Welcome To Queen's

Your first year at Queen's may seem like a whirlwind, but keep in mind that our team is here to help you. If you feel lost or you're not sure what your next move is, please connect with us via LiveChat in the bottom right corner of this page or email us at asc.academic@queensu.ca.

Check out the 2020-21 First-Year Arts and Science Handbook!

Check It Out

NEW for Fall 2020 / Winter 2021, the Castle's flagship courses - BISC 100: Thinking Locally & BISC 101: Acting Globally - will be offered for the first time online to Queen's students on Kingston campus as well as to BISC students. 

Learn More

0

Need academic guidance? Learn about peer and academic advising in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen's University. Our Peer Academic Support Service (PASS) is a volunteer service to assist you. The service is designed to ease student transition into university and to promote academic success. You can also speak with an academic advisory in the Faculty Office for advice on your academic options and our policies. Learn more about PASS and Academic Advising.

0

At the end of your first year in May, you will declare your Plan (in other words, your major, medial, minor or specialization depending on what you choose). See the Plan Selection page of our website to find out everything you need to know about Plan Selection.

0

The Oil Thigh

This combined song and dance is a distinctive Queen's tradition, performed at sporting events and most university occasions less formal than convocations (although spontaneous Oil Thighs have also been known to occur). It consists of the old song "Queen's College Colours," sung to the accompaniment of a low-kicking sort of can-can dance.

The name "Oil Thigh" comes from the chorus of the song, which begins with the Gaelic words "Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath" ("The college of the wife of the King forever"). At football games, it is a tradition that students perform an Oil Thigh after every touchdown.

The song "Queen's College Colours" was written in 1898 by student Alfred Lavell to inspire Queen's football team to victory after a disappointing loss to the University of Toronto. Its staying power is somewhat surprising: it was just one of countless university songs penned at a time when songwriting was a booming pastime among students, and even Lavell later described its verses as "sophomoric."

Its survival is due partly to its rousing Gaelic chorus, which was actually written separately as a university cheer in 1891, and its popular tune, stolen from the American "Battle Hymn of the Republic." But it has also prospered because most of its rivals suffered even more noticeably from over-sentimentality and clumsy rhyme.

The song's original line "So, boys, go in and win!" was changed to "So, Gaels, go in and win!" in 1985 to include Queen's women athletes.

The modern version of the Oil Thigh:

Queen's College colours we are wearing once again,
Soiled as they are by the battle and the rain,
Yet another victory to wipe away the stain!
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Chorus:

Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill!

Varsity's not invincible, they tremble at the news
Of Queen's College Colours and are shaking in their shoes.
Yet another victory, the chance we dare not lose.
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Chorus: Oil thigh, na Banrighinn...

McGill has met defeat before, they've heard the same old tale
Of Queen's College colours, boys, the ones that seldom fail,
Remember Captain Curtis and the conquerors of Yale,
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Chorus: Oil thigh, na Banrighinn...

Western’s White and Purple have come down to Queen’s to score,
We sent them back to London as they’d ne’er been sent before.
And Queen’s again were victors as they were in days of yore,
So, Gaels, go in and win!

There may be other colours to the breezes oft unfurled,
And many another college yell by student voices hurled;
Queen's College colours are the dearest in the world,
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Cha Gheill

This Gaelic war cry, correctly pronounced "kay yi-al" and usually translated as "no surrender," is the rousing conclusion of Queen's traditional cheer (see below). The cheer is now used almost exclusively in the chorus of "Queen's College Colours," popularly known as the Oil Thigh song, but actually predates the song.

The cheer was composed in 1891 by three Gaelic-speaking students: Donald Cameron, F.A. McRae, and another called MacLean, whose first name is not known. It was incorporated into "Queen's College Colours" when the song was written in 1897.

The term "Cha Gheill" is sometimes used separately, especially between older alumni at university occasions, as a jocular equivalent of "Cheers!" or as a salutation at the end of letters.

The original cheer was:

Dearg! Gor'mus! Buidthe!
Oil Thigh na Banrighinn gu Brath!
Cha Gheill! Cha Gheill! Cha Gheill!

This translates as:

Red! Blue! Yellow!
Queen's forever!
No surrender!

It is pronounced:

Jarg! Gormoos! Boo-ee-ee-ee!
Oil Thigh na Banree gu Braw!
Kay Yi-al!

0