Hail, Columbia

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For the IMAX film entitled "Hail Columbia!" about the maiden voyage of the space shuttle, see STS-1.
"Hail, Columbia", preceded by four ruffles and flourishes as played for the Vice President, performed by the United States Navy Band Ceremonial Band

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Cover of the 1861 sheet music for "Hail, Columbia"
Sheet music version

"Hail, Columbia" is an American patriotic song. It was considered, with several other songs, one of the unofficial national anthems of the United States until 1931, when "The Star-Spangled Banner" was officially named the national anthem. Columbia is a poetic name for the United States in use during the 18th century.

The anthem was composed by Philip Phile in 1789 for the first inauguration of George Washington, titled "The President's March", arranged with lyrics by Joseph Hopkinson in 1798. It was used in the United States as a de facto national anthem for most of the 19th century[1], but lost popularity after World War I when it was replaced by "The Star-Spangled Banner" in 1931.

It was the anthem for the President until it was replaced by the song Hail to the Chief.[2]

It is now the official Vice Presidential anthem.[3] When played in honor of the Vice President, the song is always preceded by four ruffles and flourishes. In addition, the song has been used as a slow march during military ceremonies, often while the band counter-marches.

The song is not to be confused with "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean", nor with "Stand Columbia", the alma mater of Columbia University.

Lyrics[edit]

Hail Columbia, happy land!
Hail, ye heroes, heav'n-born band,
Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
And when the storm of war was gone
Enjoy'd the peace your valor won.
Let independence be our boast,
Ever mindful what it cost;
Ever grateful for the prize,
Let its altar reach the skies.

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Chorus
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.

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Immortal patriots, rise once more,
Defend your rights, defend your shore!
Let no rude foe, with impious hand,
Let no rude foe, with impious hand,
Invade the shrine where sacred lies
Of toil and blood, the well-earned prize,
While off'ring peace, sincere and just,
In Heaven's we place a manly trust,
That truth and justice will prevail,
And every scheme of bondage fail.

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Chorus
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.

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Behold the chief who now commands,
Once more to serve his country stands.
The rock on which the storm will break,
The rock on which the storm will break,
But armed in virtue, firm, and true,
His hopes are fixed on Heav'n and you.
When hope was sinking in dismay,
When glooms obscured Columbia's day,
His steady mind, from changes free,
Resolved on death or liberty.

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Chorus
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.

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Sound, sound the trump of fame,
Let Washington's great name
Ring through the world with loud applause,
Ring through the world with loud applause,
Let ev'ry clime to freedom dear,
Listen with a joyful ear,
With equal skill, with God-like pow'r
He governs in the fearful hour
Of horrid war, or guides with ease
The happier time of honest peace.

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Chorus
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ *Collins, Ace. Songs Sung, Red, White, and Blue: The Stories Behind America's Best-Loved Patriotic Songs. HarperResource, 2003, p. 98-105.
  2. ^ *Collins, Ace. Songs Sung, Red, White, and Blue: The Stories Behind America's Best-Loved Patriotic Songs. HarperResource, 2003, p. 105.
  3. ^ "Ruffles and Flourishes". Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary. Department of Music, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
    Citing:

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]