Lyrics to "Hail, Columbia"

-- Melody composed: 1789; Lyrics added: 1798



"Hail, Columbia" was composed in 1789 to celebrate the first presidential inauguration of George Washington and was originally known as "The President's March". The lyrics were not added to the melody until 1798. The name "Columbia" was often used in 18th century poetry and music to refer to the United States. The song was considered by many to be the unofficial national anthem of the United States until 1931, when "The Star-Spangled Banner" was officially declared to be the national anthem. Today, "Hail, Columbia" is the official song of the Vice President of the United States and is played with four ruffles and flourishes whenever the Vice President makes an entrance at an official event.





Hail Columbia, happy land!
Hail, ye heroes, heaven-born band,
Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
And when the storm of war was gone
Enjoyed the peace your valor won.
Let independence be our boast,
Ever mindful what it cost;
Ever grateful for the prize,
Let its altar reach the skies.


Chorus:
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying 'round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.


Sound, sound the trump of fame,
Let Washington's great name
Ring through the world with loud applause,
Ring through the world with loud applause,
Let every clime to freedom dear,
Listen with a joyful ear,
With equal skill and God-like power
He governs in the fearful hour
Of horrid war, or guides with ease
The happier times of honest peace.



Additional verses:


Immortal patriots, rise once more,
Defend your rights, defend your shore!
Let no rude foe, with impious hand,
Let no rude foe, with impious hand,
Invade the shrine where sacred lies
Of toil and blood, the well-earned prize,
While offering peace, sincere and just,
In Heaven's we place a manly trust,
That truth and justice will prevail,
And every scheme of bondage fail.


Behold the chief who now commands,
Once more to serve his country stands.
The rock on which the storm will break,
The rock on which the storm will break,
But armed in virtue, firm, and true,
His hopes are fixed on Heaven and you.
When hope was sinking in dismay,
When glooms obscured Columbia's day,
His steady mind, from changes free,
Resolved on death or liberty.


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