Informant: The interviewee in question here is a 20 year old girl studying business at USC. She hails from Austin, Texas.
Well, my high school was a private Episcopalian school that had been there for around a hundred years. And going to this school you hear a lot about the past and the traditions and a lot of them were still there. And one fun thing we did was that we had to go to chapel every day. And at chapel we’d sing all these hymns. And one of these hymns was called “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God” that I guess is just listing out the saints and they’re talking about this one saint who was slain by a fierce wild beast and at our school whenever we were singing this song, you know, usual volume blah blah blah and then you’d reach this part and everyone in the school would yell “FIERCE WILD BEAST” and it’d be this big boom and then we’d all quiet back down to usual volume. And everyone just rolled with it and that was just like one of the things.
Where’d you learn it from?
Well I went to the school from 6th to 12th grade and you would go to chapel. And the first time I went, everyone did it and I picked it up right away.
Why did this stick with you?
Everyone when they listened to the song would anticipate it. Like everyone hated singing the hymns but when that song came on everyone was down and like, you could feel it coming and we’d all come together to yell that part and laugh after. It was like a quirky thing and I have no idea how it started. And at my friend’s school they would do it too and I guess that everyone does it that way.
Private Christian schools can prove conflicted locations. This conflict stems from the conservative values of the generally much older teachers and administrators conflicting with the youthful rebelliousness of the students who attend it. Generally, any outlets for that spirit of youthful rebelliousness are demonized and punished by the religious teachers of the institution, but in this specific case, for whatever reason, it is allowed. Chapel, the most sanctified of any times at these institutions, would usually never allow for outbursts on the scale of the one described here. However, by not directly blaspheming in any way and by causing the congregation to become more engaged in the material being presented, this shout of “FIERCE WILD BEAST” is allowed.