University of Texas Requires School Band to Play ‘The Eyes of Texas’ in 2021

Apr 24, 2021 by

The University of Texas has finally made its decision over the school song, Eyes of Texas, ordering the band to play the tune at games.

Charlie Strong stops by Longhorn Band practice

The University of Texas has finally made its decision over the school song, the Eyes of Texas, ruling that the school band will play the more than 100-year-old tune this season.

The school had temporarily told students they would not be forced to participate in the song, but ahead of the 2021 season, school President Jay Hartzell said Wednesday that the band would continue playing the school’s anthem.

Still, the school did concede by announcing the launch of a new band for 2022. The new band will not be required to play the song, Hartzell insisted. The name of the new band has not yet been determined.

The decision was made with the full backing of the school’s Board of Regents after a report released in early March concluded there was “no racist intent” behind the song. Despite that, the song was connected to blackface performances in the early 1900s.

Hartzell’s announcement posted Wednesday on the school of music’s web page said the Longhorn Band and pep band would be required to perform 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,” Hartzell said in his statement, according to the AP.

The school website explained last August that Hartzell’s decision to keep the song and defended the tune saying, “Embracing the song’s meaning today should not stop us from seeing its complicated past, and acknowledging the many ways that people see the song.”

The music of “The Eyes of Texas” was based on the minstrel song entitled “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” which mimicked black railroad workers. The school song’s writer, one-time school chief William Lambdin Prather, took the former tune and added the new lyrics that would become “The Eyes of Texas.” To compound matters, Prather’s song was introduced to the school in 1903 through a minstrel show performed by whites in blackface makeup.

This history has caused woke students to rebel against the more than one-hundred-year-old school song, and, as HookEm.com noted, resistance to the song has been growing, especially among the school’s athletes.

Source: University of Texas Requires School Band to Play ‘The Eyes of Texas’ in 2021

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