One of my favorite things about the Yale Glee Club , of which I was a member for three years, is its attention to and care for old student songs. Every member upon joining is given a Yale Song Book, full of things like “Gaudeamus Igitur,” “‘Neath the Elms”, and, of course, ” Bright College Years .” A friend recently pointed out to me a song that appears only in older editions that I thought worth sharing:

“The Pope”

The Pope he leads a jolly life,
He’s free from every care and strife;
He drinks the best of Rhenish wine,
I would the Pope’s gay life were mine.

He drinks the best of Rhenish wine,
I would the Pope’s gay life were mine.

But he don’t lead a jolly life,
He has no maid or blooming wife,
He has no son to raise his hope,
Oh! I would not be the Pope.

He has no son to raise his hope,
Oh! I would not be the Pope.

The Sultan better pleases me,
His life is full of jolity,
He’s wives as many as he will,
I fain the Sultan’s throne would fill.

He’s wives as many as he will,
I fain the Sultan’s throne would fill.

But still he is a wretched man,
He must obey the Al-Koran,
He dare not drink one drop of wine,
I would not change his lot for mine.

He dare not drink one drop of wine,
I would not change his lot for mine.

So when the maiden kisses me,
I’ll think that I the Sultan be,
And when my Rhenish wine I tope,
Oh then I’ll think that I’m the Pope.


“The Pope” is apparently actually a translation of a German drinking song , so be sure to file this away somewhere for next year’s Oktoberfest. Aspiring musicians can find sheet music for the Yale version on page five here .

Thanks to Dylan Morris.

Articles by Tristyn K. Bloom

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