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American Made>Great American Songs

Great American Songs

This Land Is Your Land | America The Beautiful | The Star Spangled Banner | Yankee Doodle | Grand Old Flag | The Caissons Go Rolling Along - US Army Anthem | Anchors Aweigh – official song of US Navy | The Marine Hymn | The Air Force Song

This Land Is Your Land

Lyrics by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California to the New York island,
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway,
I saw below me that golden valley,
This land was made for you and me.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps,
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,
And all around me a voice was sounding,
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting,
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there,
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing",
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people,
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway,
Nobody living can ever make me turn back,
This land was made for you and me.

America the Beautiful

Lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates
Music composed by Samuel A. Ward

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.
America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

The Star Spangled Banner

Lyrics by Francis Scott Key
Music by John Stafford Smith

O! Say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! Say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! Long may it wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! Thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Additional Civil War period lyrics: Oliver Wendell Holmes added a fifth stanza in 1861.

When our land is illumined with liberty's smile,
If a foe from within strikes a blow at her glory,
Down, down with the traitor that tries to defile
The flag of the stars, and the page of her story!
By the millions unchained,
Who their birthright have gained
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave,
While the land of the free is the home of the brave.

Yankee Doodle (Common version)

Yankee Doodle went to town,
A-riding on a pony,
He stuck a feather in his hat,
And called it macaroni.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up,
Yankee Doodle dandy,
Mind the music and the step,
And with the girls be handy!

Father and I went down to camp,
Along with Captain Gooding,
And there we saw the men and boys,
As thick as hasty pudding.

Chorus
And there was Captain Washington,
And gentle folks about him,
They say he's grown so tarnal proud,
He will not ride without ‘em.

A full version of the song, as it is known today, goes:

Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.

Chorus
Yankee Doodle keep it up,
Yankee Doodle dandy,
Mind the music and the step,
And with the girls be handy.

Father and I went down to camp,
Along with Captain Gooding,
And there we saw the men and boys
As thick as hasty pudding.

Chorus
And there we saw a thousand men
As rich as Squire David,
And what they wasted every day,
I wish it could be saved.

Chorus
The 'lasses they eat it every day,
Would keep a house a winter,
They have so much, that I'll be bound,
They eat it when they've mind ter.

Chorus
And there I see a swamping gun,
Large as a log of maple,
Upon a deuced little cart,
A load for father's cattle.

Chorus
And every time they shoot it off,
It takes a horn of powder,
and makes a noise like father's gun,
Only a nation louder.

Chorus
I went as nigh to one myself,
As 'Siah's inderpinning’,
And father went as nigh again,
I thought the deuce was in him.

Chorus
Cousin Simon grew so bold,
I thought he would have cocked it,
It scared me so I shrinked it off,
And hung by father's pocket.

Chorus
And Cap'n Davis had a gun,
He kind of clapt his hand on't,
And stuck a crooked stabbing iron,
Upon the little end on't.

Chorus
And there I see a pumpkin shell,
As big as mother's bason,
And every time they touched it off
They scampered like the nation.

Chorus
I see a little barrel too,
The heads were made of leather,
They knocked on it with little clubs,
And called the folks together.

Chorus
And there was Cap'n Washington,
And gentle folks about him,
They say he's grown so tarnal proud,
He will not ride without em'.

Chorus
He got him on his meeting clothes,
Upon a slapping stallion,
He sat the world along in rows,
In hundreds and in millions.

Chorus
The flaming ribbons in his hat,
They looked so tearing fine, ah,
I wanted dreadfully to get
To give to my Jemima.

Chorus
I see another snarl of men,
A digging graves they told me,
So tarnal long, so tarnal deep,
They 'tended they should hold me.

Chorus
It scared me so, I hooked it off,
Nor stopped, as I remember,
Nor turned about till I got home,
Locked up in mother's chamber.

Grand Old Flag

Lyrics by George M. Cohan

There's a feeling comes a-stealing,
And it sets my brain a-reeling,
When I'm listening to the music of a military band.
Any tune like “Yankee Doodle”,
Simply sets me off my noodle,
It's that patriotic something that no one can understand.
“Way down south, in the land of cotton,”
Melody untiring,
Ain't that inspiring?
Hurrah! Hurrah! We’ll join the jubilee!
And that’s going some, for the Yankees, by gum!
Red, white and blue, I am for you!
Honest, you're a grand old flag!

I'm no cranky hanky panky,
I'm a dead square, honest Yankee,
And I'm mighty proud of that old flag
That flies for Uncle Sam.
Though I don't believe in raving,
Ev'ry time I see it waving,
There's a chill runs up my back that makes me glad I'm what I am.
Here's a land with a million soldiers,
That's if we should need 'em,
We'll fight for freedom!
Hurrah! Hurrah! For every Yankee tar
And old G. A. R.
Ev'ry stripe, ev'ry star.
Red, white and blue,
Hats off to you,
Honest, you're a grand old flag!

Chorus
You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of,
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
But should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

The Caissons Go Rolling Along - US Army Anthem

Words and Music by Major Edmund L. Gruber - 1907

Over hill, over dale,
As we hit the dusty trail,
And the Caissons go rolling along.
In and out, hear them shout,
Counter march and right about,
And the Caissons go rolling along.

Then it's hi! Hi! Hee!
In the field artillery,
Shout out your numbers loud and strong,
For where'er you go,
You will always know
That the Caissons go rolling along.

In the storm, in the night,
Action left or action right
See those Caissons go rolling along
Limber front, limber rear,
Prepare to mount your cannoneer
And those Caissons go rolling along.

Then it's hi! Hi! Hee!
In the field artillery,
Shout out your numbers loud and strong,
For where'er you go,
You will always know
That the Caissons go rolling along.

Was it high, was it low,
Where the heck did that one go?
As those Caissons go rolling along
Was it left, was it right,
Now we won't get home tonight
And those Caissons go rolling along.

Then it's hi! Hi! Hee!
In the field artillery,
Shout out your numbers loud and strong,
For where'er you go,
You will always know
That the Caissons go rolling along.
That the Caissons go rolling along.
That the Caissons go rolling along.

Anchors Aweigh – official song of US Navy

Music by Lieutenant Charles A. Zimmermann, USN - 1906
Midshipman First Class Alfred Hart Miles - title and wrote first two stanzas in November 1906.
The concluding stanza was written by Midshipman Royal Lovell - 1926.

Original Lyrics

Stand Navy down the field, sails set to the sky.
We'll never change our course, so Army you steer shy-y-y-y.
Roll up the score, Navy, Anchors Aweigh.
Sail Navy down the field and sink the Army, sink the Army Grey.

Get underway, Navy, Decks cleared for the fray.
We'll hoist true Navy Blue So Army down your Grey-y-y-y.
Full speed ahead, Navy; Army heave to,
Furl Black and Grey and Gold and hoist the Navy, hoist the Navy Blue.

Blue of the Seven Seas; Gold of God's great sun,
Let these our colors be Till all of time be done-n-n-ne,
By Severn shore we learn Navy's stern call:
Faith, courage, service true With honor over, honor over all.

Revised Lyrics by George D. Lottman
It is Verse 2 that is most widely sung.

Stand, Navy, out to sea, Fight our battle cry,
We'll never change our course, So vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.
Roll out the TNT, Anchors Aweigh. Sail on to victory,
And sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray!

Anchors aweigh, my boys, anchors aweigh.
Farewell to college joys, we sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.
Through our last night on shore, drink to the foam,
Until we meet once more. Here's wishing you a happy voyage home.

The Marine Hymn

The "Marines' Hymn" is the official hymn of the United States Marine Corps. It is the oldest official song in the United States military; the author of the song itself is unknown

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.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From 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 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.

Extra verses
Over the years, people have written unofficial extra verses to commemorate later battles and actions. For example, this verse commemorated the occupation of Iceland during World War II:

Again in 1941, we sailed a north'ard course,
And found beneath the midnight sun, the Viking and the Norse,
The Iceland girls were slim and fair, and fair the Iceland scenes,
And the Army found in landing there, the United States Marines.

The Air Force Song

Lyrics and music by Robert MacArthur Crawford - 1939.

The full lyrics of the song are as follows:

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!
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!

Additional verses:

Minds of men fashioned a crate of thunder,
Sent it high into the blue;
Hands of men blasted the world asunder;
How they lived God only knew!
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer,
Gave us wings, ever to soar!
With scouts before and bombers galore. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

Bridge: "A Toast to the Host"

Here's a toast to the host,
Of those who love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those who gave their all of old,
Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.
A toast to the host of men we boast, the U.S. Air Force!

Zoom!

Off we go into the wild sky yonder,
Keep the wings level and true;
If you'd live to be a grey-haired wonder
Keep the nose out of the blue!
Flying men, guarding the nation's border,
We'll be there, followed by more!
In echelon we carry on. Hey!
Nothing will stop the U.S. Air Force!