Monday, August 10, 2015

The Presidential Anthem: Hail to the Chief

The official presidential anthem, Hail to the Chief , was first played in Boston to commemorate the birthday of George Washington, on February 22, 1815.  The tune did not formally become associated with the presidency until the administration of John Tyler (1841-1845), when the Marine band was instructed to play the air whenever the president appeared. 

The words of the song come from an 1810 poem written by Sir Walter Scott:
       Hail to the Chief who in
     triumph advances!
       Honour’d and bless’d be the
     evergreen pine!        
       Long may the tree in his
     banner that glances
       Flourish, the shelter and grace
     Of our line!

Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, used Hail to the Chief, as his presidential anthem.

     In 1933 the man who subverted American democracy pronounced, “The fact is, the English are soft. Britain is like a frightened, flabby old woman. The whole empire is just rotted through and through. Kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will collapse.” He would soon drag America into a two ocean war, with Canada as the prize.
     Sticking as closely as possible to the real history of the period, making no radical leaps in terms of behavior, logic, or technology, the author paints a stunning picture of how the history of the world could have been radically different.

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