In honor of our new President, a little history on “Hail to the Chief”, the song played when the President appears in public. Taken from Wikipedia.

The music was written circa 1821 by James Sanderson, conductor of the Surrey Theatre in London. The lyrics came from Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake, a narrative poem set in Scotland that was highly influential in the 19th century. The song is sung by two Scottish clansmen as they are crossing Loch Katrine in a boat, heading for the island hide-out of a Highland chief.

Hail to the chief, who in triumph advances,
Honored and bless’d be the evergreen pine!
Long may the tree in his banner that glances,
Flourish, the shelter and grace of our line.
Heav’n send it happy dew,
Earth lend it sap anew,
Gaily to bourgeon and broadly to grow;
While ev’ry highland glen,
Sends our shout back again,
“Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! i-e-roe!”
Ours is no sapling, chance-sown by the fountain,
Blooming at Beltane, in winter to fade;
When the whirlwind has stripp’d ev’ry leaf on the mountain,
The more shall Clan Alpine exult in her shade.
Moor’d in the lifted rock,
Proof to the tempest shock,
Firmer he roots him, the ruder it blow;
Menteith and Breadalbane, then,
Echo his praise again,
“Roderigh Vich alpine dhu, ho! i-e-roe!”
Row, vassals, row for the pride of the Highlands!
Stretch to your oars for the evergreen pine!
Oh, that the rosebud that graces yon islands,
Were wreath’d in a garland around him to twine!
O, that some seedling gem,
Worthy such noble stem,
Honor’d and bless’d in their shadow might grow!
Loud should Clan Alpine then,
Ring from her deepmost glen,
“Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! i-e-roe!”

The song was first played to announce the arrival of the president at James K. Polk’s inauguration on March 4, 1845. It now announces the arrival of the president at most public events. The lyrics are rarely sung. Understandibly šŸ™‚

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