October 16, 2020

The University of Texas school song, "The Eyes of Texas," is disparaged as originating in minstrel shows.

I'm reading a WaPo column by Cindy Boren: "Texas players told to stand for school song, despite its origin in blackface minstrel shows." 
The lyrics to “The Eyes of Texas” were inspired in part by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who after the Civil War was a teacher at what would become Washington and Lee University, where he made an impression on future UT president William Prather by repeatedly telling students that “the eyes of the South are upon you.” . 
... Edmund T. Gordon, a professor of African and African diaspora studies and anthropology at Texas, said (via Texas Monthly) that Prather reminded his own students that “the eyes of Texas are upon you,” inspiring a pair of UT students in 1903. Their song debuted it at an annual campus minstrel show, according to Gordon, who said the students probably were wearing blackface when they performed it. 
The melody is based on “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” which has its own origins in minstrelsy and other stereotypical depictions of Black people. 

Football players have called for replacing the school song. I feel an instinctive resistance to breaking traditions, but let's think about that history. And look at the lyrics! The state has eyes and is always watching you: "The Eyes of Texas are upon you/All the livelong day/The Eyes of Texas are upon you/You cannot get away/Do not think you can escape them/At night or early in the morn/The Eyes of Texas are upon you/'Til Gabriel blows his horn."

There really is something wrong with this song. It's oppressive even if you don't know the background story. It speaks of surveillance and endless oppressive work. 

Maybe a lot of college kids think the song is just funny and surreal. Eyes that you cannot escape. 

99 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

The graphic is by the surrealist artist Odilon Redon.

BarrySanders20 said...

Now it's the eyes of Google. Googley Eyes Upon You.

etbass said...

C'mon, man.

n.n said...

So, diversity was not a motive. The song warns people that privacy is not an excuse to commit civil and human rights.

tim in vermont said...

It’s worse than Santa Clause is Coming to Town.

n.n said...

... rather: privacy is not an excuse to violate civil and human rights.

Michael K said...

Sort of like a parent's eyes upon you through life. Is that oppressive ?

RNB said...

So does the c. 1968 chant "The whole world is watching!" imply that the planet has eyes?

Was Gen. Eisenhower's D-Day message -- "The eyes of the world are upon you." --
'oppressive'?

Or is this straining at gnats? (NOTE: No actual gnats were harmed by the use of this cliche.)

Amy said...

I don't know anything about the song or even much about the state. But I would take the words to mean that you represent your state, and to behave in such a way as to make Texas proud. (Almost in the same sense as Santa "knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good.." etc.) I didn't see it with as ominous a message as you did. Or maybe Santa has to be cancelled too.....

Also re the history - does everything that has any connection with something now deemed unacceptable have to be considered unacceptable itself? If so, will we have anything left at all?

Rocketeer said...

"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you..."

Frighteningly oppressive!

You caricature yourself today.

Unknown said...

Drag queens are caricatures of women.

Jim at said...

It's extremely unfortunate these poor football players didn't know about the song before they signed their scholarship offers.

And it's even more unfortunately these poor football players have no other choices available to receive free schooling while playing sportsball.

alanc709 said...

Is the post your actuals thoughts and feelings on this? Because it would read exactly the same as sarcasm.

GingerBeer said...

Is there any song creepier than Sting's "Every Breath You Take?" The stalkers theme song.
Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I'll be watching you
Oh, can't you see
You belong to me
How my poor heart aches
With every step you take
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you
Since you've gone I've been lost without a trace
I dream at night I can only see your face
I look around but it's you I can't replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
I keep crying baby, baby please
Oh, can't you see
You belong to me
How my poor heart aches
With every step you take
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching…














tcrosse said...

They can sing The Hokey Pokey for all I care.

Lonestar Stacy said...

Sounds like Hell...Gig’em!

RNB said...

You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I'm telling you why.
Santa Claus is tapping your phone.

Don’t step out of line,
And don’t get him pissed,
Or your name will show up,
On a Terror Watch list.
Santa Claus is tapping your phone.

He watches while you’re sleeping,
He knows it if you cry,
Resist the urge to over-eat,
‘Cause he tracks your BMI.

He's reading your tweets,
You’re never alone,
And if you act up,
He’ll call in a drone.
Santa Claus is tapping your phone.

Diamond said...

If they had a winning football team this wouldn't be an issue.

Clyde said...

The eyes don't belong to the State, they belong to the people of the State. As in, we're watching you, so behave yourself. As a native Texan, I say keep the song.

chuck said...

The Democrats have their eyes on me, I get email from them and I haven't ever donated or shown interest. I also get escorts emailing me advertising free first f*cks. Every day my mailbox gets stuffed with junk. Seems everyone has their eyes on me these days, or at least on my money, what there is of it. There is no escape.

jameswhy said...

It's a fight song, for a football game. The lyrics have all the emotional weight of "Rah, Rah, Rah, Sis Boom Bah." Any further analysis is just insane.

traditionalguy said...

It's Southern Baptist/Scots Irish traditional military song. The Texan community always expects its armed youth to volunteer to defend it when it comes under attack. And under attack they were under from invasions by the Spanish Empire, French in Empire Mexico and the most dangerous of them all:The Comanche Empire.

Now all they fear is the Horned Frog Empire in Ft. Worth.

Kevin said...

Wake me when they get to Harvard and Yale.

RichardJohnson said...

There really is something wrong with this song. It's oppressive even if you don't know the background story. It speaks of surveillance and endless oppressive work.
Maybe a lot of college kids think the song is just funny and surreal. Eyes that you cannot escape.



All the more reason to keep singing the song, as it accurately describes the present. Today, it describes the Woke use of social media to search out and destroy anyone who has the effrontery to state something the Woke disagree with.

Nonapod said...

They should change the song to the classic Misfits Song "20 Eyes".

When you're seeing 20 things at a time
You just can't slow things down, baby
When you're seeing 20 things in your mind
Just can't slow things down
Then all those eyes
They're just crowding up your human face
Then all those eyes
Take an overload

Achilles said...

I think moving to Africa ought to be an option fo people.

It really is awful being here.

Red Feather said...

Oh, for God's sake. This is really a stretch. The "eyes of Texas" are OUR eyes; fellow Texans. It has always been an admonition to behave in ways that bring honor and glory to both the University of Texas and our state as a whole. And I say this as a third generation Texas Aggie. Leave the heathens at UT alone.

bleh said...

It's not a song about the state government of Texas. It's about acting right and doing your state proud. If you know anything about Texas, you know that state pride is a huge virtue.

Only a lib would equate the people of the state with the government.

chickelit said...

Numen Lumen

W.Cook said...

My parents, who were alumni of UT, always sang "'Till Bevo blows his horn," as did everyone else around us at the UT games I attended as a kid (when they came to town). Bevo is name of the UT mascot.

W.Cook said...

My parents, who were alumni of UT, always sang "'Till Bevo blows his horn," as did everyone else around us at the UT games I attended as a kid (when they came to town). Bevo is name of the UT mascot.

tommyesq said...

Sauron lives in Texas?

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

Is duty such a foreign concept to modern academics that they cannot identify it when it smacks them in the face? The whole idea behind the song is that these Texans, with their proud (raaaaciiiiiissssst!) history have a duty to their state - and their fellow citizens (NOT the government or the State) were watching them to ensure duty was fulfilled.

It's not creepy, it's encouraging to the men of Texas. These men know that they have a duty, and should they do that duty well it will be seen and noticed and possibly rewarded. And should they not do their duty, that would also been seen and noticed. Our modern day feminized academia can't see that, because it's a language and expectation of men, not women.

Or maybe the problem is modern academics know naught of masculinity, having been bred awash in female-ism.

Joe Smith said...

Governor Ralph has no comment...

Big Mike said...

There really is something wrong with this song. It's oppressive even if you don't know the background story. It speaks of surveillance and endless oppressive work.

No it's not. Grow up a little. The song was meant satirically in its day, and should be viewed that way.

And "I've Been Working on the Railroad" cannot be a minstrel song because in the 19th century generally did not hire blacks as laborers. Maybe instead of accepting New York Times bullshit you could check out Wikipedia's comprehensive list of minstrel show songs.

Jim at said...

Is there any song creepier than Sting's "Every Breath You Take?"

Death Cab's I Will Possess Your Heart gives it a good run for the money.

MadisonMan said...

I really never made the connection between the Texas and Railroad songs 'til today.

Wow.

wayworn wanderer said...

All real Texans like this song. Our state song, "Texas, Our Texas," is weak. "The Eyes of Texas," "The Aggie War Hymn, "Deep in the Heart of Texas," "San Antonio Rose," "The Yellow Rose of Texas," and "Waltz Across Texas" are all better. Then there's Ray Wylie Hubbard's classic, "Screw You, We're From Texas."

Who cares what a bunch of whiners temporarily on the TU football team think? They are paid to play, not to whine.

Louie the Looper said...

On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin, stand up Badgers sing.
"Forward" is our driving spirit, loyal voices ring.
On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin, raise her glowing flame.
Stand, fellows, let us now salute her name.

This sounds vaguely sexual and icky. I think it should be changed.

WK said...

Sting’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” is also pretty creepy.

The song police will be coming for “Hang On Sloopy” soon as well.

tim in vermont said...

"The Eyes of Google are upon you
All the livelong day
The Eyes of Google are upon you
You cannot get away
Do not think you can escape them
At night or early in the morn
The Eyes of Google are upon you
'Til Gabriel blows his horn."


Find an untrue line in that. Taking “Gabriel” metaphorically, of course.

mikee said...

Whether those students keep the song we ridicule in OUR school song, or discard it, as an Aggie, I suggest the teasips stop with the cow bells. Turns out that yes, there can be such a thing as too much cowbell, and t.u. demonstrates that regularly.

Now it turns out that our hatred of their school song was the anti-racist politically correct progressive way to go, all along. How about that, at Texas A&M of all places!

Second Verse of the Aggie War Hymn:

Good-bye to texas university
So long to the orange and the white
Good luck to dear old Texas Aggies
They are the boys that show the real old fight
“The eyes of Texas are upon you . . .”
That is the song they sing so well
----SOUNDS LIKE HELL!----
So good-bye to texas university
We’re going to beat you all to Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem
Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem
Rough Tough! Real Stuff! Texas A&M!

mikee said...

Big Mike, are you telling me that Blazing Saddles is not historically accurate?!
Or are you suggesting that the rail porters never existed?
Because I can believe the first, with regret, but I'll support the second all the live long day.

rightguy said...

There is an old joke about some Texas A&M medical students (Aggies) pulling the cork out of their cadaver's anus and then it sings "The Eyes of Texas..." to them. The professor in attendance comments that this is an unremarkable finding as he has heard a lot of assholes sing that song.

JOrz said...

I think there's a bit of irony here. The kids protesting this song have been taught that you can not argue if something is called racists. It is not their place. No matter how lame the justification. As good anti-racists they have to accept it and protest it whole heartedly. If they hesitate or give the appearance of not being sincere there will be hell to pay. The eyes of the woke are upon them. Maybe they should just redo the words?

PHenry said...

I understand that performing in blackface today is offensive and would be incredibly stupid (Ralph Northam)
But to extrapolate that to 'any song ever performed by any person wearing blackface must be disavowed, disallowed, condemned, and banned' is hysteria. What next, any song ever performed by anyone who didn't explicitly support gender reassignment surgery for 6 year olds?
Whoops, there goes Bach and Beethoven.
Of course, that is the point. Erase all that came before, so that everything can be rebuilt in the glorious vision of the new elite.

Expat(ish) said...

Not much of a scholar, is he? "[M]ight have been performed in blackface."

No records remain, or he was just too lazy to check it out? Or did the records contradict his BS and he is Clintoning his remark?

Go play sportball elsewhere if you don't like it.

-XC

n.n said...

Our modern day feminized academia can't see that, because it's a language and expectation of men, not women.

Not just academia. Lowered expectations is a universal achievement of a past, present, and progressive authoritarian age under the ostensibly "secular" Pro-Choice quasi-religion ("ethics").

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Songs originated a lot of low-shelf places over the years. Martin Luther was criticised for using drinking songs to make hymns. "But why should the Devil have all the good tunes?" he asked. Our national anthem's tune came from a gentleman's club that was rowdy and unfit for ladies. in the 18th C

There I go being reasonable again, using actual history. Can't do that anymore. Posturing is all.

Lurker21 said...


Of course, African-Americans worked on 19th century railroads - first as slaves, later as convicts. The origins of the songs are unclear. It was first published in a Princeton University songbook in 1894 with verses in Black dialect:

I been wukkin’ on de railroad
All de livelong day,
I been wukkin’ on de railroad
Ter pass de time away.
Doan’ yuh hyah de whistle blowin’?
Ris up, so uhly in de mawn;
Doan’ yuh hyah de cap’n shouin’,
“Dinah, blow yo’ hawn?”

The "someone's in the kitchen with Dinah" verse comes from an earlier British song, “Old Joe, or Somebody in the House with Dinah,” that likewise referred to African-Americans, Dinah being considered a typical slave name.

Does everything associated with minstrelsy have to be rejected? One could consider songs like these as a legitimate part of African-American culture.

Wikitorix said...

GingerBeer said...

Is there any song creepier than Sting's "Every Breath You Take?" The stalkers theme song.


"One Way Or Another" by Blondie?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

There really is something wrong with this song. It's oppressive even if you don't know the background story. It speaks of surveillance and endless oppressive work.

Seriously? "The eyes of X are on you" is just about the most hackneyed "motivational phrase" in existence.

"We say we're the best. The eyes of Texas will be on you, judging you, seeing if we really are the best. So live up to that, go out there and be the best!"

WTF are you doing whining about that?

The melody is based on “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” which has its own origins in minstrelsy and other stereotypical depictions of Black people.

Bzzt. Thank you for playing. Now FOAD. The US Intercontinental Railroad was build by Chinese and Irish, not blacks.

n.n said...

Now it's the eyes of Google. Googley Eyes Upon You.

Hah, that's it. The Googley eyes know when you're sleeping, know when you're awake, know when you commit thought crimes. So, Duck, Duck, Go! Maybe. It's worth a try.

D.D. Driver said...

♬I always feel like
Somebody's watchin' me... ♬

...but until now, I never suspected the eyes of Texas.

Jupiter said...

"Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah" refers to the fact that explosives are about to be used. Or have hung fire. When the explosives fail to detonate, someone has to go see why. But no one is in a big hurry. You wait awhile, hoping Dinah will blow.

Luke Lea said...

The out is "Til Gabriel blows his horn."

RobinGoodfellow said...

“Oppressive”?

I suppose it depends on whether one thinks the “eyes of Texas” refers to the state, or to ones fellow Texans. I would think the latter.

RobinGoodfellow said...

“And it's even more unfortunately these poor football players have no other choices available to receive free schooling while playing sportsball.“

Yee-haw! Today is their lucky day!! They have the option of paying their own way through school, like I did!

Paul said...

I'm a TEXICAN... and those that want to do away with the song can go f*ck a duck.

JeanE said...

I think General Lee was exhorting his students to do great things because their communities, "the eyes of the south", looked to them to lead the way forward after the Civil War, and I expect that was the meaning that Mr. Prather intended to convey to his students.
Not surprisingly, a couple of college kids used a song they were familiar with (I've Been Working on the Railroad) and wrote new lyrics- maybe they meant it earnestly, maybe they were having fun at Mr. Prather's expense, but the song caught on.
My father went to UT and as a child we always watched the Longhorns on TV- I remember the song well, and it didn't seem oppressive- more like putting the other team on notice that all the eyes of Texas (or at least UT) were watching and supporting the team.
Of course, as an Aggie I say Gig'Em, but trying to make this song out to be racist, oppressive, etc. is just looking for a way to be offended, and a way to impose your preferences on others. Players are not required to stay and sing the song so no one is forcing them to act against the dictates of their conscience. If you don't want to sing it, don't, but don't force others to go along with your choice. If you stand up for your beliefs, they might decide you're right and go along with you and build a new tradition, but if you force your choice on others you've only helped tear down something that others have built.

Bunkypotatohead said...

They should replace the song with something having a modern sensibility. Perhaps a wholesome rap song like http://www.songlyrics.com/my-nigga/my-nigga-lyrics/

Rick said...

let's think about that history.

My first thought: what makes anyone believe this is true. After all the NYT produced a supposedly top level historical essay which asserted the American Revolution was fought because Americans were afraid the Brits would outlaw slavery.

For those who don't know there was no abolition movement in Britain during the lead up or during the revolution, and when it did develop decades later it was through the influence of American abolitionists. This assertion was made because if accepted it delegitimizes America which was the NYT propaganda goal. Truth is simply not relevant. Applying this technique to the song of course the propagandist would assert the song came from a Confederate and was sung in minstrel shows. But what evidence is there this is true?

Especially weak is the connection between Lee and the UT President. Some different song supposedly made an impression to inspire this one? What evidence supports this? In the excerpt it is simply asserted. It doesn't seem an unusual theme, for example I've read similar British soldiers' themes (do not fail your duty) from the Napoleonic Wars (which predate Lee). I suspect these are universal and generally used in warfare. The "original" source being Lee is very unlikely, so the evidence Prather adopted it directly from a Confederate rather than from general motivational songs is weak.

I can't see the original research but it's strange you simply accept this as factual.

Christy said...

Do Globalists understand pride of place? Pride of community?

Bilwick said...

While I hate to be on the same side as "liberals" on any issue, I can see your point about there being something "oppressive" about the song. I never thought about it much until I listened to a CD of music from the 1960 movie "The Alamo." The CD contained music that either was not used in the final cut, or had not been recorded in the previous soundtrack "albums" (as we used to call them). The CD closes with a version of "The Eyes of Texas" that was going to be used in the movie, but wasn't. Hearing it on the CD, I was glad it wasn't--particularly when the chorus tells us, "You cannot get away!" It's like a marching song for the KGB.

Unknown said...

I thought rioters wanted eyes upon them

They are acting up on the right side of history...

With no eyes upon you

free to live as Invisible Man

Bilwick said...

"The eyes of the Ranger are upon you/
Every move you make he's gonna see!
When you're in Texas look behind you/
'Cause that's where the Ranger's
Gonna be!"

gadfly said...

I went to high school in the middle '50s and every year the student members of our National Thespian Society conducted a minstrel show on stage complete with Mr. Interlocutor, Mr. Bones and Mr. Tambo in blackface. Blackface was just something that was common to commercial minstrel shows which provided public entertainment in the form of singing, dancing and comedy long before movie screens took over local theaters after WWII.

Nobody that I knew while growing up gave this tradition a second thought. Bob Dylan wrote "Mr. Tambourine Man" in 1965 and he hasn't lost his popularity.

Rick said...

Big Mike said...
Maybe instead of accepting New York Times bullshit you could check out Wikipedia's comprehensive list of minstrel show songs.


Do it quick though, since we know it will be added overnight.

h said...

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

You (Althouse) should be taking on the totally offensive lyrics of "On Wisconsin", which urge males to behave in stereotypical masculine ways (fight, run, plunge, win) and which assumes without evidence that the state of Wisconsin identifies as female (she/her/hers).

Leave Texas alone until you have solved your own problems.

bobby said...

It means that Texas is a place of honor and you're going to have to work hard to live up to it.

Nothing scary or objectionable there, except maybe it's scary to some to think that they have to live up to a code of honor anymore.

The Godfather said...

I've also heard that "The Yellow Rose of Texas", the song that always greeted Lady Bird Johnson when she was First Lady, was about a Mulatto whore. Don't know if Governor Northam sang it in blackface, though.

Rick said...

Was Gen. Eisenhower's D-Day message -- "The eyes of the world are upon you." --

I knew he was a racist. Fucking Republican.

Winning World War II was white supremacy.

Big Mike said...

@Lurker21, you are free to edit the Wiki page if you deem your knowledge superior. Frankly, I think you are pulling shit out of your ass.

Big Mike said...

@Rick, amen Brother.

Wikitorix said...

Bzzt. Thank you for playing. Now FOAD. The US Intercontinental Railroad was build by Chinese and Irish, not blacks.

Nope. The American Intercontinental Railroad doesn't even exist. There's a nearly impenetrable swamp in between Panama and Colombia that prevents the two continents from being joined by road or rail.

Big Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maillard Reactionary said...

Nice artwork. What is it about the Surrealists and eyeballs? It's always eyeballs, naked ladies, crucifixions, or long shadows in abandoned cities.

What this eyeball needs is a straight razor slicing into it, but I think that's already been done.

Separately, I speculate that 19-century blacks working on the railroad probably considered themselves better off than the field nig-- oops, I can't say that, can I. Back on the farm, was what I was going to say. More opportunities to escape, if nothing else. I learned from Frederick Douglass' memoirs (there are three) that there was a status hierarchy among the slaves. As there is in any human culture.

Thanks Jupiter for the idea about "Dinah". I learned that song from my (presumably racist) Mother as a child, and always wondered what exactly that was about. I guessed that Dinah was a cook who was not averse to giving out samples.

Pettifogger said...

The song has a nostalgic feel and emotional appeal, at least after you leave the school. I remember singing it in a Newport Beach bar with several fellow Marines one evening long ago, all of us having graduated in the Naval ROTC program at the University of Texas (Texans and Marines and you're wondering how we could be so obnoxious?). We're told we must surrender so many aspects of our culture these days. Though I have not sung the song in years, maybe I'll take up doing so, especially if, as seems likely, UT capitulates.

Pettifogger said...

Re the Yellow Rose of Texas, we have an Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio, Emily Morgan reportedly being the name of the woman who was the Yellow Rose of Texas. Legend has it that she kept Santa Ana's attention diverted as the Texian army approached San Jacinto, where Houston trounced Santa Ana. By golly, that's a legend that should be left unmolested!

Big Mike said...

@Godfather, in the 19th century a “yellow” was a light-skinned person of mixed black and white ancestry. Under the “one drop” drop rule they were treated as black under Jim Crow laws. Barack Obama is an example of a person who would have been called a “yellow” 160 years ago.

Legend has it that the reason Santa Anna got trapped at San Jacinto in 1835 is that he forced a “yellow” woman to entertain him sexually, and he was kept in bed long after he and his men should have been marching. The legend is partly true and partly false, as legends tend to be. The woman’s name was Emily West. She was a free black of mixed race (i.e., a “yellow”) born in Connecticut and she had been a servant at an estate, in Texas. She was not a prostitute. She was captured by Santa Anna’s troops when the estate was.burned, and forced to be his mistress and travel with his army. She was supposedly keeping Santa Anna occupied in his tent at San Jacinto when he should have been getting his men ready to repel Sam Houston’s attack. Emily West was the original “Yellow Rose.”

Big Mike said...

@Wikitronix, he obviously meant the Transcontinental Railroad. Asshole.

Lurker21 said...


It's not hard to find pictures of all-Black convict railroad construction crews from over one hundred years ago. It's common knowledge that in the South slaves, and later convicts, did much of the hard labor building the railroads.

It's not clear exactly who wrote "I've Been Working on the Railroad," but a version of the song that was thick with African-American dialect was sung early on at all-White Princeton University. White kids singing songs while pretending to be Black - and you can find a photo of Princetonians in blackface as late as the 1940s - that's minstrelsy.

That doesn't mean the song has to be banned, but one ought to understand and live with its origins.

jwlacy said...

There is an error in the WaPo piece. At the end of the Civil War, both Robert Lee and Washington University were flat broke. The school needed to attract students and money, so they offered the position of president to Gen. Lee. President, not teacher. Lee reorganized and modernized the school and got it back on it's feet. After Lee's death in 1870, the school's name was changed to Washington And Lee University.

Lurker21 said...

It's oppressive even if you don't know the background story. It speaks of surveillance and endless oppressive work.

I sort of get that. At crucial moments - on the eve of battle, say - it wasn't unheard of for a commander to say that "the eyes of the nation are upon you," but to have those eyes on oneself night and day, does seem a little too much. Maybe the Texans just went with the first thing that fit the rhyme and meter.

Unknown said...

The human condition is that our consciousness is invisible to others. Part of us longs to be visible in a way that transcends our essential interiority.The eyes of texas are making the people they see feel as though their lives have meaning and purpose. This is why our God is omniscient

That's how the song sounded to me.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Three young Gritzkofes graduated from UT. Leave it alone.

But let us pause and give a listen to Kinky Friedman,

Big Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AltStruck said...

Have no fear Ann, I your faithful, shy reader of many decades will come to your defense!

My fellow Texans, I beseech thee to acknowledge the wisdom of Ann's perspective! Surely you must see how foreign it would be for any Wisconsinite to find merit, much less pride in the esteem of fellow Wisconsinites!

Have empathy for that deficit of succour that exists for all Americans who cannot claim Texas as their home!

We should not preen in our well deserved profusion; but rather draw strength from a humility founded on the bedrock of undeniable accomplishment.

Be kind to your fellow citizens; their inability, whether mental, emotional or financial, to move to Texas only serves to keep Texans whole and stronger and should not be held against them.

They too serve to further the glory of Texas, those who allow their weaknesses to restrain them.

Narr said...

jwlacy beat me to the correction re RE Lee--he was a reforming and forward-thinking leader at Washington College iirc.

A bigger deal than Ike at Columbia (have they scrubbed that connection yet?)--a far larger challenge!

Narr
Must have seemed relaxing after the Late Unpleasantness

Big Mike said...

A good summary of the "Yellow Rose of Texas" story.

The Godfather said...

Thanks Pettifogger and Big Mike for the backstory on the Yellow Rose of Texas. The eyes of Texas are upon her.

Vonnegan said...

That is a GREAT song, and the people trying to ban it need to get a life. Better yet, they should leave Texas and go hang out in California or Massachusetts, where they would no doubt be more welcome.

When my husband and I graduated from UT Law (~25 years ago), at the end of the Sunflower Ceremony, the law school professors stood (they were on stage), the graduates stood, and the professors sang The Eyes of Texas at us while making the "hook 'um horns" sign. Not oppressive, not racist - simply "make us proud or you'll hear about it". It was amazing and damn, did you feel like you'd graduated after that. Neither of my boys will go to UT, but I have a soft spot for it, and for The Eyes of Texas.

Lucien said...

GingerBeer:

I have my doubts about “Norwegian Wood”.

Dagwood said...

Rumor has it that Bevo has requested to be placed in the transfer portal.

glacial erratic said...

Any human culture is a mix of practical customs and more or less arbitrary ones. The Leftist tendency is to attack every custom they can twist into calling "offensive" or "racist". It is not an attempt at reform. They are not creating a new culture, because what is offensive changes every day. Instead, it is a brutal application of political power. This will not end well.

Skippy Tisdale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skippy Tisdale said...

On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin, raise her glowing flame.

No doubt this is about cross-burning.

Skippy Tisdale said...

On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin, raise her glowing flame.

No doubt this is about cross-burning.

Skippy Tisdale said...

The melody is based on “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” which has its own origins in minstrelsy and other stereotypical depictions of Black people.

Cole Porter is just as guilty of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZrmp9tXGb0