SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1932. Volume 3. Number 3.
"They heard a most outrageous Dreadful yelling cry."—Spenser.
Great idea this singing! Vacuum-cleans the lungs and sends the blood galloping off on a grand tour of the alleys and byeways of the carcass—raises Cain and the roof and the spirits; lowers the death-rate (except in the kingdom of cats, where it raises the death-rate if the boot is aimed straight). It's a seven days' wonder that the Heads of Universities and Government Departments and Chain Stores don't exploit the magic power of song—not solo singing, which is merely an emergency device that should be used only to ensure an uninterrupted bath when the bathroom lock is broken. Singing in chorus is the thing! Our Mayor gets the idea—Community Singing, you know; our pacifist friends of Soviet persuasion get the idea—in their case Communistic Singing! "Tis said that on calm nights when the full moon sits lone arbitress you may hear the hallowed notes of their martyr song floating up in full-throated ecstasy from the cellars in the more select parts of the city. For the authenticity of this I cannot vouch, but moral is there.
Wouldn't it be an idea of leviathan proportions for Civil Servants to sing the "National Anthem" every morning, and then "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" for the Honest One! I wager there'd be no dark hints of wavering loyalty after a few weeks of this treatment!
Imagine the students at the commencement of every lecture singing "The Song of Victoria College," led by their Professor! That might even lure the elusive College spirit from its lair!
Of course, to make these singing sessions a success we must know what we are singing. Now, for instance, the Haeremai Club has the idea, but its members haven't; they take a wide shot at the effect without bothering their care-free minds enough about the preliminary work. This club has—well, "done us proud" this Capping time. The Haeremai chaps represent Victoria College and its spirit to the public more definitely than any other student body and in comporting themselves like men gave us a great fillip in the eyes of the world, but oh, their singing—what a concatenation of mysterious horrors! (Hear that, ye Tuneful Nine!) They could make a splendid noise, too, but all we heard from them at. the Revue were a few melancholy wails about "beer." They didn't seem to be of one mind about that either. At the procession they burst into a City Community Sing and, howled the praises of beer again. What about something original, me lads? Beer's been done. You'd be amazed what you could do with enthusiasm, a conductor, rejuvenated singists, and something better than a nodding acquaintance with our College songs. If you haven't the pep to raise your singing to the level of your Haka you jolly well deserve to be relegated to the primitive order of bath-tub soloists!
What? You won't hear of it? Atta spirit! Can't you just see yourselves heading an optimistic reformation with your songs? Oh for the day when we'll all be able to say with good old Doc. Johnson, "Sir. we're a nest of singing birds!"