Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad
The Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad, or LGMB, is a student-run band consisting chiefly of University of Toronto engineering students. The LGMB is dedicated to the preservation and advancement of Skule™ spirit along with Ye Olde Mighty Skule™ Cannon and the Brute Force Committee (BFC). The LGMB is notable for its open membership policy and sometimes audacious appearances at events.
The Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad is primarily a spirit group and secondly a musical group. The bnad is often introduced, incorrectly, as the Lady Godiva Marching Band, despite the fact that the bnad never marches. A more correct term would be meandering band. The use of the term bnad is a reference to the inability (or unwillingness) of engineers to spell correctly (see Skule).
Repertoire and instrumentation[edit | edit source]
The LGMB tries to play an assortment of Skule-spirit, drinking, Christmas, and generally offensive songs. Choice of pieces is typically spontaneous; the Bnad Leedur will start playing, and the rest of the group joins in or not. Certain scheduled events, such as the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, require the bnad to refrain from certain items that are considered unsuitable for young children or society in general. As well, certain actions, events, or locations typically require certain songs to be played. For example, the "Walking Song" is played when the bnad walks, "Wipe Out" is played when the bnad returns to the Bnad Room through the archway on the west side of Hart House, and "Godiva's Hymn" is played in the presence of Ye Olde Mighty Skule Cannon.
During an event, bnad members play an instrument of their choice including traditional instruments such as bass drum, snare drum, trumpet, trombone, baritone horn, sousaphone, flute, clarinet, saxophone, and cymbals, as well as non-traditional instruments including electric guitar (with portable amplifier), electronic keyboard, slide whistle, kazoo, washboard, bedpan, maraca, and fire bell.
The Bnad Leedur may play any "melody" instrument he/she is competent at. In recent years, most Bnad Leedurs have played the trombone, trumpet, or saxophone, however, they have also been known to play instruments such as the guitar or sousaphone. The D(r)umb Majur(k) plays a snare drum without exception, but may improvise by playing any other instrument, object, or person as a drum during certain pieces.
Bnad members[edit | edit source]
The LGMB advertises that any student in the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering is a member of the Bnad by default. However, a more practical definition of a bnad member is anyone who has attended a bnad event. No musical talent is required to play with the LGMB, which is perhaps the greatest contributing factor to the group's unique performance.
Current and Recent Bnad Leedurs: See List of Bnad Leedurs
Some notable members of the LGMB have been:
- Sidney Smith (c.1950)
- A.J. Paul La Prairie (c.1949–1950)
- Tim Allan (c.1968–1972)
- Bob Bossin (c.1966–1969)
The Rant[edit | edit source]
The LGMB Rant is the official introduction of the Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad. It consists of a series of events, exploits, accolades, and descriptions strung together into a rhyming list that is performed by the Bnad Leedur (who is required to memorize the rant word for word) at major Bnad events such as Matriculation, Cannonball, and Gradball. At the end of the year, the Bnad Leedur may extend the rant to include significant events of their term.
History[edit | edit source]
The Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad was founded in 1949 by A.J. Paul La Prairie while he was a student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Originally called The Lady Godiva Band, it was soon renamed to the Lady Godiva Memorial Band, a name suggested by University of Toronto Engineering Society President Bill Walker. They have since become the Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad.
The original band had about fifteen members and was initially led by their founder A.J. Paul La Prairie. During their second rehearsal, however, it was discovered that La Prairie could not read music, so the band was turned over to Tom Kenney, a chemical engineering student.
The LGMB's first uniform consisted of a few red military jackets and pith helmets. The uniform along with their first bass drum, two tenor drums, cymbals and a drum major's baton were courtesy of La Prairie's resourcefulness and his military connections. Those who didn't wear military jackets were often seen in the traditional leather jacket of the engineering faculty. Later, members began to wear their decorated hardhats to events. The first public appearance of the LGMB was at the Annual Homecoming Parade on the back of a flatbed truck. 
An account of one of the first events given by A.J. Paul La Prairie:
We did have one parade that I do remember, with humour. There was a big football game at Varsity Stadium. The L.G.M.B. marched up and, to the amazement of the ticket collectors, we played our way right through the gate and on to the field. For this event we were all wearing great big moustaches. When we came to the fifty yard line I noticed Sidney Smith sitting in front. I offered him a moustache, which he put on. The band serenaded him. Ergo, Sidney Smith, President of The University of Toronto, became an Honorary Member of the L.G.M.B. (La Prairie 1994) 
Another notable event attended by the LGMB was the Bloor-Danforth subway line opening on February 26, 1966. According to The Ubyssey, a University of British Columbia student newspaper, 500 University of Toronto engineering students led by the LGMB "lept over turnstiles" and the first 400 students piled onto a train. One of the remaining students then pulled the emergency power switch. This event interfered with regular service for more than five hours. The LGMB has been accused of causing this disruption; however, their involvement is not verified.  This day was subsequently celebrated for years to come as St. Ralph's Day after Ralph C. Day, a former mayor of Toronto and the director of the Toronto Transit Commission at the time.
The next year, the LGMB produced their first of six albums to date, Lady Godiva Memorial Band at the Mighty Cannonball (1962). Also produced by the LGMB were The Lady Godiva Memorial Band Strikes Back!! (1964), Lady Godiva Memorial Band Blows (1967), Band With the Runs (1977), Never Mind the Football Game, Here's the Lady Godiva Memorial Band (1989), and Let Go Me Bongos! (CD 1999).
In the 1970s, at the beginning of University of Toronto Frosh Week each year, the LGMB met on the lawn in front of the Ontario provincial legislature. There with engineering, law, medical and arts first year students they received a speech from the presiding Premier of Ontario. During the ceremony the band played several "standard" selections as well as Godiva's Hymn.
In 1976, the LGMB won a second place award in the Kiwanis Music Festival in class 425 (Brass and Reed Bands — Open). Paul Higgins led the LGMB to a first place award in class 501 (Brass and Reed Bands — membership to be less than 30), in a different year, for their performance of First Suite for Military Band in E Flat by Gustav Holst.
In the fall of 1976 the LGMB played at the CN tower alongside Pierre Trudeau and his wife Margaret Trudeau, becoming the first band to play at the CN Tower.
About the same time, just before their 1977 album, a new uniform began to appear. Along with the engineering jacket and decorated hardhat, members wore hockey shirts adorned with the LGMB logo on the front. These shirts were originally mostly yellow with blue and white accents. (The Skule colours are blue and gold.) This design was updated to mostly blue with yellow and white accents in 1993.
In 2000, the LGMB sat in the audience for a showing of Jonovision. They were mentioned briefly by the host Jonathan Torrens. The LGMB also made it onto Breakfast Television on September 3, 2002. Also in 2002, the LGMB continued its subway opening traditions by riding on the opening subway of the Sheppard Subway line.
After years of 'crashing' the Toronto Santa Claus Parade uninvited (and often resulting in police escorts away from the parade), the LGMB was finally invited to participate in the nationally-televised parade in 2007 when the organizers of the parade needed a last-minute replacement band for the event. The Bnad was amply rewarded with BEvERages for the service, and has been invited back to the Santa Claus Parade every year since.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- 1st Place - 1965 Kiwanis Music Festival, Brass and Reed Bands
- 1st Place - 1967 Kiwanis Music Festival
- 2nd Place - 1976 Kiwanis Music Festival, Brass and Reed Bands (Class 425)
- 1st Place - 1980(?) Kiwanis Music Festival, Brass and Reed Bands — membership to be less than 30 (Class 501)
Albums and discography[edit | edit source]
- 1962: Lady Godiva Memorial Band at the Mighty Cannonball [Download]
1. Colonel Bogey 2. Peter Gunn 3. Lassus Trombone 4. In a Persian Market 5. Midnight in Moscow 6. JFK 7. Little Brown Jug 8. Prelude in C-Sharp Minor (transposed) 9. Theme from Man with the Golden Arm 10. Godiva 11. The Saints
- 1964: The Lady Godiva Memorial Band Strikes Back!! [Download]
1. Divertmento 2. Ben Gunn 3. Electronic Joke #1 4. Lassus Trombone 5. The Light Cavalry Overture 6. Five O'Clock in UC 7. Godiva 8. The Saints 9. Cannon 10. Little Brown Jug 11. Electronic Joke #2 12. 1812 Overture 13. One Minute of Silence 14. Skeaf plays Gershwin 15. Huzzanga Chorus 16. University of Toronto
- 1967: Lady Godiva Memorial Band Blows [Download]
Side One 1. Fanfare to the prize-winning Lady Godiva Memorial Band 2. God save DeGaulle 3. Bill Bailey, will you please go home 4. Batman 5. Dolly's Last Stand 6. Peter in the wolf 7. Watermelon man 8. Talking McGill Train Blues 9. The man with the golden finger 10. University College Song and Cheer 11. The Skule Song and Cannon
Side Two 21. Second Brandenburg Concerto, Allegro Assai 22. Muskrat Ramble 23. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony 24a First Suite for Military Band in and around E Flat 24b First Suite for Military Band in and around E Flat 24c First Suite for Military Band in and around E Flat 25. Blue Danube Waltz 26. Canada's Favourite Folksongs 27. Bungler's Holiday 28. University of Toronto Song 29. Spontaneous Encore Blues 30. Trumpet Voluntary Movement and Water Music
- 1977: Band With the Runs [Download]
Side One 1. Preamble 2. Gnag Bnag (Sam and Janet Evening) 3. Ooble Dooble 4. Blue and White (Black and Blue) 5. Crock of Ages (Sally Ann) 6. The Blunderer (R.I.P. Sousa; disarr. R. Yates) 7. Ben Dover Suite 8. Mailman (John Henry) 9. The Stripper (Fanny Foxbach) 10. Furry Leaves (Albumsplaat) (Chevy van Beethoven) 11. Amble 12. How Does He Smell?
Side Two 1. Interamble 2. Second Military Suite in F! (Gustav Holst) 3. Moreofthesameamble 4. Take Me, Out 5. Whoa! (When Ah says whoa, Ah means whoa!) 6. Postamble 7. Skaters Vaults 8. Grand Finaleamble 9. Skule Song (A cannon featuring the LGMGregorian Chant Society) 10. Grate Escape, with Festive Interlewd 11. Terrible
- 1989: Never Mind the Football Game, Here's the Lady Godiva Memorial Band [Download]
Side One 1. Washington and Lee Swing 2. Mickey Mouse 3. Oh... Canada 3a Bad Joke #1 4. Flintstones 4a Bnad Cheer #1 and more 5. Ball Game (Take Me Out) 6. Hey, Look Us Over 6a Rob West Cheer 7. Rubber Ducky 7a Bnad Cheer #2 8. Those Were the Days 8a Bnad Cheer #3 9. 1002 10. Two-Skin 10a Sexual Bnad Chant #1 11. More Beer 11a Bad Joke #2 11b It's Amazing! 11c Bad Joke #3 12. Web-footed Friends
Side Two 1. Godiva's Rap 2. Mailman 3. Black & Blue (U of T Song) 4. Colonel Bogie 5. Muppet Shoe 6. Oh God! Save the Non-Sexist Engineer 7. Black Christmas 8. Skater's Waltz 9. Song of the Fighting Soldier 10. California Suite in C# 11. Engineer's Hymn (Skule Song) 12. Grate Escape 13. K-Dense
- 1999: Let Go Me Bongos! (CD) [Download]
1. Marching Bands 2. Sesame Street 3. Louie Lou-i-ay 4. Rubber Ducky 5. Falling Into Sin 6. Hey, Look Us Over 7. Mailman 8. God Save the Engineer 9. Game Take Me Out 10. Muppet Show 11. Why Are We Waiting 12. Tickle Terry (PC Version) 13. Tickle Terry (Non-PC Version) 14. Mickey Mouse 15. Foreskin 16. Walking Song #1 17. Walking Song #2 18. Roll Me Over 19. Web Footed 20. More Beer 21. Tequila 22. Wipe Out 23. The Engineering Hymn
References[edit | edit source]
- La Prairie, A.J. Paul. "The Lady Godiva Memorial Band and The Skule Cannon". As told on the occasion of "Ajax Remembered" held in 1994.
- Lindsey, Graham. "Biography: Tim Allan". Updated August 2005.
- Bossin, Bob. "My Obituary". Excerpts from "That's what folk songs have always done...." Originally published in the Canadian Folk Music Bulletin, December 1995.
- "Engineers pull a slow one." The Ubyssey. Vol. XLVIII, No. 54. Page 1. 1 March 1966.