JRGS School Song Page
JRGS Alumni Society

Our School Song
When the light of truth is fading,
and the torch of faith burns low...

JRGS Alumni Society


Here are the full lyrics to our illustrious school song, supplied by Eric Webster (JRGS 1962-67) and reviewed by Derek Falkner (JRGS 1954-61). In the original version, the second line of the last verse read "Let us brace both mind and sinew to the work we have to do;" the word "sinew" seems to have been changed at some time into "body."

   The original words were written by Mr. Manning with the accompanying music by Mr. Hancock.

   As the March 1948 JRGS school magazine reported: "The song is an exhortation; a call to shake off apathy, to capture the faith that inspired men like John Ruskin. Mr. Hancock's music is stirring and spirited, and fits the words admirably."

Philip Irwin (JRGS 1976-80) adds: Before I clicked on this page about the school song, I tried to remember all I could of the song, but the only part was the striking phrase "Let us brace both mind and sinew to the work we have to do". I think it was in an assembly at Ruskin that I first came across "sinew" - it must have been explained to the students as they were learning to sing the song.
   So it was interesting to see that "sinew" at some time later was changed to "body". I can tell you that it was not changed before 1976, my first year at JR.
   I think it's a bad change, from a literary point of view. "Sinew" is better, and was well-chosen by the original writer. But I suppose that the teachers must have wearied of explaining every year what this rare word meant.

When the light of truth is fading, and the torch of faith burns low,
And the creeping dust of apathy has dimmed endeavourís glow,
Then the source of strength that Ruskin knew we, too, must see to know
To be worthy of our name.

To his memory by a mountain lake a pillar stands alone,
And the words of simple wisdom graven on the ageless stone
Show a faith in Godís abiding love that we must make our own
To be worthy of our name.

Let a vision of the grace of God exalt our searching sight;
Let us read the silent message of the stars that shine at night;
And when evil spreads its darkness let us know the power of light,
To be worthy of our name.

For a light to guide us comes from men whose works forever shine,
Men whose labours formed a pattern that was part of Godís design,
And the witness of their love of truth shall be to us a sign
To be worthy of our name.

By the might of their example let our courage rise anew,
Let us brace both mind and body to the work we have to do,
Let a flame of purpose kindle that no shadow shall subdue
To be worthy of our name.

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