A Life on the Ocean Wave

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"A Life on the Ocean Wave" is a poem-turned-song by Epes Sargent published in 1838 and set to music by Henry Russell.

Overview[edit]

One day Sargent and Russell were walking on The Battery in New York City watching the ships enter the harbour. This scene inspired Sargent to write a poem, which Russell then put to music. The song soon became popular in both the United Kingdom and the United States.[1]

At an 1851 celebration in Salem, Massachusetts, the Boston Cadet Band gave the new clipper ship Witch of the Wave a lively sendoff by striking up "A Life on the Ocean Wave" as the USS R. B. Forbes towed the new clipper out to set sail for Boston.[2]

In 1882, the Deputy Adjutant General of the Royal Marines requested that the Bandmaster of each Royal Marine Division (Portsmouth, Plymouth, Chatham) submit an arrangement for a new regimental march for the Corps, if possible based on a naval song. Kappey, the Bandmaster of the Chatham Division, submitted an arrangement of "A Life on the Ocean Wave", with an eight bar trio from "The Sea" by Sigismund Neukomm, which was authorised for use as the regimental quick march of the Corps of Royal Marines in 1882.

In the United States, it is the official march of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The tune, played by the Band of the Royal Marines, is played over the opening credits of the 1992 BBC television film An Ungentlemanly Act, about the first days of the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cleaveland, Nancy (2009). "Pioneer Girl, Fact and Fiction of Laura Ingalls Wilder, A to Z". Retrieved Sep 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ Clark, Arthur H. (1910). The Clipper Ship Era, An Epitome of Famous American and British Clipper Ships, Their Owners, Builders, Commanders, and Crews, 1843-1869. Camden, ME: G.P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 166–169. 

External links[edit]