Delta Sig’s “Songs of the Lute” | Album Review

posted in: Nik Koulogeoge | 0

I remember at one point hearing an alumnus stand and say to a crowded room, “We need to sing more.” I cannot remember if it was a member of my fraternity or if it happened while I attended a program or convention of another organization, but I must say that I agree. 

Fraternity songs are mostly choral in nature and those modern fraternity songs I have heard, often rapped by undergraduates over canned beats, are terrible (No offense, but at the same time full offense). I have heard one great “modern” Delta Sig song written by a student at Transylvania to a country tune but it is not a part of our national album (yet). 

Still, songs are an important part of the culture of many fraternities, and so I would like to pay greater attention to them. 

“Songs of The Lute” – Delta Sigma Phi Track by Track “Review”

“The Lute” is my fraternity’s official songbook. I’m not sure there is a single copy of said book except for a decrepit copy on a piano at the central office. We do distribute CD’s to just about every visitor of said office, but in 2016 or so I uploaded the songs to SoundCloud while managing the national Twitter account and finding it a fun way to share the songs with more students/alumni. 

A few new songs have been shared at Convention, but I am sticking with the CD tracks from the early 2000’s. They were recorded by members from the Millikin University chapter in Illinois and posted to the Fraternity’s SoundCloud. (Not to pat myself on the back, but yeah, I did it when I worked at the National Office)

Without further adieu, the first Fraternity Man Album Review!

1. Dream Girl of Delta Sigma Phi

The best part about Dream Girl is it’s instructional introduction. “Gather around you Delta Sigs, it’s time for a serenade. . .” is a charming way to alert nearby brothers that it is time to serenade a lucky loved one. The ensemble does a good job with their harmonies. They add some spice around 1:05 and with the closing note of the song.

Rating: Charming and timeless. A slow jam for the ages.

2. Emblem of Delta Sigma Phi

The most subtle middle finger imaginable to every other fraternity. Even the “boom boom” part is devoid of any genuine enthusiasm or hate. Hearing this will be a surprise to many members who prefer to chant “The Emblem” as quickly as possible (and at the top of their lungs), but its fun to sing at a classier affair like a formal or chartering banquet. Most Delta Sigs know the words to this song – they just don’t know it is a song.

Rating: Versatile

3. March of the Delta Sigs

A little sluggish at times, and the piano accompaniment gives me a visual image of an old nun trying to keep up with a choir of rowdy boarding school pre-teens. The lyrics are fun and this is a great song to sing prior to an intramural game, but it’d be better without the piano. 

Rating: A cappella version pls.

4. Travelers

This 👏🏻 is 👏🏻 what 👏🏻 I 👏🏻 came 👏🏻 here 👏🏻 for.

Old-timey lyrics, a chipper melody, and a soloist who is determined to become a star. It is everything I want in a fraternity song (even if said soloist stumbles over the word “start” at one point). I beg of every chapter to learn this song and sing it on your next trip to a formal, service project, brotherhood retreat, whatever. Leave the windows open, too. The world deserves to hear this song.

Rating: The ultimate theme song for expansion teams, brotherhood retreats, and traveling consultants

5. Hail Delta Sigma Phi

I’m not here for this one.  It is sung prettily, but it seems a little, um, cultish? The lyrics are riskay if only for the fact that they skirt the line of revealing secrets without even remotely revealing secrets. . . so that’s kind of punk rock, I guess. 

Rating: A surefire way to turn off a potential member

6. Delta Sigma Phi Anthem

Could they no longer afford the piano? This is probably the most vocally interesting song of the bunch, and a great fit for a chapter with talent and time to practice, but I couldn’t understand some of the lyrics and it just seems dated. It would make for great background music or something to sing during an intermission of sorts. I just don’t see much use for it in modern fraternity life. What about this song made us call it an “anthem”? 🤷🏻‍♂️

Rating: The a cappella treatment that “March of the Delta Sigs” deserved

7. Delta Sig Rag

This is the kind of song you sing around a table with members each holding a stein of beer (or their legal drink of choice). It’s simple and has enough quirk to stand out from the rest of the bunch. The stops are fun and, HEY, the piano’s back!

Rating: Your last night as a senior before you graduate. It wishes it was more hype than it is.

8. Here’s To Delta Sigma Phi

Another “no” for me dawg. “Here’s to Delta Sigma Phi” is like “Travelers” underwhelming little brother. It doesn’t have the right momentum and the lyrics are not remotely cheeky enough to be a fraternity jam. I can imagine that seasoned alumni members might like it, and I am sure I offended at least one, but I do not get why it exists. 

Rating: CHEESE

MIA: The Secret Seal (MIA)

Missing in action along with the newly written songs is probably the 2nd most famous tune among Delta Sigs (after “The Emblem”): “The Secret Seal.” Unfortunately, some people have suggested that the song’s theme – some brothers advising another brother how to go about “stealing” a kiss from his true love – show a disregard for consent, and we did not include it in the SoundCloud upload. 

A newer version was introduced at the 2017 Convention, but I don’t think it appeased the doubters. In any case, “The Secret Seal” does serve as a unique tune for the cd-version of the album – offering a slower, almost somber melody with a chuckle-inducing ending. Perhaps we will find a more suitable replacement in due time. 

Rating: “Guess you had to be there”

That’s it! Which fraternity should be next for an album review? Let me know in the comments below or via Twitter (@FraternityNik).