Texas school pushes back on request to not play "Eyes of Texas" school song

by Jordyn Pair · Apr 27th, 2021 3:41 pm

Last Updated Apr 29th, 2021 at 10:58 pm

The University of Texas has pushed back on requests to stop using its school song, which some have said is rooted in racism.

The school's song, "The Eyes of Texas," was written in 1903 and is played before and after school sporting events.

The lyrics to the song are:

"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."

UT Professor Edmond Gordan said that while the lyrics themselves are not racist, the song was originally performed at minstrel shows, which historically feature white performers in blackface.

The university said its band will continue to be required to play the song, but that it will create a second, separate band that members can join that will not be required to play the song.

"We need to celebrate and nurture what makes UT special, and the Longhorn Band is one of those great organizations that shape our campus culture, elevate school spirit and provide amazing opportunities for our students," said University of Texas at Austin President Jay Hartzell. "Our multi-million-dollar commitment over the next five years will support the Longhorn Band in restoring — and even going beyond — its former glory, while also providing strong support for our entire portfolio of university bands."


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