Brown University traditions hold that two songs are sung at public events and gatherings related to the university: "Alma Mater" and "Ever True to Brown". The traditional alma mater song, "Old Brown," was created in 1860; "Ever True to Brown," the second school fight song, was written in the 20th century.
Brown University's traditional alma mater was written by James Andrews DeWolf (Class of 1861) in 1860. He titled it "Old Brown" and set it to the tune of Araby's Daughter. This tune was later known as The Old Oaken Bucket. In 1869, the song was renamed "Alma Mater," after the incipit. It is sung and played after varsity athletic victories and at formal events such as Convocation and Commencement.
Alma Mater, we hail thee with loyal devotion,
And bring to thine altar our off'ring of praise.
Our hearts swell within us with joyful emotion,
As the name of old Brown in loud chorus we raise.
The happiest moments of youth's fleeting hours
We've passed 'neath the shade of these time-honored walls;
And sorrows as transient as April's brief showers
Have clouded our life in Brunonia's halls.
And when we depart from thy friendly protection,
And boldly launch out upon life's stormy main,
We'll oft look behind us with grateful affection,
And live our bright college days over again.
When from youth we have journeyed to manhood's high station,
And hopeful young scions around us have grown,
We'll send them, with love and with deep veneration,
As pilgrims devout to the shrine of Old Brown.
And when life's golden autumn with winter is blending,
And brows, now so radiant, are furrowed with care;
When the blightings of age on our heads are descending,
With no early friends all our sorrows to share;
Oh, then, as in memory backward we wander,
And roam the long vista of past years adown,
On the scenes of our student life often we'll ponder,
And smile, as we murmur the name of Old Brown.
Brown's official fight song, "Ever True To Brown", was written by Donald Jackson (Class of 1909). The song is played by the Brown Band at varsity athletic events. An unofficial version with humorous alternate lyrics is played by the band as well.