Every proud parent's heart swells when they hear it: the strains of Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance," the traditional music for graduation ceremonies. So many emotions. Pride. The bittersweet accounting of all the years, culminating in this solemn event. The hopes of youth, the yearning for the life to come, the sadness at the true and total breach that leaves childhood behind. Few musical pieces evoke these emotions.

How I hate it.

No, that's too strong. I'm just tired of it. At Daughter's recent graduation, I was reminded that it's not that great a piece of music, and its sturdy charms have been degraded with overuse. When the graduating class is large, they are obliged to play it until everyone has filed in, and the emotions tend to dissipate after six or seven hearings. It turns into "Bolero" for scholars.

There are other "Pomp and Circumstance" marches, you know. Elgar wrote five, and a sixth was cobbled together posthumously. You could play them all for a large class, but some parents would be angry that their kid didn't get to walk while the familiar strains played. You can even imagine a dad getting all upset, while his wife — who was also peeved, but really, George, it's not worth it — tried to tamp him down.

"I'm sorry, Jane, but no. We spent hundreds — thousands — of dollars on this education, and there she is, walking to the strains of the little-known fifth march instead of the famous 'Land of Hope and Glory' portion of the first. I'm going down there to tell them what I think."

So we're stuck with it, I guess. Perhaps it would be better if there were lyrics. Sing along with me:

"We are wearing robes and caps
We're standing in line
Soon we will be sitting
In chairs of folding design
Soon comes a long speech from
Some guy none of us know
He'll pass on some wisdom
My bladder! I need to go
Oh, God, I hope I don't trip
Why did I wear these shoes?
Wish I could text my friends
They forbid our cellphones
We must be in the moment
When do I pay back my loans?
Long school journey is over
Now I must get a job
Joy and fear overwhelm me
I smile to stifle a sob
Now I cross the big stage
It's over. Now life begins."

The reason I mention this, as you likely have gathered, is because the remarkable individual I am proud to call my daughter was graduated from college last week. She's a writer! I know dads are wont to gush, but she's really good, and quite funny.

No worries about her easing the old man out, though; just as I came to Minneapolis to escape Fargo, she went to the East Coast to make her mark in a new land. But. She texted me right before she did the walk, and said she'd pay me $5 if Mom and Dad shouted "MINNESOTA!" when she was handed her diploma.

Well, it wouldn't be very Minnesotan to do that. People might look. People might talk. But we shouted it all the same.

I haven't seen that $5 yet. I probably should let her know that interest is accruing, and I don't think this falls under the college loan-forgiveness proposals.