My informant is an 18-year-old College student who is from San Francisco. His ethnicity is Dutch, Irish, and English, and Italian.
This informant is the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon and had a hard time cornering one song that he wanted to share with me. Many of the songs that they song are sacred to the fraternity and sharing them with any outsiders can be seen as a betrayal to the rest of the fraternity so he was very careful with the one that he shared with me. He chose to share with me the “SAE Yell”.
Phi Alpha Alcazee
Phi Alpha Alcazon
Sigma Alpha, Sigma Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Rah Rah Bon Ton Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Rah Rah Bob Ton Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Ruh Rah Ruh Rah Ruh Rah Ree
Ruh Rah Ruh Rah S-A-E!
Informant: “The SAE yell is something that every SAE knows. You learn it from like day one because you have your “older bros” yelling it at you like every day so it sticks in your head. It is one of those songs you have to learn quickly or else you like get in a lot of trouble. It is definitely special to me because it is something that unites us all together, since every SAE knows it we all chant it at chapter meetings or leadership seminars with other SAE’s from different schools. It also gets us fired up when we are partying or basically whatever we are doing, its kind of cool to hear everyone chanting it loudly together.”
Analysis: I thought this piece was fairly interesting. I know he has other songs that are more compelling and have deeper roots, but he is not allowed to share them with me and I respect that. I can respect the fact that they want to protect a private part of their culture and I think a lot of different cultures around the world have this same sentiment. If everyone knows every part of your culture than nothing is really held sacred anymore and anyone can be considered inside the group’s circle once they know all the secrets.