Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here

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Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here is an American popular song first published in 1917. The lyrics were written by D. A. Esrom (pseudonym of Theodora Morse) partly to a tune originally written by Arthur Sullivan[1] for the 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance. The tune is part of "With Cat-Like Tread" from Act II of Pirates of Penzance and was arranged by Morse from Sullivan's original.[citation needed]

Hail, hail, the gang's all here
What the heck do we care
What the heck do we care
Hail, hail, the gang's all here
What the heck do we care now

(Original lyrics by W. S. Gilbert)

Come, friends, who plough the sea
Truce to navigation
Take another station
Let's vary piracy
With a little burglary

It appears that the lyric "Hail, hail, the gang's all here" had unofficially been added to Sullivan's melody many years before 1917. A Philadelphia Inquirer news item from April 1, 1898, for example, stated that during a raucous meeting, members of the Philadelphia Common Council loudly sang, "Hail, hail, the gang's all here, what the h--- do we care! What the h--- do we care!"[2] Likewise, a Delaware state legislature session in March 1900 was disrupted when Democratic members loudly sang the song.[3] The title line of the song is also quoted in the closing measures of the 1915 song "Alabama Jubilee".[citation needed]

The song is referred to in Kurt Vonnegut's book, Slaughterhouse-Five: "The door was flung open from inside. Light leaped out through the door, escaped from prison at 186,000 miles per second. Out marched fifty middle-aged Englishmen. They were singing "Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here" from the Pirates of Penzance."[citation needed]

By the 1960s, the chorus of the song (with revised lyrics) had become popular in Irish and Scottish communities as being part of "The Celtic Song", sung by the fans of Glasgow Celtic in Scotland and later other teams.[citation needed] Glen Daly recorded an "official version" of "The Celtic Song" that is commonly played at Celtic Park prior to matches.[citation needed]

External resources[edit]


  1. ^ "Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here". Worldcat. 1917. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Riotous Commoners: Scenes of Disorder in the Lower Chamber," Philadelphia Inquirer, April 1, 1898, p. 2
  3. ^ "Wild Times in Dover," Batavia (NY) Spirit of the Times, March 1901