I smile every time I sing the word “triumphant.”
Okay, it’s not a word one encounters very often in song. But it was a central word in the School Song I sang on special occasions
between seventh and 12th grades. (sorry)—between Class VII and Class XII.
Our music teacher, Miss Havey, instructed us to hit the second syllable with extra verve: triUMphant. Because triumph is, y’know, supposed to sound happy.
Now whenever I encounter the word—I guess it pops up in a hymn every now and then—it is triUMphant. And I smile.
Miss Havey retired long ago—has probably gone on to that great Teachers’ Lounge in the Sky—and yet when I went to the official school reunion in April, women from graduating classes from the 1930s through tokay sang triUMphant. I would have giggled if I hadn’t been slightly teary-eyed.
The fact is, I do give “triumphant thanks” for my six years at that school. Without a doubt, they changed my life. But that’s a story for another time. I gotta get back to the reunion now.