• Celebrating 90 years of “That Good Old Baylor Line” as Baylor’s school song

    Baylor football players sing "That Good Old Baylor Line" after a game

    “That Good old Baylor Line
    That Good old Baylor Line
    We’ll march forever down the years
    As long as stars shall shine
    We’ll fling our Green and Gold afar
    To light the ways of time
    And guide us as we onward go
    That good old Baylor Line.”

    A Baylor tradition that unites us all — “That Good Old Baylor Line.” Whether it’s at games, graduation, or campus gatherings, it’s a song that stays with us forever, and reminds us of our Baylor story.

    First performed with the lyrics we know today on Nov. 5, 1931, our beloved song turns 90 this year!

    A brief history: After Baylor began playing intercollegiate football in 1899, students began to clamor for a school song to help promote school spirit. Over those first few years, a number of attempts at a Baylor song were made: “Our Baylor,” “Better Be for Baylor,” “Baylor U, Tried and True,” “Viva La Baylor,” and “Baylor Dear Baylor of Mine” were all proposed, but none had universal or long-lasting appeal. Finally, in 1906, a student named George Baines Rosborough found something that clicked. He revamped a popular tune of the time, “In the Good Old Summertime,” to make it a bit more BaylorProud:

    “That good old Baylor line,
    That good old Baylor line.
    Where will [name of opponent] be when
    Our stars begin to shine?
    They’ll wish they were at home again,
    Done up in turpentine.
    The day our backs come up the field,
    That good old Baylor line.”

    Over the next quarter century, the song became generally accepted among the student body as the school song. Eventually, the university decided to officially adopt “That Good Old Baylor Line” as the school song, but first, some changes were made in order to make it more representative of the entire university. So in 1931, the words were rewritten by Enid Markham (AB ’23), a Baylor graduate and the wife of a music professor.

    W.S. Allen, Baylor’s acting president, loved it. On Nov. 5, 1931, the new lyrics to “That Good Old Baylor Line” were printed on the front page of the Lariat and sung for the first time in chapel. The long wait for a school song worthy of Baylor was over. After a few more tweaks — including an original 1948 arrangement by Donald I. Moore, discovered just a few years ago by his granddaughter — we arrived at the version we know today.

    From the first time we step onto campus as Baylor students, “That Good Old Baylor Line” is with us. Of course, the Line doesn’t end there; we are forever a part of the Good Old Baylor Line.

    Sic ’em, Bears!

    [BONUS PERFORMANCES: A 1956 male chorus recording || The final singing at Floyd Casey Stadium and first at McLane Stadium || A recent Baylor Commencement || Versions by the Baylor Concert Choir, a banjo playera foot piano in Dubai, and a 2-year-old future Bear]

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