the eyes of texas history

When Littlefield refused, Coppini replied: “As time goes by, they will look to the Civil War as a blot on the pages of American history, and the Littlefield Mem­orial will be resented as keeping up the hatred between the Northern and Southern states.”, In recent weeks, Gordon’s tours of what he calls a “neo-Confederate university” have become so popular that the College of Liberal Arts made them available, . But the song’s origins, lyrical tune and meaning has been a sore subject with minorities for years. The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the livelong day. Scribbled on the paper, he had written a poem: They watch above you all the day, the bright blue eyes of Texas. Sinclair was the editor of the Cactus yearbook and a UT band member, and he wrote the lyrics per the request of band member Lewis Johnson. Since around 2001, Gordon has been leading “racial geography” tours of the UT campus that highlight the school’s forgotten racist history. The two students decided to tweak the lyrics to more explicitly pay homage to Prather’s catchphrase. The Eyes of Texas is performed at a slower tempo than what is usually heard today, and the song is introduced with a yell: “Yea Texas! He watched how university president Robert E. Lee, the old Confederate general during the Civil War, addressed the students. I Still Got COVID. By 1899, he was named president of the university and delivered an address to students on the first day of school. “(‘The Eyes of Texas’) was first sung and played at a minstrel show which featured performers in black face.” The song was written and performed in a period of intense anti-black sentiment in Texas, Gordon said. The very next day, on one of Johnson’s Promenade Concerts, the band marched through campus playing the song while students sang along. Other people—including alumni—are resistant to the change, citing tradition. It was then performed by white singers in blackface at the Varsity minstrel show, which was a fundraiser for UT athletics in the early 1900s. : A look at the names on buildings that Texas athletes want changed, Danny Davis They were joining thousands of others across the world protesting the killing of George Floyd; when they reached the Texas Capitol, players, coaches, and support staff knelt in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time Floyd was pinned to the ground with a policeman’s knee on his neck. At some point, the song’s origins were forgotten and “The Eyes of Texas” became the school song. Athletics director Chris Del Conte tweeted in response to the letter: “I am always willing to have meaningful conversations regarding any concerns our student athletes have. The backlash surrounding ‘Eyes’ has grown considerably in the five days since the student athletes’ letter was published. “Bet you a quarter he says ‘eyes of Texas’ before he gets through,” one student said to another. The song was written in 1903 in response to the campus desire for a UT song. Next Last. Vandyke brown, vermillion, sepia, Prussian blue, Ivory black and crimson lac, and eyes of every hue. In an email to students earlier this week, interim president Jay Hartzell wrote: “Working together, we will create a plan this summer to address these issues, do better for our students and help overcome racism,” although he never addressed the song by name. Their performance was a hit, and the crowd demanded that they play the song again and again. 1; 2; 3; Next. On message boards and comment sections, detractors say that the song’s meaning has changed over the years. The Best Things in Texas, 2021: H-E-B’s Charles Butt.  American-Statesman Staff, Brian Davis  American-Statesman Staff, Cedric Golden Performed by a quartet of blackface students, accompanied by Sinclair on the banjo, it … He played tuba in the band, directed the school choir, and began something called Promenade Concerts, where the marching band would move through campus playing overtures and marches by John Philip Sousa. The backlash surrounding ‘Eyes’ has grown considerably in the five days since the student athletes’ letter was published. You have a voice. Sing me a song of Prexy, Of days long since gone by. 13 Iowa State 23, No. I Live in the Middle of Nowhere. 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. A student started singing the words, and soon, hundreds of others at Clark Field were joining in. They watch you in the early dawn, when from the eastern skies the high light, tells that the night is gone. [Verse] G G7 The eyes of Texas are upon you, C G All the live-long day G G7 The eyes of Texas are upon you A D You cannot get away [Chorus] D G Do not think you can escape them C B At night He Hoped Sheltering in Place Would Save His Marriage. Take the annual Texas-Oklahoma football battle, for example. History of the Lone Star State connects the prominent dots and tells stories of the lesser known. The “Varsity quartet,” with Johnson on tuba and Sinclair on banjo, performed after the school choir, in the middle of the show. Fight!” It’s not clear whether this was included just for the recording, or if, in 1928, a yell was a normal prelude to singing the Eyes. John Burt, a receiver who graduated in 2019, told the school paper, “Whenever I sang ‘The Eyes of Texas,’ I was singing it because it’s the school song, and I was singing it purely out of school pride.”. Student government and the university’s Black Student Alliance voiced their support of the statement. Neither movement got much attention at the time—but now that monuments to The United States’ racist history are toppling around the country, this call to action has been reinvigorated. The Eyes of Texas are upon you, You can not get away. “The University of Texas, at least originally, had very clear minstrel connections,” Gordon said. https://www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/ut-austin-eyes-of-texas-song-racist/. Then head coach Tom Herman addressed his players: “You’re a minority football player at one of the biggest brands in the country. They watch you through the peaceful night. It’s something closer to a prayer. They’re with you all the way. When Littlefield refused, Coppini replied: “As time goes by, they will look to the Civil War as a blot on the pages of American history, and the Littlefield Mem­orial will be resented as keeping up the hatred between the Northern and Southern states.”, In recent weeks, Gordon’s tours of what he calls a “neo-Confederate university” have become so popular that the College of Liberal Arts made them available virtually. The song the Longhorn band usually plays, Eyes OF Texas, has racist roots that are fracturing the campus. At some point, the song’s origins were forgotten and “The Eyes of Texas” became the school song. The eyes of Texas are upon you. In show of unity and force, Texas athletes call for changes to address UT’s racial past, future, What’s in a name? They watch you through the peaceful night. Days later, a group of more than two dozen Texas student athletes—including football, basketball, and track stars—, on social media in which they vowed not to participate in upcoming recruiting or fund-raising events until the university administration addressed a series of concerns. John Sinclair wrote the Texas-specific song lyrics in 1903 to the tune of the original folk song, "I've Been Working on the Railroad," that was published nine years earlier in 1894. Fight! The song was first performed at the Hancock Opera House in Austin and became a hit. Silver Member. Yea Texas! Statistically-speaking, was Charli Collier’s 44-point game the best in Texas history. That fall, during UT’s annual bout with Texas A&M, the Aggies were driving late in the fourth quarter when they took a timeout. It’s unclear if any decision will be reached this time, either. Littlefield has long been known as one of UT’s earliest and most prolific donors, and all around campus, you can still see his influence: a cafe and residence hall are named after him, and two of the campus’s most prominent landmarks are the Littlefield Home and Littlefield Fountain. Highlights San Antonio: America's Mission City . “They’re not asking for new iPads, and we already have the best locker rooms in the country,” says Daron K. Roberts, the founder of UT’s, Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation, . Aug 14, 2010 10,364 23,770 113. “The Eyes of Texas” is nearly as old as the University of Texas itself. He approached his classmate John L. Sinclair, the editor of the yearbook. (“The Eyes of Texas” is UT’s official alma mater tune and an unofficial fight song; the school’s official fight song is “Texas Fight”). Go.  American-Statesman Staff, Mike Craven No formal action has been taken by university administrators. If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. As The University of Texas continues to affirm that “The Eyes of Texas” will remain our alma mater, The Eyes of Texas History Committee has been established to document the full history of the song, share that history broadly and provide context around … It bothered him that they played other schools’ songs, like “Fair Harvard.” He wanted a tune to call Texas’s own, but didn’t know how to write the lyrics. In 1902, a UT student named Lewis Johnson made it his personal mission to create a school song. On message boards and comment sections, detractors say that the song’s meaning has changed over the years. The Eyes of Texas are upon you, You can not get away. German Catholic settlers flock to Muenster and Lindsay . Embracing the song’s meaning today should not stop us from seeing its complicated past, and acknowledging the many ways that people see the song. Again I seem to great him And hear his kind reply. “They’re asking for institutional changes that they think can have an impact on the racism that they see.”, Other people—including alumni—are resistant to the change, citing tradition. The stories you want, in one weekly newsletter. If you are an existing subscriber and haven't set up an account, please register for an online account. Don't have an account? About a decade ago, a group of Texas basketball players refused to sing it after learning the song’s history, and just two years ago, the Texas student government debated the merits of the song. Throughout the years, several different groups has pushed the university to drop the song, all to no avail. ‘Eyes of Texas’ roots The biggest change that fans would notice is the request to drop the ‘Eyes of Texas’ with a suitable replacement. William Lambdin Prather learned the phrase “The eyes of the South are upon you” from Robert E. Lee, turning the phrase into “The eyes of Texas … “They’re asking for institutional changes that they think can have an impact on the racism that they see.”. Again I seem to great him And hear his kind reply. You Don’t Have to Move to Austin. “Lee, as president used to say to his assembled faculty and students, ‘The eyes of the South are upon you,’” Gordon said. On Friday, UT football players formally asked for “the replacement of ‘The Eyes of Texas’ with a new song without racist undertones.”. According to multiple football players who played under coach Mack Brown, incoming freshmen were instructed to meet with Jeff “Mad Dog” Madden, the strength and conditioning coach, to learn the words to the song before even coming onto the field for their first practice. And on Tuesday morning, a group of former Longhorn athletes, including Cat Osterman and Quan Cosby, tweeted a statement in solidarity with current athletes. By 1899, he was named president of the university and delivered an address to students on the first day of school. Sing me a song of Prexy, Of days long since gone by. In their letter, student athletes are calling for his name to be removed from Littlefield Hall because, as Gordon teaches, Littlefield was a slave owner who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. S.A. farmer made history by writing University of Texas’ “The Eyes of Texas” By Omar Sanchez, Staff Writer July 30, 2017 Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn Reddit Pinterest His daughter recalled one instance when students were waiting to hear the president speak. Prather, though, had the last laugh. “The Eyes of Texas” is not your typical school song. of the UT campus that highlight the school’s forgotten racist history. More than a century later, Texas athletes stand at attention on their field of play after every home game and sing “The Eyes.” At times, it can be a prideful, emotional moment, especially after big wins or crushing defeats. Student athletes wrote a letter urging officials to change the tune, which has racist origins. 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. Hookem / Ticket City is a secondary market for tickets and ticket prices may be above face value. Johnson was also the program director of the Varsity Minstrel Show that raised funds for the university track team. “I just think people need to know what its roots are,” he says, “And then we should decide collectively what we want to do about that.”, How a Llama and a University of Texas Lab Led to the Most Promising COVID-19 Treatment Yet, Why UT’s Administration Is Digging in Its Heels on ‘The Eyes of Texas’. In particular, the final item on the players’ agenda has ignited a debate throughout the Longhorn community over the past week: they called for officials to replace “‘The Eyes of Texas’ with a new song without racial undertones.”, The saying stuck with Prather as he became a lawyer and then eventually a UT regent. “As ambassadors, it is our duty to utilize our voice and role as leaders in the community to push for change to the benefit of the entire UT community,” they wrote. Sound | Color | English. Sing me a song of Texas, and Texas’ myriad eyes. The university took trademark ownership of the phrase “The Eyes of Texas are upon you” in … Update, June 16, 2020: As "The Eyes of Texas" has been sung for 120 years, it’s worth considering both its present-day and historical contexts. “Bet you a quarter he says ‘eyes of Texas’ before he gets through,” one student said to another. Johnson suggested that they set the lyrics to the tune of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” and they eyed an annual campus minstrel show on May 12, 1903, as the right time to debut it, since there would be a large audience, including President Prather. 25 Texas 84, Louisiana Tech 57: Longhorns roll but team’s effort leads to a postgame rebuke, No. A reckoning with the racist past of “The Eyes of Texas” has been gaining momentum in recent years, though. Instead It Led to Divorce. Late in his life, Littlefield poured money into making UT more Southern-centric and commissioned Italian sculptor Pompeo Coppini to design statues of, “not dismayed by defeat nor discouraged by misrule [and] builded [sic] from the ruins of a devastating war a greater South.”, Interestingly, when he was completing the project, Coppini recommended to Littlefield that the monuments should honor Americans fighting in World War I. “They’re not asking for new iPads, and we already have the best locker rooms in the country,” says Daron K. Roberts, the founder of UT’s Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation. ‘ the Eyes of Texas ’ before he gets through, ” in... With good reads, news analysis—and updates on special events Photo ) by Barbara Finlay to Austin team... Little attempt at hiding the song ” after games the “ Railroad ” lyrics to the UT campus highlight. 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