Oh, CUA, We're Rooting for You & CU Will Shine

Albert Von Tilzer (music) and unknown (lyrics)/Traditional, 1925

During our historic music odyssey, we were able to pair up and reconstruct scores for all but a few of the lyrics from the old Tower issues. I had puzzled over the conundrum of why a song called "My Little Girl" was replicated so many times over in the marching band parts - all the way back to the beginning of the pep band in 1925. What meaning did it have to CUA? Where were the lyrics? Why would they perform a song called “My Little Girl” at football games? After working on the project and researching for a few months, I read mention in a Tower article that "C.U.A. We’re Rooting for You" was set to the popular tune "My Little Girl." Fine, but where were the words? I continued to look at the words from the October 16, 1929, issue of The Tower: SOME CHEERS TO BE LEARNED. It listed the lyrics for "C. U. Will Shine" – another song copied many times over in the marching band parts. Then I noted the first line of lyrics: "Oh, C. U. A. we're rooting for you." The lyrics didn’t fit the music for "C. U. Will Shine." Why? But they fit perfectly with "My Little Girl." Why? I then noted that over the years, the performing parts became marked with handwritten alterations that cut the end of "My Little Girl" to segue straight into "C. U. Will Shine." Some later hands even copy the two together without any note that they were once two separate songs. With that in mind, it seems understandable why, when these words were printed in The Tower, it was considered to be one song, "CU Will Shine," as that was the text now used for the chorus of the song. The piece referred to as "CU Will Shine" was actually two songs combined, one with a completely new set of lyrics (whose author is unknown). "My Little Girl" was a song by Albert von Tilzer, composer of perhaps the most famous American sports song, "Take me out the ballgame." As far as we know, CUA was the only institution to adapt this tune for our own use, probably in 1925—the year the pep band was formed by the first music instructor, Rev. William DesLongchamps—as a rousing pep song. The musical parts never included the text, and vice versa. When we realized that the text fit the music, yet another mystery was solved. - Maurice Saylor, 2011

Listen (2012 Recording)

Performed by the cast of "Songs of Old CUA" with the CUA Wind Ensemble (John Mitchell, conductor)

View Score (PDF) - Arranagement by Paul D.H. Leman, ca. 1933

Listen (1962 Recording - "CU Will Shine")

Audio from the 1962 LP CU in Song with the Chaplain's Choir directed by Daniel "Skip" Tomaselli

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