student in media lab

Faculty Toast to Graduates

Hampshire College Commencement
May 22, 2010
Lynn Miller,
Professor of Biology

My apologies to Virgil Thomson and J. A. Symonds, Cole Porter, and Scholars everywhere for what you are about to hear!
[Let us live then, and be glad, While young life's before us.]

Let us live then, and be glad,
While young life's before us!
Before we too become Mom and Dad,
Before Old age hard and sad,
Today, let no one ignore us.

Long Live this College,
Those that Learning nourish;
Long Live each member of the same,
Long live all that bear its name,
Let them ever flourish.

Perish cares that pule and pine!
Perish envious blamers!
Die the Devil, thine and mine!
Die the starch-necked Philistine!
scoffers and defamers!

Let us now in youth rejoice,
None can justly blame us;
Gone are all our childish woes,
Gone are all the professors no's,
Go to Hell, just don't FLAME us!


At words poetic I'm so pathetic that I have always found it best,
instead of gettin'em off my chest, to let them rest ? unexpressed.
I hate parading my serenading as I'll probably miss a bar,
but if this ditty is not so pretty At least it'll tell you how great you are. YOU'RE THE TOP

Refrain 1
You're the top! You're the colosseum,
You're the Yiddish Book Museum,
You're 3G, you're ornia, you're ubuntu,
You're funk, jam and indie, post-modern theory,
You're autotuned!

You're the top, you're on Roberta's good side,
You're the top, cream of the crop, locally supplied,
I'm an aged prof who is fated soon to drop,
But if baby I'm the bottom, you're the top!

Refrain 2
You're the top! You're the number one hipster,
Your tight skinny jeans just barely zipper,
You've met the Dalai Lama,
You've voted in Barack Obama,
You Know It All!

You're the Farm, You're organic chard,
You've rung the bell, You've partied hard,
I'm a frightened frog, That can find no log to hop,
But if, Baby, I'm the bottom, You're the top!

Refrain 3
You're the top! You're under construction,
You're the top! You're a Div III production,
You're a quantum thinker, P B R drinker, underage,
You're the Centrum Gallery, you're Mark Spiro's salary,
You're the rage!

You're deconstructionist, you're reconstructionist,
You're a star! You're div three bliss,
Division Free, a Grad - Yipee - Don't Stop!
But if baby I'm the bottom, you're the top!


[Selections from Virgil Thomson's Dance in Praise, lyrics by JA Symonds; from Cole Porter. Most of the rhymes are from various students, graduates, and friends. Several Hampsters, including Clemma Jacobsen, Amy Saurer, Toby Stillman, Suzanne Barkan, Ivor Miller, Beth Day, Bonnie Obremski, Sam Singer, and, more recently, Samanthe Lobosco and Siena Mayers contributed phrases, lines, and rhymes. This version was scripted by Marissa Baker-Wagner, Jamie Moody and Martina Risech Neyman. A few of the lines, rhymes are mine (Lynn Miller).]

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