By Joey Sherman
Two people born in different towns, attending different schools, living completely different lives, but they both have one thing in common. A fight song. For four years they shared a similar tune that rallied their fellow classmates to victory. Bert Johnson who was part of the class of 83’ at Arlington High School in Arlington, Texas, was the one to spot this. While talking to a friend, and he began to hum the fight song. His friend’s wife immediately chimed in with, “Hey! That’s my high school’s fight song.” She even went on and finished the rest of the song. At this Bert became intrigued. He started to research the Arlington High’s first band director Mr. Dean Corey. The previous assumption that Bert made was that the song was written for Arlington ”in the late ‘40s early ‘50s”.
In the year 1982 The Arlington school district began the “Dean Corey Marching Extravaganza”. It is a event that was created to pay tribute to the impact that Corey had on music education in Arlington. All of Arlington’s six high schools performed their University Interscholastic League (UIL) show so they can be critiqued by the judges before going to competition. During that show one of Bert’s colleagues brought a biography of Mr. Corey to peruse. According to Bert “I discovered a passage where Mr. Corey stated that he liked the peppy tune from a fight song called “Sons of the Black and Red” and introduced it. It was a hit and so we now had a fight song. There was no other reference as to the source of the song.” The “Sons of the Black and Red” has always been the title of the Lincoln High School’s “fight song”. With the more than obvious similarities between the 2 songs, according to Bert “figured that Mr. Corey brought the song with him and it wasn’t an original like we all had thought.” Even though these songs are similar, there are a few significant differences. A prime example would be the cadences. The Lincoln High Cadence is a lot more interactive. Where as it allows the audience to spell out “L.I.N.K.S” and the Arlington High cadence isn’t so. The question now lies as when the changes occurred.
The cadence that Arlington utilizes, according to Mr. Watson “could be an original part that Mr. Corey added”. It could be used to personalize the piece for Arlington High. Two scholars who grew up 9 hours away from each other. Meeting miles away from each other. Finding out that they had a similar fight song. Bert sums it up the best as saying “Well, I’ll be…”