The History Behind ‘Ramblin’ Wreck’

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In honor of Tech’s 125th birthday year, we’re partnering with Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine to highlight a piece of Tech history. This issue’s topic: a little tune known as “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech.” The following excerpt is number 53 on the list “125 Pieces of Tech History,” featured in the September/October 2010 issue of Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine: Frank Roman’s original orchestration of “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech” is kept under protective covering in the archives. The song is believed to have been based on “Son of a Gambolier,” with the chorus: “Like every jolly fellow, I takes my whiskey clear, for I’m a ramblin’ rake of poverty, and the son of a gambolier.” H.D. Cutter, an 1892 Tech graduate, told the Georgia Tech Alumnus in 1948 that his classmate, W.P. “Billy” Walthall, wrote the song. Regardless, Roman, who ran the barbershop in the YMCA, is credited with the orchestration of the song we sing today.



  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Amelia Pavlik
  • Created: 03/07/2011
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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