The Leas School,  Hoylake

The  School  Song  and  the  School  Hymn

The School Song

The School Song is the school's mission-statement, based on the school's motto Deo parere libertas (a clever Latin phrase, which can be taken either as "to obey God is freedom", or "freedom to obey God"), a more responsible philosophy than mere mens sana in corpore sano (a Latin phrase meaning "a healthy mind in a healthy body", from the poet Juvenal).

The words of the motto and the song are probably by Percy Stovin Dealtry (1867-1938), who founded the school in the 1890s with co-founder Charles John Henry Barr (1870-1939). The aspirations seem acceptable over 120 years later, though the "straight square game" is no longer fashionable, and some of the language is quaintly dated (eg "licked" for "roundly defeated").


The School Hymn

The School Hymn is very different. The Soldier's Watchword is a marching hymn to self-sacrifice and blind obedience, first published in about 1902, words and tune by Norman Robert Ottiwell Gifford Bennet (1867-1961), an Anglican priest of the Church Missionary Society. Such patronising twaddle should not have survived the Great War (1914-18), especially as it has absolutely no musical or poetic qualities to excuse its militaristic banality.

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