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Not The Same Old Song

Not The Same Old Song

When songwriter extraordinaire Jimmy Dunne offered to write a new alma mater for Pepperdine, the answer from University leadership was an unqualified yes. Dunne, who has worked for many years writing music for television, film, and an array of popular vocalists, has also composed a number of alma maters. “I just find it so rewarding to get under the skin of a university and to try and express that through music,” he says. And as the parent of Caruso School of Law graduate Alexis Dunne (JD ’19), he had a special affinity for Pepperdine.

To develop a sense of the school from the perspective of those who know it best, Dunne met and chatted with students, faculty, and alumni. One alumnus’ quip about the school’s challenging topography inspired Dunne to adopt the theme of climbing—“both the physical act of climbing and, more importantly, the sense of climbing together, overcoming hurdles, and getting to your destination together.”

“While walking up the hill to the cross at the top of campus, I was imagining what a Seaver College senior would be thinking about as they climbed and looked out at the vista,” said Dunne. “The sense of wondering what their next chapter would be and realizing that they’re blessed to bring with them the Pepperdine family to give them confidence and inspiration on their journey.”

The new version of the song also includes a reference to the light of the lantern, a sort of lyrical leitmotif that provides a symbol of the light that Pepperdine shines on students—the light of knowledge and truth, as well as the light of Christ. And, adds Dunne, “the light that students are bringing into the world.”


“We Will Climb”

Music and Lyrics by Jimmy Dunne

In front of me, the most amazing vista
All I see—the richest college memories
Looking back,
I realize I’m right where I should be
Will I climb
Will I dare to dream
The light of the lantern
Will it shine through me
Will I catch
A wondrous wave
Will I ride on a crest
That shapes my days
And when the storms out on the sea
Test all I’m born to be
I will draw from my days here
You’ll always be, always be with me

We will climb
We will dare to dream
The light of the lantern
It will shine through me
We will climb
We will reach for more
We’ll hold this light together
We’ll share these days forever
We will climb

“Fight for Pepperdine”

Dunne also took the time to revitalize the Pepperdine “Fight Song” with fresh, unambivalent lyrics that open the newly recorded, marching-band-style song with a richness and energy that will surely get spectators on their feet and singing along at every type of sporting event.

Up on the hill in Malibu
We are the Waves of orange and blue,
Waves will
Waves will crush you!

We’re gonna fight, fight, fight for Pepperdine
We’re gonna win for the orange and the blue
The mountains and the sea inspire victory
In the waves of Malibu

We’re gonna fight, fight, fight for Pepperdine
And show our pride for everyone to see
Come on and raise your voice
To show the world your choice
And cheer our team to victory . . .