The Stars and Stripes Forever

March 31, 2008 at 2:21 pm 3 comments

This wonderful march, which is heard from coast to coast by high school bands strutting their stuff in Fourth of July parades, was originally written by American composer John Philip Sousa in 1896.

While they were not the original lyrics penned by Sousa himself, the following words are probably the best known for the song’s chorus:

Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue,
For the flag that will always inspire us,
The colors to which we are true,
That will keep us brave and free.
We march with the flag of our land,
In the bonds that no enemy can sever,
In step with the strains of the band
That plays the music of The Stars and Stripes Forever!

Sousa’s original lyrics to the song are as follows:

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand;
A flag appears ‘mid thund’rous  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 right;
Sing out for the Union and its might,
Oh patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervent 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!

      

In case you don’t know the tune to this patriotic hit, here is the great Vladimir Horowitz playing The Stars and Stripes Forever:

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Entry filed under: Patriotic.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Becky P.  |  April 1, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    What a wonderful post! I’ve heard this played every 4th of July, but I never even knew there were words to it until now. Thanks!

    Reply
  • 2. Jim S.  |  July 4, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    I listened to a version Of the “Stars and Stripes Forever”, by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and found that they used different words than the official version, but could not find where they got them. It includes the words” Hurrah for the red , white and blue”, (‘Flag of the free’) which = are not in the original version. Anybody help?

    Reply
  • 3. B. Veazey  |  July 4, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    I learned this song in grade school in the 60s and cannot remember all of the lyrics except for these:
    Old Glory can always rely
    on our courage and loyal endeavors
    to keep our flag flying high
    The Stars and Stripes
    our glorious flag
    shall wave forever.

    Reply

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