Amici-Fraternity Song

Information on the Informant: The informant, Cameron Borch, is one of my good friends who is in the same fraternity as I am at USC. He is 19 years old and is originally from Saratoga, California. He played Water polo and swam while in high school as well as participated in Crossfit. He has two older brothers, whom he looks up to and sees as his best friends. Cameron grew up in a very “masculine” environment and values brotherhood more than anything because of his family situation. Being the youngest child, he always respected and emulated his brothers actions. In fact, both his brothers attend USC as well so it follows plan that he decided to attend USC as well. In the Fall of 2015, Borch decided to join a fraternity and on the way, learned this traditional fraternity song that he shared with me.

“Our strong band can ne’er be broken
Formed in ole Phi Psi
Far surpassing wealth unspoken
Sealed by friendship’s tie

Amici, usque ad aras
(“Friendship, ongoing until death”)
Deep graven on each heart
Shall be found unwav’ring true
When we from life shall part

College life at best is passing
Gliding swiftly by — Then
Let us pledge in word and action
Love for old Phi Psi

When we sing our life’s last measure
Sweetest then shall be
Strains recalling every treasure
Of fraternity”

Analysis: This song displays a lot of the qualities that many fraternities pride themselves on. The song begins with emphasizing the fact that their bond can never be broken, that their brotherhood within the fraternity will withstand any obstacles that are thrown at them in life. It goes on to say that something like material wealth will never trump the bond that was developed in Phi Psi (the fraternity whose song this is). Additionally, what is cool about this song is that it is unique to this certain fraternity and it is known by every member who has ever joined the house, regardless of the school. Furthermore, there lies latin words within the song–the chorus and the title of the song (Amici) are latin. This corresponds with the fact that Fraternities are based on a “Greek System” of classifying houses.