Informant: Jimmy Lonergan. 21 years old. From Chicago. Student at USC and member of a fraternity.
“When I joined a fraternity this song really spoke to the values I hope to live and abide by. When I came to USC, I really wanted to join a fraternity due to the powerful experience of brotherhood. I come from a big family—five siblings—and I really wanted to have brothers throughout my college career. We sing this song after Monday Dinner and during chapter, all the brothers stand in a circle, lock their arms together, and sing in unison while moving from side to side:
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
Let us pledge in word and action
Love for old Phi Psi”
Thoughts: The lyrics really emphasize the importance of friendship, pledging, brotherhood, and a sacred bond. Truly, a fraternity tries to emulate these values and as Jimmy said it is the brotherhood that drew him to the fraternity. This fraternity song reminds me of the Declaration of Independence. In the Declaration of Independence, it says: “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” Fraternities are very old American organizations whose founders were inspired by the same values this country was founded upon. Truly, the song encapsulates a similar sentiment that is portrayed in the Declaration of Independence.