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The Paston School Song

1. Anno Domini sixteen-six
As the tale was told to me,
Is a solemn date for us to fix
Deep in our memory;
Sir William Paston, he up and said,
‘The Norfolk lads, I’m sore afraid,
Have overmuch liberty.
Come hither, Reverend Michael Tylles,
And into their heads we’ll hammer
Godly learning to guide their wills,
Arithmetic, writing and grammar.
This was the Paston School;
This the Paston School;
And we shall see that this shall be
Forever the Paston School.

2. ‘Where will you build your Paston School?’
The Reverend Michael spake;
‘Norfolk of pleasant towns is full;
Which one will you take?
Wy’ndham, or Hunst’on, Lynn or Diss,
Fakenham, Walsingham, that or this,
Tell me for goodness’ sake!’
‘None of these,’ said the knight, said he,
‘Whatever the names one calls ’em,
For the pleasantest town in the whole countie
Is that pleasant old town, NORTH WALSHAM*.
Here was… Here is…

3. And soon there came with a knock and a ring
To be fashioned at learning’s forge
A lad who witnessed when Charles was king
The Plague and the Fiery Scourge;
He built a school in London Town,
Saw Monmouth snatch at England’s crown,
And died under German George.
And over the earth and over the sea
He stretched his hand in benison,
For he founded the wonderful SPG,
The great Archbishop Tenison.
Such was… Such is…

4. ’Twere long to tell of all who came,
Of Wodehouse§, Wharton, Hoste,
Their names are on the Roll of Fame,
And never shall be lost;
But stand and shout as the last we bring,
Horatio Nelson, of him we sing,
For he is our proudest boast.
His eye was clear, his head was cool,
His glory is our star,
For what he learned at the Paston School
He taught at Trafalgar.
Such was… Such is…

5. As those who went before us strove
To hold the banner high
In peaceful academic grove
Or fields where heroes die;
Or in the common daily round,
Unpraised, unsung, but haply crowned
With immortality,
So will we strive, so will we dare
In all we say or do,
From good to better everywhere,
De mieux en mieux partout!
This was… This is…

6. Ah, never mind the dreary few
Who groan and growl and sigh,
And mutter, ‘There is naught to do,
Tomorrow we must die.’
But work like Trojans, not for pelf,
And play like Trojans, not for self,
And keep your spirits high!
Lend helping hands to those who bend
Beneath misfortune’s rod,
Honour the King, and love your friends,
And give your hearts to God!
This is the golden rule
We learn at the Paston School,
And whether we be on land or sea,
Here’s luck to the Paston School!



In verse 4, against the chorus, should be sung ‘England expects that 
every man this day will do his duty, This day will do his duty’ from 
The Death of Nelson. In verse 6, the chorus of Rule Britannia is sung.

*proof that the town is properly called North Worlzum…

§  Wodehouse was the inventor of the differential calculus, see Forder 
(2nd ed) p 154.

Thanks to Nick Stone for supplying lyrics and notes.

Norfolk Poems




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