A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 20, 2008
“Don’t send my boy to Texas” (Oklahoma University song)

"Don’t send my boy to Texas” was a song sung by Oklahoma University students at Texas-Oklahoma football games, dating to at least the 1940s. “Don’t send my boy to Baylor” appeared in print as early as 1924 (see below).

The original version of the song appears to be “‘Don’t send my boy to Harvard!’ the dying mother said...,” cited in print from 1919. Versions of the song were long popular at the University of Illinois and at Cornell University (mentioned in a verse to rhyme with “hell").


College Football Fight Songs
DON’T SEND MY BOY TO HARVARD
Don’t send my boy to Harvard, a dying mother said
Don’t send my boy to Michigan, I’d rather he were dead
But send my boy to Illinois, ‘tis better than Cornell
and rather than Chicago, I would see my boy in hell.
(...)
DON’T SEND MY BOY TO TEXAS
This popular college tune has long been sung by O.U. students and is regularly sung by the RUF/NEKS, an O.U. spirit group.

“Don’t send my boy to Texas!”
The dying mother said.
“Don’t send my boy to Texas!
I’d rather see him dead!
So send him to Missouri
Or better yet OU.  OU!
Don’t send my boy to OSU
For that would never do!”

14 October 1919, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “A Line O’ Type Or Two,” pg. 8:
There are so many quotations that come to mind: “Don’t send my boy to Harvard”:...

2 November 1923, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI), pg. 3, col. 3:
“Don’t send my boy to Harvard,”
A dying mother said.
“Don’t send my boy to school at all,
I’d rather see him dead.
For rather than a B. A.
I’d much prefer he’d be
An ordinary shoe clerk
Who attends posterity.”

11 May 1924, San Antonio (TX) Express, section 2, pg. 1, col. 2:
The final number for the mock coronation ceremony was the song which so comprehensively expresses the inner feeling of every Texas student:

“Don’t send my boy to Baylor,”
The dying mother said.
“Don’t send my boy to S. M. U.,
I’d rather see him dead.
Just send my boy to Texas;
It’s better than Cornell.
But rather than in A. & M.,
I’d see my boy in ____.”

24 November 1924, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. 8:
YALE, 19; HARVARD, 6. Don’t send my boy to Harvard, the dying mother said.

Google Books
Dancing at Halftime:
Sports and the Controvery Over American Indian Mascots
by Carol Spindel
New York, NY: NYU Press
2000
Pg. 97:
ILLINOIS MEDLEY
“Don’t send my boy to Harvard,”
A dying mother said;
Don’t send my boy to Michigan,
I’d rather he were dead;

But send my boy to Illinois;
‘Tis better than Cornell;
But rather than Chicago,
I’d see my boy in ----. 
(...)
(Illini Song Book, published by the Illinois Union, 1926)

17 October 1927, Decatur (IL) Evening News, pg. 6, col. 2:
And we shall sing:
“Don’t send my boy to Harvard,”
The dying mother said...etc.—


Harvard Crimson
“MY SON EMMET--”
Published On Wednesday, March 20, 1929 12:00 AM
(...)
And this time an echo of the joy is felt in Cambridge. For the voting seniors have taken the edge off the old song, “Don’t send my boy to Harvard”. Next to the college on the hill, Harvard is chosen closest to the hearts in green. Yale is Dartmouth’s keenest rival: the Indians picked Smith as their favorite woman’s college. In the choice another significant note is discernible in the balloting, for Dartmouth men may justly claim the virtue of consistency. 

16 April 1929, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “A Line O’ Type Or Two,” pg. 14:
“Don’t Send My Boy to Harvard,” the Dying Mother Said.

28 March 1930, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. 14:
“Don’t send my boy to Harvard, the dying mother said---”

26 March 1932, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. 12:
Again we will lift our voice in our bath tub to sing our favorite ballad:
“Don’t Send My Boy to Harvard, the Dying Mother Said.”

13 October 1947, Waterloo (Iowa) Daily Courier, pg. 12, col. 1:
But there was one sour note—at the University of Oklahoma Sunday night more than 1,000 student hanged a dummy labeled “Jack Sisco” on a tree in front of the administration building.

Then they sang “Don’t Send My Boy to Texas.” Jack Sisco was the referee of the Texas-Oklahoma game Saturday.

Questions for Thursday, February 12, 1998—Cornell University
My grandfather (Cornell class of ‘42) has many fond memories of Cornell and loves Cornell songs.  He remembers some of the lyrics to “don’t send my boy to harvard.” A friend of mine wrote out recent lyrics for the song, the way the glee club sings it (my question for you comes after all the lyrics):
(...)
“Don’t send my boy to Harvard,” a dying mother said. “Don’t send my boy to Syracuse (hold the “s” in a hiss). I’d rather see him dead.” (an alternative to Syracuse is “Yale or Brown") “Don’t send my boy to Princeton, but better still Cornell.” “And as for Pennsylvan-i-a (sing “eye, ay” and hold the “a"), I’d see him first in hell...” To hell, to hell with Pennsylvania, To hell, to hell with Pennsylvania, To hell, to hell with Pennsylvania, To hell with U of P.  (Shout “P. U.")

(Now hushed and make a halo over your head with your fingers) We were only only foolin’ We were only only foolin’ We were only only foolin’ (Now shout) The hell we were P.U.!

Honda Civic Forum
Master
09-11-2002

University of Oklahoma, Boomer Sooner!!!

Don’t send my boy to Texas
My dieing mother said
Don’t send my boy to Texas
For I’d rather see him dead
Send him to Missouri
Or Better stil OU
OU
Don’t Send my boy to OSU
For that will never do

Rah Rah Rah
Boomer Sooner
Boomer Sooner OKU
OKU
I’m Sooner Born
I’m Sooner Bread
And When I die
I’ll be Sooner Dead
Rah Oklahoma, Rah Oklahoma
Rah Oklahoma

OKU

Cornell Alumni Magazine (May/June 2003)
Pg. 64, col. 2:
Class of 1931
Failing memory symptoms: Somehow, faithful correspondent Myrtle “Toots” Uetz Felton (1024 E. Cushmore Rd., Southampton, PA 18966) and I became involved in a discussion of the songs that used to be sung in the dining halls on the Hill in our day. I complained that though I could remember the titles, tunes, and a few words of many, I couldn’t remember the words all the way through
of any of them. Toots came up with all the words to “Don’t Send my Son to Harvard, the Dying Mother Said,” but all I was able to dredge up was “In Bohemia Hall,” the lyrics of the one about “Michael Finnegan who grew whiskers on his chinagin,” and some of the lines about the young lady who wished she were “fascinatin’ “ so “we’d all be rich.” I wonder if they sing the same songs
today. If not, what do they sing? Rap?

The Life and Times of Me
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Song an Old Man Taught Me Today

I met a 92 year old OU alum today. He taught me his favorite song from his fraternity days…

“Don’t send my boy to Texas
A dying mother said.
Don’t send my boy to Texas!
I’d rather see hime dead…
(then everyone yelled “SEE HIM DEAD” really loud)

Send him to the Army, or better yet OU!
Don’t send my boy to Texas,
for that will never do!

It was awesome! And my new friend invited me to his house to watch the game! 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (3) Comments • Thursday, March 20, 2008 • Permalink


Does anyone know where i can find the song that is played at the osu games. It is the one they play right before the football players come out that shows that western movie clip wtih kurt russell… i want to get that song/remix but idk if i can find it online anywhere or not… thanks!

Posted by Florida Delivery Service  on  08/07  at  04:38 PM

I’ve been looking for that song too. I googled it and found nothing.. The lyrics is nice and the beat is good as well.

Posted by exhaust systems  on  09/16  at  09:20 PM

Great article post! “Don’t send my boy to Texas” was reputed song. I familiar to the song because of heard the song from my father. Thanks!

Posted by Andy Simpson  on  07/07  at  07:39 AM

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