Members enjoy singing at local club meetings as well as at conferences and conventions. Many special songs have been written and the one entitled Once More We Stand with the lyrics written by our founder, Judge Paul William Alexander, to the music (slightly adapted) of Finlandia by Jean Sibelius is regarded as the official "Y's Men's Hymn".
Once more we stand, new zeal our hearts im-bu-ing;
We raise our hand, our service pledge re-new-ing.
Ne'er to de-ny - our - mot-to's claim.
Y's men in fact as well as name.
Al-ways our ob - jects to pur - sue
We con-se-crate our-selves a - new.
As now we sing, in com-rade-ship more bind-ing;
Our love we bring, re-ward in friend-ship find-ing.
To ev-'ry Y'-s man far and near
we pledge de-vo - tion most sin - cere!
Glo-ry and pride Y'-s men to be,
Fill ev'ry heart with loy-al-ty!
Text by Judge Paul William Alexander ca. 1925
Theme from 'Finlandia' by Sibelius
By Wayne Smith, International Historian (2008-2016)
17 December 2010
Our Y'sdom's history books have related how music has always been an important part of life and fun is our club life and convention history. When community service clubs started, they were often luncheon clubs that did some community service. Y's Men's Clubs started as a luncheon club with service as a main focus. But, being luncheon clubs like many of the other groups, they probably had some great singing and fun as part of their meetings.
One of the early songs created was our Y's Men's Song, "Once More We Stand", written by Paul William Alexander. The lyrics he created were adapted to the music of Finlandia, by Jean Sibelius.
The history books of Y'sdom do not have any information about what year the music was written. It appears to have been during the formative years of Y'sdom. Therefore, one would be lead to believe the song was probably developed in the 1920s.
There in no information in the 1953 or the 1972 editions to indicate why the words "Once More We Stand" were chosen. The 1998 editions does not talk about the Y's Men's song.
Paul William Alexander also composed lyrics for another song, "Y's Men of All Nations". It was to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance" by Edgar.
There were many songs created and sang by Y's Men and Y's Menettes in club meetings and conventions. Many Y's Men songs were inspired by the slogans of International Presidents. The 1972 History of Y'sdom book, pages 430-432, lists many of the songs written by and for Y's Men.
A song book entitled "Y's Men's Song Book was published in 1957. The inside of the cover page has a message from Edward Miller, International President 1956-57. The first song, "Once More We Stand," is on page one. It credits Paul William Alexander, but has no date. The back page of the song book has the address of the International Office as, 25 Quincy Street, Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA. This was the address until 1962.
In 1988, Marge Swain wrote a revised version of the Y's Men's song that was beginning to be used in the Pacific Southwest Region of Area USA. In 1997, when Eric Kim was International President-Elect, he raised the issue of the Y's Men's song. As a music person, he was telling us that anyone with music training has difficulty singing our Song because there are a places where the music and words do not fit together properly.
At the 1998 International Council Meeting, the Council said "no" to the revised version and then said "no" to making the traditional song the official song. At the 1999 Mid-Year Meeting, the Area Presidents recommended we reinstate the traditional as official. At the 1999 Council Meeting the vote kept changing and do we need a newly written song. A Task Force, with Wayne Smith as Chairman, was assigned to study the problem. The final recommendations, reported at the 2000 Council meeting, are the following:
1. To keep the original song as the official song for International Conventions
2. To allow Areas, Regions, Districts and Clubs to use whatever version they have been using for their official functions and meetings.
3. There is very little interest in creating a new song for Y'sdom.