Blacks and liberals feel it is racist...

By: Contrarian



...Of course almost everything is racist to many blacks and liberals.   The story behind the song is as follows.  Just after the turn of the 20th Century, the band director realized that the University of Texas did not have a school song, so he went to a student, John Sinclair, and asked him to write one.  Since the President of the University (Prather) would end every one of his speeches to the student body with the phrase "the eyes of Texas are upon you", meaning the citizens of Texas were always watching over the progress of their best and brightest at the university.  As a joke, Sinclair made that the title and topic of his song.  The band director decided the best time for the song to be unveiled was when the president could hear it.  A minstrel show he would attend was scheduled in the immediate future, so it was decided it would be sung then.  The director added music to it, from the tune "I've been working on the railroad", and the song was performed at the show for the president.  It was a big hit and has been ever since.

HOWEVER....Although the wording has nothing to do with racism...some sleuths came up with some damning evidence about the song.  Since it was a minstrel show, the people who sang the song that first time were wearing blackface....evidently very common back in the day.  Also, the later stanzas on "I've been working on the railroad" which nobody sings, are racist as well...although probably nobody realized that at the time and the song's origins are somewhat unclear. So since the song was racist, the tune was guilty by association.  Add these grievious sins together, and you get a song that many are outraged by. Two of the football program's favorite sons, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams, have both chimed in, basically saying the controversy is ridiculous, and want to keep singing it...but much of the student body and football team is against it.  The band won't play it. The administration is strongly behind keeping it however...hence the impasse which Sark seems to be in the middle of.  

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