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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Marine Band’

Winner: Eric, followed by Pluto, and Peter

Twenty-one players anxiously awaited the start of the game. Only one problem. There were no questions and answers. Darin, who does a superb job each week putting the questions and believable answers together, had left this week’s quiz home. After some frantic searching she came up with an old game she had prepared years ago intended for Flag Day. So tonight we made believe that the calendar said June and answered only questions concerning the American flag.

That gave Eric, who was a serious Boy Scout, and Pluto, who was a less serious Sea Cadet, an advantage and they finished one-two.

Good Question!: Does the “Stars and Stripes Forever” march by John Philip Sousa have lyrics?

Choices: a. True   b. False

Answer: True

I have heard “The Stars and Stripes Forever” too many times to count, and yet never knew there were any lyrics to match the music.

“The Stars and Stripes Forever.” is the official march of the United States and it’s John Philip Sousa’s most famous composition (1896). You’ve probably heard it before, even if you don’t know it by name.

With the possible exception of “The Star Spangled Banner,” no musical composition has done more to arouse the patriotic spirit of America than this, John Philip Sousa’s most beloved composition. Symbolic of flag-waving in general, it has been used with considerable effectiveness to generate patriotic feeling ever since its introduction in Philadelphia on May 14, 1897, when the staid Public Ledger reported: “It is stirring enough to rouse the American eagle from his crag, and set him to shriek exultantly while he hurls his arrows at the aurora borealis.” Sousa wrote words for the march, evidently for use in The Trooping of the Colors, his pageant of 1898.

“The President’s Own” – U.S. Marine Band

All of his life, John Philip Sousa loved music and loved America, so it’s no surprise that he wrote this patriotic classic. Sousa grew up in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War. As a kid, he enjoyed hearing the Civil War military bands that filled the streets of Washington as well as the sounds of his father’s trombone. His father played in the U.S. Marine Band and Sousa quickly followed in his footsteps. Sousa first enlisted in the Marine Band as an apprentice violinist and later became the bandleader. When Sousa wasn’t playing with a band, he was writing music, like “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”  Sousa said the song was about the feeling of coming home to America and how “in a foreign country the sight of the Stars and Stripes seems the most glorious in the world.” By the 1890s he had written enough popular marches to be nicknamed the “March King.” (marineband.marines.mil)

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Lyrics “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Not nearly as stirring as the music, probably why you never hear the lyrics.

Stars and Stripes Forever
by John Philip Sousa

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.
Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.
Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

 

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