Oil Thigh

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The Oil Thigh is the name given to the anthem and fight song of Queen's University and its sports teams, the Queen's Gaels. Although the song's official title is Queen's College Colours, it is almost universally referred to by the first words of the Gaelic chorus.


Oilthigh ([ˈɤlhɪ]) is the Scottish Gaelic for "university", from oil "educate, rear", which is from Old Irish ail- and taigh "house" (older spelling tigh) plus lenition.[1] It is usually spelt as a single word in modern orthography.[2]


The chorus was written in 1891[3] as part of a longer Gaelic warcry, by three Gaelic-speaking students: Donald Cameron, F.A. McRae, and another called MacLean, whose first name is not known. The rest of the song was written in 1898 by a student, Alfred Lavell, with the title The Queen's College Colours after a disappointing loss to the University of Toronto in order to inspire the team.[3] The second, third and fourth verses are rarely sung. In 1985 the original "Boys, go in and win" was changed to "Gaels, go in and win" to make the text gender neutral.[3]

The song is often heard sung by students and alumni when the home team scores a point, goal, touchdown, etc., and at other school events. It is usually sung while forming a chain by linking arms behind each other's backs and performing a low-kicking can-can. The Varsity Men's and Women's Rowing teams sing the song to celebrate winning the team points championship at the OUA Rowing Championships and/or the Canadian University Rowing Championships by huddling in a closed circle and performing the traditional low-kicking. The 1892 version uses the tune of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic/John Brown's Body".[3]

Additional stanzas that have fallen out of popular use made reference to historic victories over Yale University, rival McGill University, and the University of Toronto.



Queen's College colours we are wearing once again,
Soiled as they are by the battle and the rain,
Yet another victory to wash away the stain!
So, Gaels, go in and win!


Oilthigh na Banrighinn a' Bhanrighinn gu bràth!
Oilthigh na Banrighinn a' Bhanrighinn gu bràth!
Oilthigh na Banrighinn a' Bhanrighinn gu bràth!
Cha ghèill! Cha ghèill! Cha ghèill!


The Queen's University, the Queen forever!
(We) won't surrender! (We) won't surrender! (We) won't surrender!


Varsity's not invincible, they tremble at the news
Of Queen's College Colours and are shaking in their shoes.
Yet another victory, the chance we dare not lose.
So, Gaels, go in and win!


McGill has met defeat before, they've heard the same old tale
Of Queen's College colours, boys, the ones that seldom fail,
Remember Captain Curtis and the conquerors of Yale,
So, Gaels, go in and win!


There may be other colours to the breezes oft unfurled,
And many another college yell by student voices hurled;
Queen's College colours are the dearest in the world,
So, Gaels, go in and win!


What's the sport of Kings?
Queen's! Queen's! Queen's!
Oilthigh na Banrighinn Cha ghèill! Cha ghèill! Cha ghèill!
Oilthigh na Banrighinn Cha ghèill! Cha ghèill! Cha ghèill!
Go Queen´s!

See also[edit]


  1. ^ MacBain, A. (1911) An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language Stirling Eneas MacKay, 1982 edition by Gairm ISBN 0-901771-68-6
  2. ^ Mark, C. The Gaelic English Dictionary Routledge (2004) ISBN 0-415-29761-3
  3. ^ a b c d "Queen's Encyclopedia". Queen's University. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 

External links[edit]