“Contrary, contrary, contrary to the story,
Everybody knows that this is Delta territory.
In 1913, a change was made,
And for a solid sisterhood, the foundation was laid.
Twenty-two women who were destined to lead
Founded the devastating, captivating—DST.
In Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,
Public service is our number one priority.
For royal red, and nine white pearls,
It takes a lot to be a—Delta girl.”
The informant, my mom, is from Tennessee working as a middle school Spanish teacher. She learned this sorority chant in college in the South from her sorority sisters while they were getting ready for a stepping competition. Stepping is a combination of claps, steps, and chants to a particular rhythm; this practice is popular among traditionally black Greek organizations. She told me that she learned a lot of chants while pledging Delta Sigma Theta, but she didn’t learn this one until later. These chants are usually learned directly from sorority sisters or fraternity brothers in these organizations, and many have roots as far back as the beginning of the 20th century when the organizations were founded. The chant serves primarily to tell Delta’s history and take pride in their organization, while carrying out impressive stepping as well. Thus, it is somewhat also the mythology upon which Delta Sigma Theta is founded, as it tells of its origins and identity.