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Epistemology Forever
From Spencer Wyant '64

Here are the lyrics for "Epistemology Forever" that Jennifer Hunter Galovich '69 asked for in the May issue of the magazine. We ran it in a 1964 Canyon Day program. The "Canyon Day Concert" was, as I remember, a small bunch of people with varying instruments and degrees of skill who gathered early in the morning to make what some called music and others called a godawful ruckus. Water balloons were a prominent feature of the day, hence the admonition not to soak the musicians. For my part, I would like to have a definitive telling of the time when the George Fox bell was dropped off the Ross Island Bridge, and a couple other tales (which may be sheer fiction, of course). Like we always said, "The distinguishing characteristic of a Reed student is an infinite capacity for useless ingenuity."

The Reed College Cacophonic Concert Band presents
Third Annual Canyon Day Pops Concert*
Baseball Field 3 p.m.


Assorted mood music and patriotic rally tunes,
interspersed with jubilant cries of "Rah! Rah!"
"Epistemology Forever" Reed College Alma Mater
(Community sing--to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic")

We have sat on rainy mornings in a dusty lecture hall,
We have listened to them holding forth on no damn thing at all,
We have missed an hour's sack time just to hear the clarion call,
The Truth does not exist!

Epistemology forever,
Disputatio so clever,
Metaphysics now or never,
The Truth does not exist!

As we've sat about in conference on a sunny afternoon,
We've been fed a lot of moral pap from Socrates and Hume,
And they feed it to us gently with an imaginary spoon,
The Truth does not exist!

The Truth does not exist!

We discuss the moral notions of the frozen Eskimo,
And whether moral systems hold for all from pole to pole,
And conclude that all of mankind has a truly moral soul,
And time goes by so slow!

And time goes by so slow!

We sit in lectures waiting for a word of common sense,
And we're not about to find it 'cause the lecturer is dense,
So we scribble stupid ditties for our sanity's defense,
For the Truth does not exist!

The Truth does not exist!

Now we spend our time in wondering if we have got free will,
And then we ask, is justice good, but we have had our fill
Of ultimate reality and philosophic swill,
For we do not exist!

For we do not exist!

* Note: Please do not throw anything at the musicians; the instruments can be damaged.

From Charles Lave '60
[Charles also came up with the words to "Epistemology Forever" that he said were printed in the Quest, circa 1958. Ed.]
I believe the song was written by Bill Hunt '58 during a classic multi-hour coffee binge at the old coffee shop. It's good stuff and deserves reprinting.

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