In the interest of, you guessed it, “gender inclusivity,” Georgia Tech University students will soon vote on approving a change to the school’s fight song. “White & Gold” is traditionally played after the Georgia Tech football team scores a touchdown. Its lyrics read in part:
Georgia Tech is out for a victory
We'll drop our battle axe on Georgia's head, CHOP!
When we meet her our team will surely beat her…
But “Ramblin’ Wreck,” traditionally played subsequent to a point after touchdown, is the school’s official fight song, and the one students may vote to amend. Here are the lyrics to the song:
I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia
Tech and a hell of an engineer,
A helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, hell of an engineer,
Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear,
I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.
Oh, if I had a daughter, sir, I'd dress her in White and Gold,
And put her on the campus, to cheer the brave and bold.
But if I had a son, sir, I'll tell you what he'd do.
He would yell, "To Hell with Georgia," like his daddy used to do.
Oh, I wish I had a barrel of rum and sugar three thousand pounds,
A college bell to put it in and a clapper to stir it around.
I'd drink to all good fellows who come from far and near.
I'm a ramblin', gamblin', hell of an engineer.
Can you guess which lyric or lyrics this spring’s student government election ballot referendum is intended to address? It is in the second verse of “Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech,” which reads, “If I had a daughter, sir, I’d dress her in White and Gold, and put her on the campus to cheer the brave and bold.” Students will vote on whether to change the word “cheer” to “join.” It’s about time. “Cheer” is, on its face, a heinously offensive word, is it not?
An identical ballot measure was offered six years ago. Back then, 71 percent of respondents voted against trading in “cheer” for “join,” with a higher percentage of alumni than students opposing the change. But we can hope that today’s voters will be more enlightened, woker.
Gambling, ubiquitous binge drinking, saying “To Hell with”-- and smiting-- one’s opponents/neighbors are all apparently perfectly okay and sanctioned. Wielding an axe (“CHOP!”) and vowing “When we meet her our team will surely beat her” is also of no concern, but, dammit, “cheer” is beyond the pale.
I know, I know, girls shouldn’t just be cheering on the boys who are on the field. So why not rewrite the entire second verse? In fact, I’ll do so right now:
Oh, if I had an offspring who
identified as female, xir, I'd dress her in White and Gold,
And put her on the campus, to join the brave and bold.
But if I had an offspring who identified as male, xir, I'll tell you (they?) what he'd do.
He would yell, "To Hell with convention" like his parental unit used to do.
I’m a ramblin’, gamblin’, Hell of a social
engineer. Am I not?