Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Heart of Oak
For other meanings see Hearts of Oak
"Heart of Oak" is the official march of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. It is also the official march of the Canadian Navy, as well as the Canadian Forces' Naval Operations Branch.
The music was composed by Dr William Boyce and the words were written by the 18th Century English actor David Garrick.
The "wonderful year" referenced in the first verse is 1759-60, during which British forces were victorious in battles at Quebec City and Quiberon Bay, followed a few months later by the Battle of Wandiwash in India in 1760.
Heart of Oak, even though it is the official march of these military branches was originally written as an opera, many marches don't have lyrics, but the operatic lyrics were adopted for this march and are still proudly sung by many soldiers and cadets in the Commonwealth.

Come, cheer up, my lads, 'tis to glory we steer, To add something more to this wonderful year; To honour we call you, as freemen not slaves, For who are as free as the sons of the waves?
CHORUS Heart of oak are our ships, jolly tars are our men, we always are ready; Steady, boys, steady! We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.
We ne'er see our foes but we wish them to stay, They never see us but they wish us away; If they run, why we follow, and run them ashore, And if they won't fight us, we cannot do more.
They swear they'll invade us, these terrible foes, They frighten our women, our children and beaus, But should their flat bottoms in darkness get o'er, Still Britons they'll find to receive them on shore.
Britannia triumphant, her ships sweep the sea, Her standard is Justice -- her watchword, 'be free.' Then cheer up, my lads, with one heart let us sing, Our soldiers, our sailors, our statesmen, and king.

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