This song, written for the first convention of the American Student Union (ASU), became that organization’s unofficial “anthem” during its five-year existence.

Gonna Join the ASU
(Theme Song of the American Student Union) (1937)

Lyrics by Leo Rifkin, Dave Shaw and Frank Tarloff
Music by Jennie Fogel


The campus used to be a place of raccoon coats
Where rah-rah boys and co-eds used to sow their wildest oats.
Where Sonny wore a hip flask and Sister even less,
And the letter on your sweater was the measure of success. 

But then the market tumbled and Depression days set in,
And Dad ran out of money and Sonny out of gin,
And Sister read a book one day and got a point of view,
So they built the student movement and they called it “ASU.”. 


Alma Mater’s going modern,
Old Man Reaction’s feeling blue.
It’s an academic epidemic –
Gonna join the ASU! 

In collegiate ivory towers,
Campus life has something new.
Both the sexes and the prexy’s
Gonna join the ASU! 

From Cambridge, Mass. to Topeka, Kan. –
From demi-tasse to “coffee-an’” –
From the freshman class to the senior clan –
Everybody’s doin’ it – A.SU-in’ it. 

Alma mater’s going modern,
Student movement’s coming through.
It’s the rah-rah
Of to-mor-rah –
Gonna join the A. - S. – U.