Miscellaneous Institute TriviaBy Brian Loux
The Engineer’s Drinking Song
1. “The Engineers Drinking Song” originally came to MIT through the Georgia Tech fight song, “The Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech.” That song was developed from the English drinking song “The Son of a Gambolier” by bandmaster Michael Greenblatt in 1910, though the lyrics themselves were officially established in the school’s yearbook in 1908.
I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech, and a hell of an engineer.
A helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva 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.
2. The MIT version of the song was widely known on campus and appeared in the MIT songbook for over half a century, but was never part of any campus singing group’s repertoire. It was first arranged for a four-part chorus in 1980 by MIT Chorollaries member David Bass ScD ’83. The Chorollaries now perform the song at every concert.
We are, we are, we are, we are, we are the Engineers.
We can, we can, we can, we can, demolish forty beers.
Drink rum, drink rum, drink rum all day, and come along with us,
‘Cause we don’t give a damn for any old man who don’t give a damn for us!
(Sources: http://ramblinwreck.ocsn.com/trads/ geot-trads.html, interview with David Bass)
3. Creating your own verses to the song is a long-standing tradition at MIT. Residents of Burton Suite 141 of the Burton-Conner dormitory created this and other verses in 1995 to honor the women on the floor:
We are the girls who sing and dance and drink on Burton One.
Tequila shots to rum and coke, we do it all for fun.
But sometimes when we start to drink, we tend to draw a crowd.
So we hang up bras and put up signs: No Penises Allowed!
(Source: http://web.mit.edu/burton1/www/ suites/141/141old.html)
Issel Lim contributed to the research of this column.