The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6315   Message #4176245
Posted By: Lighter
06-Jul-23 - 07:34 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The Marines' Hymn / Halls of Montezuma
Subject: RE: Origins: The Marines' Hymn / Halls of Montezuma
That four-stanza version was published anonymously a few months later in the semi-official "Army and Navy Register" (Feb. 8, 1913) under the title "Marine Corps Ode," suggesting that it was new to the editors and possibly assumed to be a poem only.

Confusing the issue further is an interview given by former Marine Band director John Philip Sousa to the Grand Island [Neb.] Daily Independent, Oct. 24, 1927. Sousa, then 73, recalled that he had composed the official march of the U.S. Marines, "Semper Fidelis," "one night while in tears after my comrades of the Marine Corps had sung their famous hymn at Quantico."

"Semper Fidelis" appeared in 1888. However - and it's a big however - Marines weren't stationed near the small town of Quantico, Va., until 1917. Sousa's recollection cannot be trusted. He composed at least 15 marches in 1917-18, but "Semper Fidelis" wasn't one of them.

As of now there's no reliable evidence whatsoever that the "Marines' Hymn" existed in any form before 1906 or that the three current stanzas (with some verbal differences) were sung before 1911 or 1912.

Lieutenant Colonel Henry C. Davis certainly had some connection with the lyrics, revising or adding to them in 1911, but exactly what he wrote is not clear.

It may not be coincidental that the four-stanza version didn't appear in print (so far as is known) until 1912-13.