31 January 2023

Carey's true heirs will all carry the Flame: our school song, revised for our centenary

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Carey's true heirs will all carry the Flame: our school song, revised for our centenary
Carey's true heirs will all carry the Flame: our school song, revised for our centenary
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At assemblies this week, our students will sing the new version of our school song for the first time, featuring additional verses complementing the existing song. The below address was delivered at the Senior School assembly, and aptly summarises our students’ pride in beginning our next century with words that honour the past and embrace the future.

‘As we enter our centenary year, it is timely to celebrate, while also looking at how we should continue to change. One of those changes has been an updated version of our school song that we will have an opportunity to sing today.

‘Over the past year many students have had a part to play in shaping the new words that we can all sing so proudly. Part of the discussion included the melody, with unanimous support to keep the original tune. But there was agreement that some words should change to acknowledge we are 100 years old and have a really rich history.

‘We once sang that “ours not the glory of centuries’ fame”. Today we will recognise we are 100 years old as we will sing a revised first two lines that say, “Boldly we stand with great pride in our story, Founded by those from a century past”, and again in the latter part of the verse we will sing, “bright burns the Torch of our century’s gain”.

‘The original first verse acknowledges other schools, weather-worn buildings and a royal foundation. The version we will sing today will look at who we are now, after 100 years. We are our black, gold and blue colours, we are the symbolic torch and we are a shared desire to carry a positive flame into the world beyond school.

‘Let’s be proud of who we are – let’s sing out loudly. For past students the tune will be familiar. For those who are new, it’s your school too, you too should own the pride we all have in where we have come from and where we are heading. Carey is a great school. Let’s enjoy singing our school song together.’

– Ari, Senior School student

Both the original and the revised verses of the Carey School Song have a place in telling the Carey story.

The original first verse tells us that ‘Schools there are many renowned in our story’. In 1923 we were new, while many other schools were established. Carey would have been looking to others for guidance as those established schools helped provide a path for Carey. It was only many years later, in 1958, that we were invited to join the APS as part of their sporting competition. Many of those original member schools of the APS had been ‘founded by Kings in the days long ago’.

The original words of the School Song capture our beginnings, and now in our centenary year, the revised words reflect who we are now. It is not to dismiss our foundations, but it encourages us to be proud of the fact that we can now ‘Boldly stand with great pride in our story’.

And we too can now claim, as we did in acknowledging the long history of other schools in those original words, that we were ‘founded by those from a century past’.

This recognition of our rich history, something the original could not express given the School was just starting, is again expressed with the words, ‘bright burns the Torch of our century’s gain’.

There are other revisions signifying the change in 100 years. Where the original uses language with the metaphor of war and battle, perhaps appropriate for the time period, the revised version uses the metaphor of the Torch and the Flame: the enduring symbols of Carey.

On occasion, the original will be appropriate as a means to capture the courage taken in establishing a new school, whereas on other occasions the revised version will be sung, with the tie to the original found in the recognition that we were ‘founded by those from a century past’.

As Ari mentions above, the new version of Carey’s School Song was written by our current students, leaning in to their voice and their pride in their school. In this, our centenary year, we recognise that our history continues to be written by our current, past and future students, staff and families. This song is for everyone in our community, as a celebration of our progress and our history.

Peter Robson
Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing

Original version
Schools there are many renowned, in our story,
Founded by kings in the days long ago,
Weather-worn buildings, romantic and hoary,
Dimly-lit halls, where the footstep falls slow;
Ours not the pride of a royal foundation,
Ours not the glory of centuries’ fame,
Yet let us claim with a proud exultation,
Carey’s true heirs will through life play the game.
Honour and truth be our mighty defender
When in our school work temptation is strong
Shielded by these we shall never surrender
Fighting for right, we must conquer the wrong,
So in our play let this spirit inspire us
Nerve us to struggle for honour, not fame
This be our signal in conflict to fire us,
Carey’s true heirs will through life play the game.
Revised version
Boldly we stand with great pride in our story,
Founded by those from a century past
Steeped in a history with pages of glory
Black gold and blue to the world we have cast
Upholding good is our proud acclamation
Bright burns the Torch of our century’s gain
We truly tell with a firm exclamation
Carey’s true heirs will all carry the Flame.
Knowledge and truth be our constant defender
Shaping our choices, conviction is strong
Living by this we shall never surrender
Fighting for right and dismissing the wrong
So through our days let this spirit define us
Courage and Faith in both action and name
This is the motto that constantly binds us
Carey’s true heirs will all carry the Flame.

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