Song page title

Contents College History The School Song


Throughout the days of history
Our kinsmen fought for liberty,
That truth might conquer tyranny
And justice only frame our laws.
The Pilgrim Fathers' sons returned
And Wymondham's verdant acres turned
To simple buildings, thus concerned
To suffer bravely for this cause.
Now, in tradition proud, we claim
Our College honours still the same
Eternal values; we exclaim
Floreat Sapientia, Floreat Sapientia,
Floreat Sapientia.

Let Wymondham College students see
That they fulfil their destiny,
In triumph or adversity,
Floreat Sapientia.
Let knowledge, faith and courtesy
Our triple inspiration be,
That we may say with constancy
Floreat Sapientia;
And when the game of life is played
Still looking forward undismayed,
Of final judgment unafraid,
Floreat Sapientia, Floreat Sapientia,
FLORUIT Sapientia.

There is an 'alternative' version here.

The song was composed by Dr Lincoln Ralphs (Chief Education Officer for Norfolk and the College's 'Godfather') to commemorate the laying of the Peel Hall foundation stone on the 16th of July 1955.  It has continued to be rolled out in succeeding years, but with the odd period of disuse. Dr Ralphs also wrote a College Prayer for the same occasion.

MIDI and Karaoke tracks have been created from an arrangement of the song by Mr Day, Head of Music at the College, and each is available below in two versions; one with the vocal melody and the other with just the piano accompaniment.  This arrangement seems to differ slightly from the original; certainly the end 'Amen' isn't familiar.  If you have the technology to edit these files and produce your own version, do please let us hear the results!  [I'm thinking Hendrix and 'Star Spangled Banner' - Ed.]

Click to play:

Floreat Sapientia (melody + accompaniment): MIDI Karaoke*
Floreat Sapientia (accompaniment only): MIDI Karaoke*

* Karaoke files require a suitable player e.g. VanBasco (freeware)
All tracks were created using
Anvil Studio (freeware)

You're right - the arrangement isn't the same as the original.  This one uses a fair number of different chords and a few twiddly bits have been inserted (as the actress said to the bishop).  If my memory serves me correctly there wasn't an 'Amen' at the end either. One bit that's missing entirely from this arrangement is the change to the final line of the second verse in which we sang 'Floruit sapientia' rather than 'Floreat sapientia' - 'wisdom shall flourish' rather than 'let wisdom flourish' (fat chance - I can only assume that they omitted it as they thought they might be had up under the Trades Descriptions Act).  Still, it's near enough for jazz as they say.

The dire dirge imprinted itself so much on my memory that I can still play it on the piano (if everybody buys me enough beer on the night I promise not to play it at the next reunion ....).

Alan Dean

I think Floruit Sapienta means wisdom HAS flourished - an even bolder statement!

Herb Atkins