The songs and yells
of the University of Trinity College
in the University of Toronto
are diverse. Many of the songs seem archaic and bizarre to outsiders, but are a cherished part of daily life in the college, and are of diverse and often obscure origins. The predominant sources are twofold: some are inherited directly from the Oxbridge
universities in England, while many of the more recent have their roots in periods and events in Trinity’s own history.
The college song, Met’Agona Stephanos, has been rewritten so many times that it now includes both Greek and Latin verses. The first Latin verse, Nimium Cervisi, was an epinikion, a victory ode sung after the annual steeplechase run on St. Simon and St. Jude’s Day, the 28th of October. It seems to originate from about 1895, while the rest of the song is at least twenty years older, possibly from as early as 1863, it having been the song of the Trinity company in the era of the Fenian raids
. Reports that the Trinity College company, deployed in reserve as part of the Canadian contingent during the Niagara raid, mistakenly fired into a retreating company from University College
are apocryphal. Alternately, Reed writes in his history of the college that there is some indication that the original Greek verses of the song were brought from a German university by a member of the faculty in the early years of the college. "Sanctum Hildiam canimus" is the St. Hilda’s verse... Read More