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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Spirit Story: Tiger Rag

We all have a little PI in us, don't we? I was thrilled, recently, to try to track down the old Trinity fight song. I figured it was as close as I would ever get to sleuthing in my life. I even remember my old (and retired) colleague Thurman Adkins singing the fight song to me and some ASR students in his attempt to see the campus revive it. Is that weird? That was years ago - but this summer I called him and this time I hummed it to him. Is that weird too? I was just trying to find what it was called, so I could take it from there. He had no idea what I was talking - or humming - about.

For years students in ASR (student government) have tried to find ways to generate more school spirit on campus: tailgates, the victory bell (Greek Council is re-reviving it this year!), t-shirt give-aways, post-game parties, pre-game parties, and more. In fact this year, one of the cheerleaders, Ali Kimura, is planning a party for the first football game.

It's not that our students don't have spirit. Just go to a soccer game. Or just ask about the Mississippi Miracle. But we don't have rabid game day, 100,000 people spirit. But there is nothing wrong with wanting it. In fact, the Student Affairs staff has now joined the quest. We will be wearing maroon and gray/silver on Fridays in our own show of spirit. The Business Office has done spirit decorations for years. We want in on that and discussed it at a summer staff meeting. It was then that I vowed to find that old fight song. But my leads dried up. Even our resident historian Doug Brackenridge didn't know what I was talking about. I didn't hum to him though.

Enter CCI staffer Carolyn Bonilla. She was cleaning out some old files (Thurman's actually) and found the music to the old alma mater and the fight song. I took it to David Heller in the Music Department to play and this is actually what he played for me - on the spot:


Success! That is what Thurman sang to us those many years ago. (I think I am going to stop bringing that up. Clearly it meant more to me than him...) Anyways, I was looking for the words, so I took to Twitter to find out if any alumni remembered them. It was then that I received a link to the Tiger Rag from Vinny Minchillo. What? A link to our own fight song? This was like learning there would be a season two of The Voice! Well, it turns out there are over 130 recordings of our fight song. Whoa!!! We are really famous... or maybe really not.

Here is one of the first versions. It is pretty interesting on several levels:


So this is a famous song that Trinity adopted as its own. This was no original. Turns out the darn song is EVERYWHERE. I mean, EVERYWHERE! I am the worst detective ever. To make matters worse. Check THIS out:


But I still wanted to know if there were lyrics that our students could learn. I guess you should be careful what you wish for. Here is what I found.

Claude King Hold That Tiger (Tiger Rag) Lyrics:

(Oooh where's that tiger now) Where's that tiger
where's that tiger where's that tiger where's that
tiger
Hold that tiger hold that tiger hold that
tiger hold that tiger Hold him choke him kick him
pokin' Where's that tiger where's that tiger where
oh where can he be Low or highbrow they all cry
now where can that tiger be
Whip it hard till it moans whip it hard till it
groans let her grip start to clip its claw Where's
that tiger...

Wow.

In any event, I forwarded the music to Andrew Christ, who leads the Trinity Stand Band, and they are hard at work learning the arrangement for the September 9 football game. But I am still curious about this. Why do WE want to hold that tiger? Why can't we find that tiger? Why should we sing this? Here are the most common lyrics, and the ones I think I hope to hear our students singing from years to come:

Hold that Tiger
Hold that Tiger
Hold that Tiger
Hold that Tiger
Hold that Tiger
Hold that Tiger

Where's that Tiger
Where's that Tiger
Where's that Tiger
Where's that Tiger
Where's that Tiger
Where's that Tiger
Where's that Tiger

Now that's a song we can get behind. Again. We have spirit. Yes. Yes we do.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only question is why do we want a fight song that includes 'hold that Tiger'? Shouldn't that be what the opponent wants to do? Or are we asking them to hold us so the refs will throw a flag? ;-)

We played this song with the stand band we had in the late '70s/early 80's (yes, we had one! It played at football and basketball games). We asked the same question then.

David Tuttle said...

Anonymous: My point exactly! Your post led me to add this to the original post to make it clearer: "But I am still curious about this. Why do WE want to hold that tiger? Why can't we find that tiger? Why should we sing this?" I meant to communicate that, so I appreciate the prompt!

TU Career Services Team said...

Better than Clemson's try LSU http://youtu.be/lk17jaJWkR8