Castilleja school song


Anna Kim

“Growing wild upon the hillside…”

Castilleja song GENIUS inspired analysis
Words by Helen Hatch
Music by Josephine Large

Growing wild upon the hillside,
Modest flower of woodland ways,
Castilleja, Castilleja,
Gladly now we sing thy praise.
Castilleja, Castilleja,
We sing thy praise.

Dear to us thy crimson blossom
Emblem bright of hope and cheer,
Round thy name shall ever linger
Memories of school days dear.
Castilleja, Castilleja,
Of school days dear.

Earnest workers, happy hearted,
Loyal to the name we bear,
Glad are we to sing thy praises,
Proud thy crimson hue to wear.
Castilleja, Castilleja,
Thy hue to wear.


Growing wild upon the hillside,
In reference to the wild growth patterns of the Castilleja coccinea flower.

The Castilleja flower is an absolutely gorgeously vibrant red part of the parasitic Broomrape genus (yes, Broomrape—you can’t make this up). Broomrape, PARASITIC. As in it survives by sucking the life out of other living plants—a nice little case of true plant crime; plants exploiting other plants…could never, not in a million years be u$!?¡£§∞

But could be a reference to the parasitic nature of Castilleja students according to certain specimens housed nearby.

Still, the song challenges accusations of parasitic-ness and inauthenticity that ravage many a reputation. The song conveys an unapologetic apology: we stand strong, we stand tall. Without regret, we are who we are.

Oxford Languages defines “modest” as:

1. “unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one’s abilities or achievements.” — Ironic considering Castilleja student stats are already mid. Many students won’t even have reached the mere 50 AT class benchmark by the time they graduate. Even fewer students will have paid the College Board the typical $1,000, most missing the threshold by hundreds.

2. “(of an amount, rate, or level) relatively moderate, limited, or small.” — The crumb of a cookie, the thread of a blanket, the ribosome of a cell, the number of students at Castilleja school. A modest student body size like Castilleja’s makes things like winning swim meets and meeting new people at school a breeze.

3. “dressing or behaving so as to avoid impropriety or indecency, especially to avoid attracting sexual attention” — reflects a Castilleja school age-old value reinforced by the uniform. All students are quite modest. No Very few scanty ankles exposed here and zero skirt rolling, we promise.

With gusto, willingness, and an eager attitude.

In a sentence:
“Castilleja school gladly belonged™ in its quaint, quirky, Palo Alto neighborhood”

Crimson; red; a stark contrast to the bright white color of the formal Castilleja uniform “dress whites”

The red-on-white represents a deviation from the standard societal expectations of pure, young minds. Red is bold, brave, and unrepentant. Red is Castilleja.

Round thy name shall ever linger
A piece of the homage that can contemporarily be associated with the marvelous green turf. A step by step diagram of logic follows:

round = the Circle
the Circle = turf
turf = lingers
lingers = the Circle
the Circle = endless
Casti = forever

Unwavering commitment to and support for a person, place, or thing.

In a sentence:
“The Castilleja student was so loyal to their education that they never skipped class”

Here, “loyal” seems to reveal the cultish context from which Castilleja traditions appear to draw roots. This song is not one of them.

Castilleja, Castilleja,
The 10 letter word “Castilleja” is repeated 8 times; 8, 10, what comes next? 6, evidently. The refrain is clearly a reference to the pythagorean triple 6 8 10. Here, most likely used as a subtle and ~modest~ way (if you will) to flex the school’s devotion to women in STEM by some non-monetary measure. Is there a school number or scientific accomplishment touted at Founder’s Day? Well, no. Is there a beautiful poem-based song? Heck yes. But obviously humanities was never and is not at all by any means valued more.