Puneet Varma (Editor)

Annie Lisle

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Annie Lisle

"Annie Lisle" is the name of an 1857 ballad by Boston, Massachusetts songwriter H. S. Thompson first published by Moulton & Clark of Newburyport, Massachusetts, and later by Oliver Ditson & Co. It is about the death of a young maiden, by what some have speculated to be tuberculosis, although the lyric does not explicitly mention tuberculosis, or "consumption" as it was called then. The song might have slipped into obscurity had the tune not been adopted by countless colleges, universities, and high schools worldwide as their respective alma mater songs.


Alma Maters

The first college to have used the tune in a spirit song seems to have been Cornell University. In 1870, students Archibald Weeks and Wilmot Smith wrote "Far Above Cayuga's Waters" and used an adaptation of Thompson's melody. Many other colleges and high schools, likely influenced by Cornell's version, have since created their own renditions. Some include:

  • Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity
  • Acadia University
  • Altoona Area High School, Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Alliance High School, Alliance, Ohio
  • American University of Beirut
  • Anderson High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Annapolis High School, Annapolis, Maryland
  • Arkansas High School, Texarkana, Arkansas
  • Ashworth College
  • Astoria High School, Astoria, Oregon
  • The Barstow School, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Bay City Central High School, Bay City, Michigan
  • Bay High School (Panama City, Florida)
  • Baldwin Boys High School, Bangalore, India
  • Bellevue High School, Bellevue, Washington
  • Bentley High School, Livonia, Michigan (George N. Bentley High School)
  • Bishop O'Dowd High School, Oakland, California
  • Brent International School, Baguio City, Philippines
  • Brunswick High School, Brunswick, Maryland
  • Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa
  • Cabot High School, Cabot, Vermont
  • Camp Emerald Bay
  • Caesar Rodney High School, Camden-Wyoming, Delaware
  • Cairo High School, Cairo, Georgia
  • Calhoun Falls Charter School, Calhoun Falls, South Carolina
  • California State University Bakersfield, Bakersfield, California
  • Camden County High School (Georgia), Kingsland, Georgia
  • Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, Tennessee
  • Carter High School, Strawberry Plains, Tennessee
  • CCC Yenching College, Hong Kong, China
  • Central-Carroll High School, Carrollton, Georgia
  • Central Catholic High School, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Central Columbia High School, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Darlington School, Rome, Georgia
  • Charles E. Gorton High School, Yonkers, New York
  • Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (in Chinese)
  • Chung Ling High School, Penang, Malaysia (in Chinese)
  • Churchland High School, (Portsmouth, Virginia)
  • Coldwater High School, Coldwater, Ohio
  • College of William & Mary, James Southall Wilson
  • Collingswood High School, Collingswood, New Jersey.
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Concord-Carlisle High School, Concord, Massachusetts
  • Coppell High School, Coppell, Texas
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
  • Crystal City High School, Crystal City, Texas
  • Daniel Webster High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Davis College
  • Decatur County High School, Oberlin, Kansas
  • Deep Creek High School, Chesapeake, Virginia
  • Delbarton School, Morristown, New Jersey
  • Doane University, Crete, Nebraska
  • Dos Palos High School, Dos Palos, California
  • Dripping Springs High School, Dripping Springs, Texas
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, Massachusetts
  • Eastwick College and the HoHoKus Schools, Ramsey, New Jersey
  • Edcouch-Elsa High School, Edcouch, Texas
  • Effingham County High School, Springfield, Georgia
  • Emory University
  • Erskine College
  • Escambia County (AL) High School, Atmore, Alabama
  • Etna High School Etna, Pennsylvania
  • Eureka College
  • Farmington Senior High School, Farmington, Missouri
  • Foothill High School, Bakersfield, California
  • Frankfurt American High School, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Franklin Central High School, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Franklin College, Franklin, Indiana
  • Gainesville High School (Florida), Gainesville, Florida
  • Gainesville High School (Georgia), Gainesville, Georgia
  • Gallatin High School, Gallatin, Tennessee
  • Giles County High School, Pulaski, Tennessee
  • Graham High School, Bluefield, Virginia
  • Green High School, Green, Ohio
  • Greensburg Salem High School, Greensburg, Pennsylvania
  • Grove City High School, Grove City, Ohio
  • Hanover Area School District, Hanover Township, Pennsylvania
  • Hartselle High School, Hartselle, Alabama
  • Hixson High School, Hixson, Tennessee
  • Holton-Arms School, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Hopewell High School, Hopewell, VA
  • Houston County High School, Warner Robins, GA
  • Horseheads High School, Horseheads, New York
  • Howard Payne University, Brownwood, Texas
  • Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore (in Chinese)
  • Ider High School (Alabama), Ider, Alabama
  • Ilion High School, Ilion, New York, Down Among the Peaceful Valleys
  • Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, 1912
  • Indiana University, J. T. Giles, 1893
  • Irving High School (Texas)
  • Jackson High School, Jackson, Missouri
  • Jacksonville High School, Jacksonville, Alabama
  • Kentucky Wesleyan College, Owensboro, Kentucky
  • Keuka College, Keuka Park, New York
  • Kodaikanal International School, Tamil Nadu, India
  • La Jolla High School
  • Lake Oswego High School, Lake Oswego, Oregon
  • Lampeter-Strasburg High School, Lampeter, Pennsylvania
  • Lehigh University
  • Léman Manhattan Preparatory School
  • Leon High School, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Lewis & Clark College
  • Lindbergh Senior High School, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Lingnan University ( Canton, China )
  • Lingnan University ( Hong Kong )
  • Lyman Hall High School (Wallingford, CT)
  • Martin Methodist College, (Pulaski, Tennessee)
  • Massanutten Military Academy (Woodstock, VA)
  • McDaniel College, Westminster, Maryland
  • Meadville Area Senior High School, Meadville, Pennsylvania
  • Mentor High School, Mentor, Ohio
  • Mercer University
  • Milan High School, Milan, Tennessee
  • Millsaps College, Jackson, MS, circa 1914
  • Milford High School, Milford, Massachusetts
  • Milton High School, Milton, Florida
  • Mississippi Valley State University
  • Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Mortimer Jordan High School, Kimberly, Alabama
  • Moravian College, J. Kenneth Pfohl, 1900
  • Munsang College, Kowloon
  • Murray State University, A.B. Austin, 1935
  • New Albany High School, New Albany, Indiana
  • New York Military Academy, Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York
  • North Greenville University
  • North Dallas High School, Dallas, Texas
  • Northampton Area High School, Northampton, Pennsylvania
  • Northern Lehigh High School, Slatington, Pennsylvania
  • Oakdale High School, Oakdale, California
  • Oglethorpe County High School, Lexington, Georgia
  • Orange High School, Orange, California
  • Orangefield High School, Orange, TX
  • Ornellas High School, Pune, India
  • Oviedo High School, Oviedo, FL
  • Oxford High School, Oxford, Alabama
  • Palmyra Area High School, Palmyra, Pennsylvania
  • Paulsboro High School, Paulsboro, New Jersey
  • Peach County High School, Fort Valley, Georgia
  • Peninsula Catholic High School, Newport News, Virginia
  • Pennsbury High School, Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania
  • Pensacola High School, Pensacola, Florida
  • Perkiomen School, Pennsburg, PA, 1911, lyrics by Al Dubin
  • Pflugerville High School, Pflugerville, Texas
  • Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Evansville, Indiana
  • Pilot Point High School, Pilot Point, Texas
  • Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
  • Prosper High School, Prosper, Texas
  • Raytown High School, Raytown, Missouri
  • John H. Reagan High School, Houston, Texas
  • Redlands High School, Redlands, California
  • Reinhardt University, Waleska, Georgia
  • Ripon College, Ripon, Wisconsin
  • Roanoke Bible College, Sarah P. Bondurant, 1948
  • Robert Lindblom Math & Science Academy, Chicago, IL
  • Robert Morris University, Moon Township, PA
  • Round Rock High School, Round Rock, Texas
  • St. John's Preparatory School, Danvers, Massachusetts
  • Saint Lukes School, New Canaan, Connecticut, 1927
  • Siuslaw High School, Florence, Oregon
  • Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, Texas
  • Snyder High School, Snyder, Texas
  • Soochow University, Taipei (in Chinese)
  • Soochow University, Suzhou, China (in Chinese)
  • Sparrows Point High School, Sparrows Point, Maryland
  • Spotswood High School (Virginia), Penn Laird, Virginia
  • Spotsylvania High School, Spotylvania, Virginia
  • Straughn High School, Andalusia, Alabama, 1886
  • Stuart Hall School, Staunton, Virginia, 1843
  • Jinling High School, Nanjing, China (in Chinese)
  • Lingnan University (Hong Kong)
  • Navasota Junior High School, Navasota, Texas
  • Rosman High School, Rosman, North Carolina
  • Salem Washington Academy, Salem New York
  • Saint Marys High School, Saint Marys, West Virginia
  • Sandy Valley Jr./Sr. High School, Magnolia, Ohio
  • Shawnee Mission North High School, Shawnee Mission, Kansas
  • The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
  • Shortridge High School, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Sodus High School, Sodus, New York
  • South Lamar High School, Millport, Alabama
  • Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
  • Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Stuyvesant High School, New York, New York
  • Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Oklahoma
  • Swarthmore College
  • Syracuse University, Junius W. Stevens, 1893
  • T.L. Hanna High School, Anderson, SC
  • Tallassee High School (Tallassee, Alabama)
  • Tecumseh High School (Michigan), (Tecumseh, Michigan)
  • TED Ankara College Foundation Schools, Ankara, Turkey (Turkish lyrics by Yusuf Mardin)
  • Tennessee Temple University
  • Tennessee Wesleyan College
  • Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce, Texas
  • Texas Leadership Charter Academy, San Angelo, Texas
  • The Chinese High School, Singapore (in Chinese)
  • The Great China University (1924-1951), Shanghai, China (in Chinese)
  • Theodore Roosevelt High School, Kent, Ohio
  • Thornton Academy, Saco, Maine
  • Torrance High School (Torrance, California)
  • Tucker High School (Tucker, Georgia)
  • Unioto High School (Chillicothe, Ohio)
  • University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
  • University of Alabama, Helen Vickers, 1908
  • University of Central Oklahoma
  • University of Georgia, J.B. Wright, Jr., 1912; (additional verse by Gail Carter Dendy, 1974)
  • University of Kansas, George Penny, 1891
  • University of Missouri, G.A. Wauchope, 1895
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • University of North Alabama, Florence, AL
  • University of North Carolina, William Starr Myers, 1897
  • University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
  • Vanderbilt University, Robert F. Vaughn, 1907
  • Vallejo Sr. High School, Vallejo, CA
  • Western Carolina University
  • Western Washington University
  • Westerville Central High School
  • Westside High School Anderson, South Carolina
  • West Orange-Stark High School
  • William Byrd High School, Vinton, VA
  • Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota
  • Woodberry Forest School, Woodberry Forest, VA
  • Woodrow Wilson High School, Portsmouth, VA
  • Woodward High School, Woodward, OK
  • White Plains High School, Anniston, AL
  • Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC
  • Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Lyrics

    Down where the waving willows ’Neath the sunbeams smile, Shadow’d o’er the murm’ring waters Dwelt sweet Annie Lisle; Pure as the forest lily, Never tho’t of guile Had its home within the bosom Of sweet Annie Lisle. CHORUS Wave willows, murmur waters, Golden sunbeams, smile! Earthly music cannot waken Lovely Annie Lisle. Sweet came the hallow’d chiming Of the Sabbath bell, Borne on the morning breezes Down the woody dell. On a bed of pain and anguish Lay dear Annie Lisle, Chang’d were the lovely features, Gone the happy smile. [CHORUS] "Raise me in your arms, O Mother; Let me once more look On the green and waving willows And the flowing brook. Hark! the sound of angel music From the choirs above! Dearest mother, I am going; Surely God is love." [CHORUS]

    In popular culture

    The tune played as the Alma Mater of Springfield College on the TV show Father Knows Best, season 6, episode 8, "Margaret's Old Flame".
    The tune is used in the parting song for the Kellerman Resort in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, as well as the tune sung by the Purdue University students in the 1953 film Titanic.
    The tune was featured in Hey Arnold! as the school song of PS-118
    The tune was used for the Civil War battle song "Ellsworth's Avengers" [words by A. Lora Hudson, musical adaptation by S. L. Coe] paying tribute to Col. Elmer Ellsworth, the first Union officer killed in the conflict. He was shotgunned by the innkeeper after removing a confederate flag from the rooftop of an Alexandria, Virginia hotel.


    Annie Lisle Wikipedia

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