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Hail To The Chief

Hail to the Chief is one of the most famliar patroitic songs. Learn the story behind the famous presidential song and read the original lyrics. A full length cd is also available for purchase.

Presidential Song

By James Sanderson
1812

Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief!  We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge co-operation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.
Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,
This you will do, that's our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one we selected as commander,
Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief!
repeat

Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief!  We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge co-operation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.
Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,
This you will do, that's our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one we selected as commander,
Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief!
repeat

Hail To The Chief - 
United States Marine Band
GIFT ITEM



CD - Brand New Also includes:
Hail To The Chief
Star Spangled Banner 
Auld Lang Syne
Presidential Funeral March
26 Historical  Recordings in all
$12.95
ong

Click here to order:

 The Story Behind "Hail to the Chief:

 "Hail to the Chief" is traditionally played by the United States Marine Band to announce the ceremonial entrance of the U.S. Commander-in-Chief -- the President of the United States. While "Hail to the Chief" is played at various functions and times during the year, the song did not start out as a presidential march. It was originally written by an English composer named James Sanderson for a stage adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's poem, "The Lady of the Lake". The song was first performed in the U.S. in 1812. The tune for the song; however, may have been borrowed from an old Scottish melody.

 "Hail to the Chief" had been played in the White House under Presidents Jackson, Van Buren, and Tyler, but it was first used ceremonially to honor President James Polk at his inauguration in 1852 and has been used ever since to announce the ceremonial entrance of U.S. Presidents.

Before "Hail to the Chief" is played, the U.S. Marine Band will play a tune known as "Ruffles and Flourishes". Ruffles are played on drums, and flourishes are played on bugles. They are sounded together and repeated based on the title or office of the honoree. The President of the United States receives four, which is the highest honor. By playing "Ruffles and Flourishes" and then "Hail to the Chief", the President not only has time to make an entrance to the center of activities, but the crowd is silenced and attention is directed to the activities. Because of its military nature and appropriate title, the Department of Defense made "Hail to the Chief" the official music to announce the President of the United States in 1954.

 Did you know? The U.S. Marine Band was established by an Act of Congress signed by President John Adams in July 11, 1798, and is the oldest professional musical organization in the United States. The Marine Band is the only musical organization whose primary mission is to provide music for the President of the United States.

The first time "Hail to the Chief" was used to honor a President was on February 22, 1815. New lyrics were added and the title was changed to "Wreaths for the Chieftain". The song was sung in honor of George Washington's birthday. Washington had died sixteen years earlier.

The first time "Hail to the Chief" was used to honor a living President was on July 4, 1828, when President John Quincy Adams attended the opening of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. This is also the first time "Hail to the Chief" was performed by the U.S. Marine Band.

President Chester Arthur did not feel that the music was dignified, and asked John Philip Sousa, then conductor of the Marine Band, to compose a different fanfare. Sousa wrote, "Presidential Polonaise", but it never caught on and was again replaced by "Hail to the Chief" during the Cleveland administration. This audio version of "Hail to the Chief" was obtained from the United States Air Force (USAF) Heritage of America Band. Visit the USAF Heritage of America Band's official Web site for more patriotic songs. You can also visit the U.S. Marine Band's Web site.

Courtesy of the U.S. Government Printing Office

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