FANDOM


"From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill" is a University of Virginia drinking song that has been in the Virginia Glee Club repertoire since at least the late 1940s/early 1950s, though it is rarely performed onstage.

The song has met with controversy recently, having been removed from the Cavalier Marching Band's playlist with claims that its lyrics promote sexual assault.[1] After its extensive quotation in a Rolling Stone article about an alleged gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house (since withdrawn for factual inaccuracy),[2] Glee Club president Zachary Seid announced that the Glee Club would retire the song from performance for at least the remainder of the Glee Club 2014-2015 season and potentially the Glee Club 2015-2016 season; he later clarified that a vote of the membership would be called to confirm a permanent ban on performances of the song.[3]

OriginsEdit

The song is sung to the tune of Charles Ives' "Son of a Gambolier," the same tune as "Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech." Many of the verses have origins in older drinking songs; for instance, the line about "never let a Virginia man an inch above your knee" echoes the Scottish song "The Dundee Weaver":

Come aa ye Dundee weavers an tak this advise fae me
Never let a fellae an inch abune yer knee[4]

While the earliest appearance of the song in the Virginia Glee Club recorded repertoire is the late 1940s record Songs of the University of Virginia, there is evidence of the song being on Grounds at least a decade earlier; a 1936 issue of the University of Virginia Magazine, in a section titled "From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill," describes the origin of its name thus:

Its name is taken from the first line of the song and it goes like this: From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill, We'll rule this town tonight. The Faculty's afraid of us Because we're in the right. So, fill up a cup, a loving cup As full as full can be...[5]

Another account has the song sung, alongside other folk classics as "Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah," in the University hospital precincts during World War II.[6]

The opening of the song is placed by some observers in traditional rebellion of college students against the attempt of the faculty and other authority figures to control or curb social activities.[7]

LyricsEdit

As the Cavalier Daily noted in 1967, the lyrics to the song are "the result of spontaneous composition over the years and have been known to vary from the version presented here."[8]

From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill, We're gonna get drunk tonight.
The faculty's afraid of us, They know we're in the right,
So fill your cups, your loving cups, As full as full can be,
And as long as love and liquor last, We'll drink to the U. of V.

Refrain: Oh, I think we need another drink! Heh!
I think we need another drink! Heh!
I think we need another drink! Heh!
I think we need another drink! To the glory of the U. Va.

All you girls from Mary Washington and R.M.W.C,
Never let a Virginia man an inch above your knee,
He'll take you to his fraternity house and fill you full of beer,
And soon you'll be the mother of a bastard Cavalier!

alternate verses:
From Carrols to the Corner, We will drink our beer and shout,
And if the faculty objects, They can only throw us out.
So fill up your cups, your loving cups, As full as full can be,
And as long as love and liquor last, We'll drink to the U. of V.[8]

Performance practiceEdit

"From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill" is generally performed, and has always been recorded by the Glee Club, in combination with two other brief songs, "Glory to Virginia" (to the tune of the chorus of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic") and "Fill Up Your Silver Goblet."

RecordingsEdit

Because of its subject matter, "From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill" has been less frequently recorded than other University songs.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill". Cavalier Daily. 2010-12-03. http://www.cavalierdaily.com/2010/12/03/from-rugby-road-to-vinegar-hill/. 
  2. Erdely, Samantha Rubin (2014-11-19). "A Rape on Campus". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119. Retrieved 2014-11-24. 
  3. Hainbach, Sarah (2014-11-24). "University Glee Club Temporarily Retires Rugby Road". Cavalier Daily. http://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2014/11/university-glee-club-temporarily-retires-rugby-road. Retrieved 2014-11-24. 
  4. "Dundee Weaver". Dick Gaughan Songs. http://www.dickgaughan.co.uk/songs/dundee-weaver.html. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  5. "From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill". University of Virginia Magazine. 1936. http://books.google.com/books?id=oYRUAAAAYAAJ&q=%22rugby+road+to+vinegar+hill%22&dq=%22rugby+road+to+vinegar+hill%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=h1JvVLLhK_jLsATRoICYDA&ved=0CCwQ6AEwBDgK. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  6. Leavell, Byrd Stuart (1970). The 8th Evac: A History of the University of Virginia hospital unit in World War II. p. 137. http://books.google.com/books?id=M08DAAAAMAAJ&q=%22rugby+road+to+vinegar+hill%22&dq=%22rugby+road+to+vinegar+hill%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=h1JvVLLhK_jLsATRoICYDA&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAjgK. 
  7. Green, Charles S.; Dorn, Dean S. (1999). "The Changing Classroom: The Meaning of Shifts in Higher Education for Teaching and Learning". in Pescosolido. The Social Worlds of Higher Education: Handbook for Teaching in a New Century. 2. p. 62. http://books.google.com/books?id=6BxLIN_7EoYC&pg=PA62&dq=%22rugby+road%22+%22vinegar+hill%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HlJvVLq9GPfdsAS79oK4DA&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22rugby%20road%22%20%22vinegar%20hill%22&f=false. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Traditional Songs". 1967-09-01. http://scripta.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-textwg/cavdaily.pl?str=rugby%20road%20to%20vinegar%20hill&offset=237123&fileid=19670901. 

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.