Written By Nik Koulogeorge
Honorable Mention: GBSF
Shortly after writing the album review for Delta Sigma Phi’s “Songs of the Lute,” I decided that Beta Theta Pi – the self-declared “singing fraternity” – should be next. It took some time, but I finally checked out “The Singing Fraternity,” an album published by the Fraternity in 2013. I listened to all 44 tracks and chose my ten favorites to share in no particular order - except for the first one; that one is the best.
Without further adieu, the second Fraternity Man Album Review!
I checked the YouTube playlist before I checked out the actual album. This one was listed first and is among the (if not the) most listened-to tracks. It is amazing. There is just enough self-deprecation to make it endearing. That said, the third verse is a little out of place. Still, the first two verses and the chorus are top-notch. I would join Beta just to sing this song.
Verdict: Lol. Not ASTP-friendly.
Do you know those 80’s camping movies where kids are marching and singing or that absolutely cringe-worthy scene from “Camp Rock”? This is like that, but way more charming. I can just imagine a gaggle of Beta men marching to wherever they’re going – an intramural game, maybe? – and singing this song. The singers oscillate between belts and whispers. It’s fun.
Verdict: March-worthy, but I can’t stop thinking of camping movies.
Now, I’m a little Greco-Assyrian boy from Chicago. I spent many a car ride listening to my father’s Greek songs and my mother’s Arabic/Assyrian songs. I learned the words, having no idea what they meant. That’s how I feel about Gemma Nostra. It is sung in Latin, which is a major power play if you ask me. I do not know what they are saying, but most fraternity songs are about friendship or loving people or timeless ideals or drinking; I imagine it’s something along those lines.
Verdict: What did I just listen to? A masterpiece, that’s what.
“The Loving Cup” is a nice, brotherly tune. There’s not much to say. Lots of Beta songs involve drinking in one way or another, but this one has a somber, nostalgic feel to it. It also does that “sometimes we whisper and sometimes we use our voices” thing that Beta songwriters seem to love. Good. . . I like it too!
Verdict: Last brotherhood retreat as a senior. Campfire. One beer-filled boot. . . err, Loving Cup, to rule them all.
The name alone earns this spot on a list, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this song is a favorite among the members of Beta Theta Pi. It’s ultimately about welcoming someone new into the group, and there is nothing more fraternal or wholesome than the addition of a new brother to the hood. It’s fun, it’s chipper, and it implies generosity. Solid.
Verdict: I want to be their friends.
The harmonies, man. THE HARMONIES. No, but seriously, this is a great serenade. More importantly; it’s a serenade about the recipient, not the fraternity – as many fraternity serenades turn out to be. Well sung and timeless lyrics.
Verdict: Standing outside of her room, playing “your song” on a boombox held over your head.
Imagine: You just graduated and your brothers sing this to you as you pack your car and prepare to depart. The opening melody is. . . let’s just say “familiar,” but it tugged at my GOT-DAMN heartstrings.
Verdict: I’m not crying, you’re crying.
I have a soft spot for chipper, march-type fraternity songs. “Wooglin Forever!” reminds me of my favorite Delta Sigma Phi song, “Travelers.” The lyrics are fun and the sentiment is brotherly. What more can you ask for? I do like that there is a “Wooglin” song for brand new members and another for – what seems to be – seasoned members.
Verdict: What fun we had!
Nothing gets me going like a song that’s a challenge. “Ti-de-i-de-o” is probably a ton of fun to sing. It is not remotely predictable and I imagine that it would entertain many a child.
Verdict: Something Beta’s should sing to their spawn if they wish for them to be legacy members.
Speaking of legacies, this song operates as a sort of instruction to any Beta whose son is going off to college. Now, we know that many a man will disappoint his father and join a different fraternity, BUT, if you sang “Ti-de-i-de-o” to your son as a toddler, then there is absolutely no way in hell that he won’t consider membership in Beta Theta Pi by the time you sing this song to him as an adult. I am a sucker for these types of jams. There’s something romantic about generational membership.
Verdict: Sealing the deal that “Ti-de-i-de-o” initiated.
What are your favorite songs of Beta Theta Pi? Which fraternity or sorority should be next? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.