In honor of Memorial Day, here's a brief history of the official songs of the five service branches of the United States military.
Each branch of the military has its own theme song or hymn, and several performing groups that perform within that branch of the service. These groups attract some of the finest performers in the United States, and many of them consider their membership the crowning achievement of their musical careers.
The Music Collection owns many of the compact discs produced by U.S. military ensembles, which perform all kinds of music, not just military music. Check out the fine performances by the United States Air Force Band, the United States Marine Band, the United States Navy Band, and the United States Coast Guard Band. Ball State users can also hear a medley of all the offial military songs performed by the Air Force band and chorus here, via Naxos Music Library (Ball State log-in required from off-campus).
Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun! (Give 'er the gun!)
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Off with one helluva roar!**
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!
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 Marine.
Anchors Aweigh my boys
Farewell to foreign shores
We sail at break of day 'ay 'ay 'ay
O'er our last night ashore
Drink to the foam
Until we meet once more
Here's wishing you a happy voyage home!
And to build the Nation’s might,
And The Army Goes Rolling Along
Proud of all we have done,
Fighting till the battle’s won,
And the Army Goes Rolling Along.
Then it's Hi! Hi! Hey!
The Army's on its way.
Count off the cadence loud and strong
* "Two! Three!" *
For where e’er we go,
You will always know
That The Army Goes Rolling Along.
From Aztec Shore to Arctic Zone,
To Europe and Far East,
The Flag is carried by our ships
In times of war and peace;
And never have we struck it yet,
In spite of foemen's might,
Who cheered our crews and cheered again
For showing how to fight.
We're always ready for the call,
We place our trust in Thee.
Through surf and storm and howling gale,
High shall our purpose be,
"Semper Paratus" is our guide,
Our fame, our glory, too.
To fight to save or fight and die!
Aye! Coast Guard, we are for you.