I am an amateur piano player – I play late at night, and just for myself. I am told that I have a ‘swing style’ – but I don’t know what that means. One of the first songs that I learned on a piano was the Marines’ Hymn. This inspiring march music is relatively easy for a beginning piano player, and offers opportunities to learn the relationship between chords and rhythm.
When no one is around I think about, hum, and sometimes sing the lyrics. This is one of those songs that inspires Americans everywhere – the rhythm is commanding, the lyrics patriotic.
When modern Americans think of our military they often associate Vietnam and Iraq. The lyrics of the Marines’ Hymn demonstrate the rich tradition of a force, a force or courageous people who have defended our country around the globe for over two hundred years.
The initial verse is “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli“. The Montezuma phrase refers to the Battle of Chapultepec, which took place during the Mexican-American War. The Tripoli phrase refers to actions during the First Barbary War and the Battle of Derne. From Wikipedia.
The Marines have been around for a long time – and this country should be grateful.
Check out the lyrics of the Marines’ Hymn:
From the halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land, and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean,
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marines.
Our flag’s unfurl’d to every breeze
From the dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far-off northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.
Here’s health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we’ve fought for life
And have never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.