School Song - Tempus Est

Tempus est ut concinamus, quicquid Edwardensium,
nunc adestis: hoc sit omnis thema nostri carminis:
qualis est qui cuique nostrum semper aemulandus est?

ille verus Edwardensis, quisquis humani nihil
a sese alienum putabit, usque consors ceteris
sive gaudebunt secundis seu laborabunt malis.

strenuus labore mentis, corporis non neglegens,
omnium sententiarum perspicax inquisitor:
semper artium bonarum pervicax videbitur.

[from Speechday Leaflet 1966]

John Hazel (1941-51) offers the translation:
'It is time to sing together: all Edwardians that are now present, let this be the theme of our song: what kind of man is he whom we should all imitate?
It is that true Edwardian who considers that nothing human is alien to him, ever associating with others, whether they rejoice in prosperity or toil under troubles.
Energetic in mental effort, he does not neglect his body; a penetrating investigator of all opinions, he will always appear steadfast in honest dealing.'

and also adds: 'The well known quote "I am a man: I consider nothing human alien to me" from Terence's comedy The Self-Torturer is quite apt, though in the play it refers to somebody who gets so involved in other people's business that he does not look after his own.'

Audio Files

SchoolSong.wma A pre-NJB version of 'Tempus Est' from the 1940s (played and contributed by Peter J. Unwin)*
Baylis.cda Brief Christmas message recorded in 1962 from Philip Baylis (KES music master before NJB), which includes a few notes of 'Tempus Est', sent by Hugh (aka Humphrey) Smailes (KES 39-46)
NJB.TempusEst.wma (620 K, low quality)

NJB.TempusEst.128kps.mp3 (2M, high quality)
Drummond Gillespie (who made and contributed this recording) writes: "This recording of NJB was almost certainly made in Tom Lane while he lived there. This short extract has NJB as composer, pianist, interpreter, teacher (2nd verse) and of course speaking and singing." **

John Humphries (19671974) has volunteered the music for this recording.

Don Bunce (1960-67) has provided a photocopy of the music in NJB's own hand.

Deep River

Bye & Bye

Oh, Peter, Go ring Them Bells

Steal Away

As well as the school choir and orchestra, NJB ran a Madrigal Group and a Negro Spiritual Group. I have an old 78 recording made by Curtis Recording Studios, Sheffield. This, I recall, was made in the School Hall on a rather heavy piece of equipment about the size of a large desk 6ft long 2.5ft wide and about three feet tall.

I have recently managed to transcribe the four Negro Spirituals on this 78, arranged by NJB, into M4A format.

They comprise the four Classics “Deep River”, “Bye & Bye”, “Oh, Peter, Go ring Them Bells” and “Steal Away”. Though it is a long time ago now, I have fond memories of NJB, a truly inspirational teacher and a man to be admired. I am Alan Oxer, one of the three “Oxer” boys who descended on King Teds in 1949, the others being my elder brother Harry (now in Australia) and David. We were all involved in the choral aspects of the school at one time or another, and Harry actually took part in making these recordings circa 1950.

Alan Oxer (KES 1949-55)
May 2013

* Drummond Gillespie writes: "The tune is 'Grafton', a French Church Melody. It is no. 129 in Songs of Praise - 'Sing my tongue the glorious battle' "

** Ted Wragg adds: "The school song music was the old version when I arrived in 1949, last year of Barton. Clapton commanded Norman Barnes to write a new version which he did (he explained it all to us in a music lesson once). The old version was lifted from a hymn and Clapton wanted an original, which in fact was much more stirring."

[Ted Wragg has a published article on NJB in the TES (28/04/00).]