I have always been a performer. While my blog header is “reader, thinker, writer,” it might as well be “dancer, pianist, singer, actor.” I’ve always wished I could be on the stage, and was, in college and a little afterwards. I was happy that when I was in college, my sorority gave me the chance to sing quite a bit, during recruitment and initiation or at serenades.
It was an honor, then, to be invited to sing when we celebrated Alpha Phi’s 100th anniversary on the campus at the University of Missouri. There had been some rough times at Omicron after I left, and despite the hardships, they persevered and our chapter survived, unlike many others that are no longer on campus. The Centennial celebration included a celebration of song at A Phi throughout the decades, and with recruitment approaching, we thought it fit to show other Phis what a great song tradition Omicron has.
Note: This website was taken down in 2017. The posts I wrote for the blog are no longer available to link to, so I have included the full text below, removing links where necessary.
Boom, Boom, ain’t it great to be A Phi?
Songs have always been a large part of sorority life. As the collegiates prepare for formal recruitment, we wanted to take a look back at some of the memories Omicron alums have of the songs of Alpha Phi.
Claire Rittendale Devoto ’70 was a songleader in the era of folk songs. She says that “singing together brought our sisters together; even those who didn’t care for singing always participated in some way.” She loved the songs from initiation and still sings them to her grandchildren, just as she did with her own children.
Sidewalk songs grew in importance in the 1980s. Alpha Phis would spill out of the house, singing popular chants and songs to help potential members learn about the house and its history. Do you remember this one?
I am an Alpha Phi, loyal and true.
I chose the ivy leaf ’cause nothing else would do.
So now I’m wearing that golden pin, the Silver and Bordeaux,
and it stands for top notch girls wherever we go!
Oh, Alpha Phi! Alpha Phi!
Go right out and make a friend, sisters ’til the very end!
Alpha Phi! Alpha Phi!
Meet ’em! Greet ’em! Win ’em! Pin ’em! ALPHA PHI!
In the 90’s, Phis continued the tradition of such pref songs as “Eppo,” “El Shaddai” and “Only You.” Cheri Hall Marks ’91 was excited to gather a group of singers for the Centennial to sing “Only You” and “El Shaddai.” Just thinking about the songs we sang during recruitment, meetings and initiation brought back another memory or special feeling. She thinks that “the songs are very important because they describe what it means to be an Alpha Phi when you can’t find the words to describe it yourself.”
The current VP of Recruitment at Omicron, Nora Baker ’08 says that they continue to use both old and new songs at Alpha Phi today. During recruitment, as in the past, the chapter tries to mix traditional Alpha Phi songs with more modern songs that will be recognized by the prospective members. They’ve added new songs like “You Get Me” by Michelle Branch to their repertoire, and this year, she notes, “we’re also adding a new song, most likely either ‘Realize’ by Colbie Caillat, or ‘Whenever You Remember’ by Carrie Underwood.”
As Omicron does their final practice sessions to prepare for the week ahead, all we can do is say…
So long, bye now! (boom boom)
It’s been a wonderful time,
and an Alpha Phi time,
and we hope to see you again!
(Boom boom boom)
Want to help decorate the house for recruitment? Order flowers through Patricia’s Flower Shop at 573-474-9425 or FTD at www.ftd.com. Rush starts on Sunday, August 14 and runs through Bid Day on Saturday, August 20.