Thursday, June 19, 2014

Song of the Football Cup (Eton 1890)

Found- a rare pamphlet Song of the Football Cup (Ingalton Drake, Eton 1890) by R. Carr Bosanquet, with music composed by Joseph Barnby. The whole song goes thus:

Mustering under the old red wall, less than year ago 
(The sky that day was sullen and gray the frost lay hard below,)
Each of us vow'd he would conquer or fall, facing the friendly foe; 
Our hearts we steel'd as we took the field, and felt our pulses glow.

Mustering under the old red wall, less than year ago etc.,

Remember the struggle that won the game! Remember the charge we made,
When only a minute was left to us to win it was e'er a man afraid?
Lock'd in a mass on the ball we came, between the cheering hosts, 
Like a roaring wind on their long behind, and drove it through the posts.

Mustering under the old red wall, less than year ago etc.,

Tho' almost done, tho' almost dead, we knew that we should win;
With lightning pace and stern-set face and crash of shin on shin;
Then shout till you shiver the beams o'erhead, shout till you shake the sky
We've won! for my tutor's the king among Pewters and still we'll do or die!

Mustering under the old red wall, less than year ago etc.,

And year after year, as body and soul are plunged in the sterner strife, 
As pleasures and pains, losses and gains, sadden or gladden our life;
Tho' scatter'd where'er from pole to pole our conquering flags unfurl'd,
In darkest December we still shall remember the noblest game in the world!

Mustering under the old red wall, less than year ago etc.,

R. Carr Bosanquet, later a distinguished archaeologist,  makes into the DNB  and even Wikipedia although there is no mention of this rousing football chant. While at Eton he edited The Parachute and later the rare anthology Seven Summers: An Eton Medley. He was related to the distinguished cricketer Bernard Bosanquet, the inventor of the Googly. The cricketer's son was the amusing and fun-loving BBC presenter Reginald "Reggie" Bosanquet. The reference to 'the king among Pewters' probably refers to sporting trophies..


  1. Lord Brabazon of TiaraJune 19, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    I think you'll find that the picture is of Harrow rather than Eton. The hill is the clue.

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