100 Days Chant


Informant is a friend of mine from high school. She is now a junior at USC. She is a first-generation Vietnamese American, and is from Woodbridge, Virginia. She does not have any specific religious affiliations. We both attended The Madeira School, although she graduated two years before I did. Various alumnae were interviewed to compare versions of the same lore from the school. She is referred to as “AH”.


I asked the informant to recite a chant sung by the seniors at our high school.


Interviewer: Can you recite the Madeira chant senior chant for me?

AH: Oh my God. Wait, hold on the 100 days one?

Interviewer: Yeah.

AH: Do I even remember it? Um, how does it start? Oh!

Hark the Herald angels shout!

A hundred days till we get out!

A hundred days till we are free

from this penitentiary

(While clapping)

back to smoking

back to drinking

back to sex!

and evil thinking

hark the Herald angels shout!

A hundred days till we get out!


Unlike the other traditions from Madeira, I only asked AH about this tradition, as it has become “canon” at Madeira. This chant is specifically sung after 100 Days, a special day that marks 100 days to graduation. The seniors perform the chant on 100 Days and at all-school events until graduation, counting down to graduation. For example, if graduation is in 35 days, then 35 would be subbed out in the lyrics instead of 100. The origins of this chant, however, are unknown. It is also questionable about how it became endorsed by the school, as it includes references to illicit behaviors, which are very much not allowed by the school. Unfortunately, I had stopped recording at this point, but AH remarked on the hilarity of the statement “back to”, as if Madeira students had been engaging in those behaviors prior to high school. Madeira is extremely explicit in their policies against drugs, alcohol, and lewd behavior, and gets referred to as “Prison School” by some boarding students due to the strict check-out policies for boarders. This chant is entirely satirical and humorous, poking fun at the school, as well as a tool for the seniors to celebrate their proximity to graduating high school.