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O thou Tupelo!


One of the oldest Stepsinging songs, "O thou Tupelo" was written by Mary Louise Marot, Class of 1894. The song describes the charms and romantic allure of Tupelo Point, a bucolic spot on campus that remains popular today. This small peninsula is located at the end of Tupelo Lane, just past the Tau Zeta Epsilon house, and provides stirring views of Lake Waban. The path down the point is home to a black tupelo tree, planted by the Class of 1896. The tree's leaves turn a striking crimson in the fall, and the original planting has produced many neighboring trees, rendering this location particularly gorgeous in the fall. At the end of the path, the President's house can be seen across the lake. The point also features a large rock that is well-known as the rock that Hillary Rodham Clinton '69 sat on to pose for her yearbook photos.   

A stone retreat was gifted in 1917 to honor the memory of Lucy Annabel Plympton, Class of 1899. The retreat sits midway down the path and holds a bronze plaque inscribed "Her many comrades and friends bid you keep fresh the memory of Lucy Annabel Plympton, Wellesley 1899-1900, lover of tree and wind and water, of bird and flower and friendly beast."  The spot has been the site of countless dates, proposals, and secret gatherings. A visit to Tupelo Point is sure to elicit the romantic feelings that "O thou Tupelo" evokes, but be forewarned: popular Wellesley legend has it that if a student walks around the lake three times with her beloved and comes to Tupelo Point upon the third trip, her suitor must propose or be thrown into the lake!

Click through the slideshow to see views of Tupelo Point

Lyrics

O thou Tupelo! Thou hast a certain magic charm
O thou Tupelo! Thou has a magic charm
A magic charm is thine, love
The charmer there is mine, love
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast a certain magic charm
O thou Tupelo! Thou has a magic charm

O thou Tupelo! Thou hast the lake and moon and stars
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast lake, moon, and stars
The moon and stars are thine, love
The son that's there is mine, love
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast the lake and moon and stars
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast lake, moon, and stars

O thou Tupelo! Thou hast a rustic bench or two
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast a bench or two
A rustic bench is thine, love
The rustic on it mine, love
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast a rustic bench or two
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast a bench or two

O thou Tupelo! Thou hast a gentle, balmy air
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast a balmy air
The balmy air is mine, love
The wealthy heir is mine, love
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast a gentle, balmy air
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast a balmy air

O thou Tupelo! Thou hast all things above, around
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast all things around
All things around are thine, love
Except the arm, that's mine, love
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast all things above, around
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast all things around

O thou Tupelo! Thou hast the power to leaf in spring
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast the power to leaf
To leaf in spring is thine, love
To leave just now is mine, love
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast the power to leaf in spring
O thou Tupelo! Thou hast the power to leaf

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Class of 1969, took her Legenda yearbook photos at Tupelo Point 

Click here to return to the Stepsinging home page

Click play below to hear a recording of "O Thou Tupelo" from Stepsinging 1958

The Wellesley College Tupelos 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wellesley College Tupelos are an a cappella group named after Tupelo Point. Founded in 1949, their colors are black and red, symbolizing the Black Tupelo tree and its red leaves. Their repertoire includes pop, jazz, throwback hits, and traditional Wellesley songs. They perform on and off campus throughout the year, traveling to sing at other schools and Wellesley alumnae club gatherings. One of their best attended events is their signature Halloween "Spooky Tupie Teaser."  This mini concert is held in Tower Court Great Hall, where the group breaks from their typical black and red to wear Halloween costumes and preview their newest songs. 

The Tupelos have performed live on WERS 88.9 FM's All A Cappella, Acaville Radio, and onstage at the Emerson Colonial Theatre in downtown Boston. Their music has been featured in several industry compilation albums including Voices Only and BOCA (Best of A Cappella). When the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella held its 2010 Northeast Quarterfinals on campus in Houghton Memorial Chapel, the Tupelos were thrilled to win first place. Their most recent album Sweeter Than Tupelo Honey was released in 2015, and in 2019 the group celebrated 70 years of "red hot a cappella!"

 

Poster for Tupelos auditions in Fall 2017 designed by Rinako Sonobe '20