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Carmen Etonense

The school song, generally known as the Carmen, was composed by J. Barnby with words by A.C. Ainger.

Click here to hear it being sung by Eton boys, and here to download the words and printed music.

For an English translation of the Latin words, please click here.

Sir Joseph Barnby (1838–1896) was Precentor at Eton from 1875–1892 and then Principal of the Guildhall School of Music. Arthur Campbell Ainger (1841–1919) was a King’s Scholar at Eton, then assistant master from 1864–1901 and a house master from 1870. He was instrumental in establishing the Old Etonian Association.

The Carmen was first sung at the school concert on 18th December 1877 and was very favourably received – the reviewer in the Eton College Chronicle saying ‘we hope that it may be as long our school song as the sentiments expressed in it the standard of Eton morals’.