There are two songs that will bring a Morse graduates to their feet. They are the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Blue and the White.’
The origin of our national anthem is a matter of history but what do you know concerning the school song besides the statement, on the printed copies, that it was written by R. M. White, ‘16?
Rutherford “Rooster” White spent four years in and graduated from a Morse which had no school song. He adopted music as his profession and finally became a member of the Bath Opera House Orchestra, one of the finest orchestras in Maine at that time.
He set about to provide Morse High School students with a rallying song which they had always lacked. All in one night after the close of the performance at the Opera House, he wrote the words and music to the song which now stands for so much to every Morse student and graduate
The next morning he went to the Colonial Club and, seating himself at the piano, started to play his new song. Before he had played it through the fellows gathered around the piano, and when the end of the song was reached, there was a loud call for an encore. “Rooster” played it over again for them. He did not tell them what it was, but he learned from them what he had come to find out – the song was good enough to offer Morse.
This became the Morse High School marching song, “Respectfully dedicated to the Student Body, Alumni and Faculty of Morse High School , Bath Maine,” copyright 1924.
The Class of 1924 had the honor of being the first graduating class to march to Rutherford Mitchell White’s “Blue and the White.” A class member Carrie Shaw, later Carrie Shaw Day, ultimately became the Supervisor of Music for the Bath public schools. In 2011 at the age of 105 for the third consecutive year, she played the “Blue and the White” to a tearful standing ovation at the annual banquet of Bath’s oldest active high school alumni association in the United States. She was probably the only person at the banquet that night that personally knew composer “Rooster” White.
In 1952 the class of 1953 inaugurated the “Blue and White Golf Classic” This event became an annual event sponsored by each current 50 year alumni class. At the initial tournament the Class of 1953 invited the Morse High band to the Country Club to play the National Anthem and “Blue and the White” as the starting cannon roared sending each golf team off to their respective tee. This has become an annual tradition as the Morse marching song lives on!
Imagine, if you will, a grand chorus of 12,300 or so Morse graduates, from 1924 to the present, who know the words so well, parading through the City of Bath singing Blue and the White! What a glorious tribute that would be for “Rooster” who passed away on August 2, 1964 and Carrie Shaw Day who passed in February of 2013.
Courtesy of: Bath Historical Newsletters #9 December 1990; #16 February 1992 Information derived from Atty. James Day and Morse High Historian Brian Hatch.Aldridge’s “Memories of Morse”