Anchors Aweigh

From Sajun.org

This article is about the song "Anchors Aweigh". For the 1945 film of the same name starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, see: Anchors Aweigh (movie).


Original sheet music cover

"Anchors Aweigh" is the song of the United States Navy, composed in 1906 by Charles A. Zimmerman with lyrics by Alfred Hart Miles.

Zimmerman was at the time a Lieutenant, and had been bandmaster of the United States Naval Academy Band since 1887. Miles was a Midshipman First Class at the Academy, in the class of 1907, and asked Zimmerman to assist him in composing a song for that class, to be used as a football march. The original lyrics, in two verses by Miles, were:

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

The song was first played during the Army-Navy football game on December 1, 1906, at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Before a crowd in excess of 30,000 Navy won the game with a score of 10-0, their first win in the matchup since 1900.

Another Academy Midshipman, Royal Lovell (class of 1926) later wrote what would be adopted into the song as its third verse:

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.

The song was gradually adopted as the song of the U.S. Navy; although there is a pending proposal to make it the official song, and to incorporate protocol into Navy regulations for its performance, its status remains unofficial as of 2004. Its lyrics were considered too specific to the Academy and not representative of the Navy at large, and so were rewritten by George D. Lottman (note the reference to "farewell to college joys"). Its melody was also slightly rewritten by Domenico Salvino. The current lyrics include three verses and two bridges; the second verse is the one most commonly sung.

Verse 1

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 T. N. T.
Anchors Aweigh
Sail on to victory and
Sink their bones to Davy Jones hooray!

Bridge

Yo ho there shipmate
Take the fighting to the far off seas
Yo ho there messmate
Hear the wailing of the wild banshees
All hands, fire brands
Let's Blast them as we go. So

Verse 2

Anchors Aweigh my boys
Anchors Aweigh
Farewell to college joys
We sail at break of day day day day
Through our last night on shore
Drink to the foam
Until we meet once more
Here's wishing you a happy voyage home!

Bridge

Heave a ho there sailor
Everybody drink up while you may
Heave a ho there sailor
For your gonna sail at break of day
Drink away, Drink away,
For you sail at break of day, Hey!

Verse 3

Anchors Aweigh my boys
Anchors Aweigh
Farewell to college joys
We sail at break of day day day day
Through our last night on shore
Drink to the foam
Until we meet once more
Here's wishing you a happy voyage home!

Note: to "weigh anchor" is to bring it aboard a vessel in preparation for departure. The phrase anchors aweigh is an acknowledgment to the commander that this procedure has been completed.

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