The Marine's Hymn
Download Midi File

Mark R. Weston

The tune is from the "Two Men in the Army", part of the comic opera in "Genevieve de Brabant" by Jacques Offenbach.

The words are said to have been composed by a Marine stationed in Mexico (circa 1847). Some time afterward the poem was published in The Quanitco Leatherneck. For several decades the words were sung to an old Spanish folk tune.

Two Men in the Army became popular immediately after its debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1868. Generations of marines sang the tune and it eventually became paired with the Marine's Hymn. The two were first published together in 1919. In 1920 the United States Marine Corps copyrighted the song.

The first two lines were inscribed on the corps colors from "a date of many years ago". The first two lines refer to action the Corps saw in the Mexican American War and war with the Barbary Pirates. The last verse was probably written in 1911 by Col. Henry C. Davis.

"In the air, on land and sea"was originally "On the land as on the sea." The words were changed by order of the Commandant (thanks Jerry Beach!)

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli,
We will fight out country's battles
In the air, on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean.
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurl'd to ev'ry breeze
From dawn to setting sun
We have fought in ev'ry clime and place
Where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands,
And in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job -
The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our corps,
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life,
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.
Related Links
Information and lyrics from The Book of Navy Songs
See Bibliography for full information.

Midi File from
Lance Corporal Robert Kent Mattson, USMC, Memorial Page
which is no longer active.