University of Texas Confirms “The Eyes of Texas” Will Remain Official School Song

The UT System Board of Regents confirmed the controversial anthem is not going anywhere

University of Texas Confirms "The Eyes of Texas" Will Remain Official School Song
The Texas Longhorns band performs before a Big 12 matchup in 2018.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Even though the school’s band won’t play it due to its roots in racist minstrel shows, “The Eyes of Texas” will remain the official song of the University of Texas.

A day after University of Texas president Jay Hartzell confirmed a recording of the song would be played when the Longhorns take on Baylor this weekend in Austin in lieu of a live version, the UT System Board of Regents confirmed “The Eyes” is not going anywhere.

Regents chairman Kevin Eltife said the board “stands unequivocally and unanimously” in support of Hartzell’s statement that “The Eyes” is, and will continue to be, UT’s official song even though some Longhorn band members are now refusing to play it.

“The Eyes of Texas has been UT Austin’s official school song for almost 120 years,” Eltife said in a statement. “It has been performed at most official events — celebratory or solemn — and sung by proud alumni and students for generations as a common bond of the UT family. It is a longstanding symbol of The University’s academic and athletic achievements in its pursuit of excellence.”

The song takes its name from a quote from Confederate General Robert E. Lee. While he was the president of Washington College in Virginia (now Washington and Lee University), Lee would frequently remind students “the eyes of the South are upon you.”

President Hartzell has asked a campus committee to study the song’s origins, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The group is expected to have its work finished by January.

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