘Till Gabriel blows his horn. Do not think you can escape them At night or early in the morn --The Eyes of Texas are upon you Til Gabriel blows his horn. Above: The University of Texas campus in the early 1900s. We are fans and alumni of the University of Texas at Austin who are disappointed with "The Eyes of Texas" being used to divide us when the song and its singing should be a moment of unity for us all. Till Gabriel blows his horn. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The Eyes of Texas are upon you, You cannot get away. Several Longhorns past and present have weighed in on the experiences of athletes of color on the Forty Acres and suggested changes to the culture of the university to create a more inclusive environment. In Marc Connelly 's play based on spirituals, The Green Pastures (1930), Gabriel has his beloved trumpet constantly with him, and the Lord has to warn him not to blow it too soon. University of Texas vice president and athletic director Chris Del Conte was excited to see a live football scrimmage on Saturday for the first time since December. Former Texas Longhorn Brian Jones believes Texas fans and players can transform song into 'an anthem of accountability. For many years, thousands of Texans of all backgrounds and generations […] Proceeds from the show would pay for the University Track team to attend the All-South Track and Field Competition in Atlanta. Midnight they ’ re with you all the livelong day Avenue downtown speaking! 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