Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

This webpage reproduces an article in
Naval Institute Proceedings
Vol. 61 No. 10 (Oct. 1935), pp1482‑1491

The text is in the public domain,
the 1935 copyright not having been renewed in 1962 or 1963.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

 p1482  Naval Academy Cheers and Songs


It is not only at football games that midshipmen make the welkin ring with their yells. Throughout the four years at the academy and on the practice cruises giving voice to these cheers is the method midshipmen use to show their approbation, appreciation, and good fellow­ship.

As an instance, last summer the press carried a story that a group of midshipmen on their practice cruise was given an audience by the Pope and that upon their departure the midshipmen made the walls of the Vatican echo to a "4‑N with three Holy Fathers."​a

The cheer that the graduates carry into the Service is the 4‑N, probably because it is the oldest, is the most familiar, and is the simplest of execution. There is not a graduate that has not on more than one occasion been called upon to lead or participate in a 4‑N yell during reunions, parties with our Army friends, or other gatherings where good fellow­ship reigns.


Navy! Navy! Navy!





Team! Team! Team!






Navy Rah! Rah!

Navy Rah! Rah!

Hoo‑rah! Hoo‑rah!

Navy Rah!

Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah! Navy!

Whoop Rah

Whoop Rah Team!

New Locomotive





Three Big Teams

(Spoken softly) Team

(Louder) Team

(Shouted) TEAM!

Big Rah

(Growl) Rrrrrrr‑ah! Rrrrrrr‑ah! Rrrrrrr‑ah!

Rrr‑ah! Rrr‑ah!

(Fast) N—A—V—Y! Rah! Rah! N—A—V—Y! Rah! Rah!

Hoo Rah! Hoo Rah!

Big Blue Team!!!


Ray! Ray! Ray!

Team! Team! Team!


Rah! Rah! Rah!

Rah! Rah! Rah!

Rah! Rah! Rah!

Team! Team! Team!

All Hands Up Anchor





(Whistle) (Whistle)

(Softly) All Hands!

(Shouted) Up Anchor!

Sing Song


Fight! Team! FIGHT!

Long N






Team! Team! Team!






Team Team TEAM!

 p1483  Songs

The songs reproduced in this issue are taken from The Book of Navy Songs, a carefully compiled collection of the most typical songs sung by the men and officers of the United States Navy from its very birth right down to the present day. The Book of Navy Songs was collected and edited by the "Trident Society" of the United States Naval Academy and the Naval Institute is indebted to that midshipmen's organization for permission to include in this issue certain of the many songs associated with the Naval Academy. Those that follow are a few of the ones midshipmen sing during their years at the Naval Academy and on their practice cruise.

As the singing and cheering at athletic contests is an important part of the contest, a large percentage of Academy songs are athletic in nature. Also as the cadets of the United States Military Academy are the traditional rivals of the midshipmen, it is natural that so many of the songs should have reference to the West Pointers — more usually referred to as the "Army" and the "Gray-legs."

"The Star-Spangled Banner." — The National Anthem is the piece of music most often heard in the Navy, played as it is at "Colors" and at the conclusion of every official entertainment.

Francis Scott Key spent much of his early life in Annapolis, on the spot of the present United States Naval Academy, where he frequently visited his friend and brother-in‑law, Judge Nicholson, who set this anthem to the air of "Anacreon in Heaven."

Only those who have delved into Naval Academy traditions and incidents know that the original manuscript of "The Star-Spangled Banner" rested silently from about 1814 to 1845 on the very spot which was to become the United States Naval Academy.

"Anchor's Aweigh." — The words and music of this song are entirely a Naval Academy production, and as first written was intended as the 1907 Class march. The tune was composed by Lieutenant Zimmerman, Bandmaster of the Naval Academy Band and Choir Director, who composed a march each year for the graduating class. Commander A. H. Miles, then a midshipman, wrote the words with the exception of the last verse which was written in 1925 by Midshipman R. Lovell, Class of 1926.​b

"Anchor's Aweigh" is the air to which the regiment of midshipmen march into the stadium for their annual football game with the cadets of the United States Military Academy; it is the inspiring march that the band plays when the midshipmen pass in review during dress parade; it is the song that every graduate will sing upon the slightest provocation.

"Navy Blue and Gold" (Naval Academy's Alma Mater Song). — This composition is the result of efforts to have a strictly Naval Academy song. For years most of the songs had dealt with football games and the traditional rivalry with West Point. The first fruits of this movement came in 1921, when an officer in the Fleet submitted the inspiring words that were later adopted. The words were set to music and tried out by the Glee Club but the music did not take at all. After several other efforts to fit music to the words had failed, the present tune was received with acclaim by the Glee Club. The Commandant of Midshipmen approved the music and "Navy Blue and Gold" was first sung in public in its present form on April 24, 1926. It increased in favor, both with officers on duty at the Academy and with the midshipmen, until, in 1927, the Commandant issued instructions that "Navy Blue and Gold" would be acknowledged as the Alma Mater song and that, when sung, all hands would stand and uncover.

 p1484  Professor Joseph W. Crosley, Organist and Choirmaster at the Naval Academy, is the composer of the music. Unfortunately, we do not know the author of the words; the officer in the Fleet who submitted the words either inadvertently or deliberately did not give his name.​c

"The Service Boast." — (This is a favorite football song.) The annual football game between the United States Naval and Military Academies is one of the great features of the year, and the results are quickly cabled all over the world wherever graduates may be serving. All of our ships stationed both in the Philippines and in China are said to be on the "China Station." Crabtown is the midshipmen's name for Annapolis.

"The Marine's Hymn." — This song, although dealing with the Marine Corps, is well known and popular with midshipmen and officers of the Navy. Many graduates of the United States Naval Academy enter this branch of the service.

The first two lines of the song refer to the participation of United States Marines in the War with Mexico and the War with the Barbary Pirates.

 p1486  The Star-Spangled Banner

[image ALT: Several staffs of four-part music, with words. These lyrics, and any further verses, are fully transcribed immediately following this image.]

[image ALT: Several staffs of four-part music, with words. These lyrics, and any further verses, are fully transcribed immediately following this image.]


Oh! say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,

Whose broad Stripes and bright Stars, through the perilous fight

O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air!

Gave proof through the night that our Flag was still there.

Oh, say, does that Star-Spangled Baner yet wave,

O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?


On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,

Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering deep,

As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,

In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream;

And the Star-Spangled Banner, Oh, long may it wave,

O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!


And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,

That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,

A home and a country shall leave us no more?

Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution !

No refuge could save the hireling and slave,

From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave;

And the Star-Spangled Banner, in triumph doth wave,

O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!


O thus be it e'er when freemen shall stand,

Between their lov'd home, and the war's desolation;

Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land,

Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"

And the Star-Spangled Banner, in triumph shall wave,

O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

 p1488  Anchor's Aweigh

Music by

Chas. A. Zimmerman

[image ALT: Several staffs of four-part music, with words. These lyrics, and any further verses, are fully transcribed immediately following this image.]


Stand Navy down the field,

Sails set to the sky,

We'll never change our course,

So Army you steer shy‑y‑y‑y.

Roll up the score, Navy,

Anchor's aweigh,

Sail Navy down the field

And sink the Army, sink the Army Grey.


Get under way, Navy,

Decks cleared for the fray,

We'll hoist true Navy Blue

So Army down your Grey‑y‑y‑y.

Full speed ahead, Navy;

Army heave to,

Furl Black and Grey and Gold

And hoist the Navy, hoist the Navy Blue.


Blue of the Seven Seas,

Gold of God's great sun —

Let these our colors be

Till all of time be done‑n‑n‑ne.

By Severn shore we learn

Navy's stern call:

Faith, courage, service true

With honor over, honor over all.

Music by

J. W. Crosley

[image ALT: Several staffs of four-part music, with words. These lyrics, and any further verses, are fully transcribed immediately following this image.]


Now, college men from sea to sea

May sing of colors true,

But who has better right than we

To hoist a symbol hue?

For sailor men in battle fair

Since fighting days of old,

Have proved a sailor's right to wear

The Navy Blue and Gold.


So hoist our colors, hoist them high

And vow allegiance true;

So long as sunset gilds the sky

Above the ocean blue,

Unlowered shall those colors be,

Whatever fate they meet,

So glorious in victory,

Triumphant in defeat.


Four years together by the Bay

Where Severn joins the tide,

Then by the Service called away,

We've scattered far and wide;

But still when two or three shall meet

And old tales be retold,

From low to highest in the fleet

Will pledge the Blue and Gold.

 p1490  The Service Boast

[image ALT: Several staffs of four-part music, with words. These lyrics, and any further verses, are fully transcribed immediately following this image.]

Oh, you've heard of the Navy and the men who sail the seas,

For the glory of our country's colors fair.

For the glory of the blue and gold our team is here to‑day,

And we'll cheer them as thro' Army's line they tear.

Oh, there'll be high elation on the far China Station

From Crabtown to ships at Timbuctoo,

And we'll drink a merry toast to our team, the Service boast,

And the wearers of the good old Navy Blue.

 p1491  The Marine's Hymn

[image ALT: Several staffs of four-part music, with words. These lyrics, and any further verses, are fully transcribed immediately following this image.]


From the Halls of Montezuma

To the shores of Tripoli

We fight our country's battles

On the land as on the sea.

First to fight for right and freedom

And to keep our honor clean

We are proud to claim the title

Of United States Marine.


Our flag's unfurl'd to ev'ry breeze,

From dawn to setting sun,

We have fought in ev'ry clime and place

Where we could take a gun;

In the snow of far off northern lands,

And in sunny tropic scenes,

You will find us always on the job —

The United States Marines.


Here's health to you and to our corps,

Which we are proud to serve;

In many a strife we've fought for life,

And never lost our nerve.

If the Army and the Navy

Ever look on Heaven's scenes,

They will find the streets are guarded

By United States Marines.

Thayer's Notes:

a The Class of 1935 seems to have had a good deal of spirit. In the same first class's practice cruise, Slade Cutter ("fabled submarine commander in World War II . . . the Naval Academy’s undefeated intercollegiate heavyweight boxing champion and an All-American football player whose gridiron feats are the stuff of legend") was the hero of this little episode:

On the annual summer training cruise to Europe on board the battle­ship Wyoming (BB‑32), he and the rest of the midshipmen had an audience with Pope Pius XI in Vatican City. As the Pope blessed the assemblage, Cutter stuck out his kicking foot for an extra measure of papal piety.

("Whataman!", Naval History Magazine, Vol. 30 No. 6, December 2016)

[decorative delimiter]

b Considerably fuller details on the Naval Academy's excellent page, with a further link to a soundfile of the tune as played in 1920. Readers will notice that today's title is "Anchors Aweigh" in the plural.

[decorative delimiter]

c According to (the website of the Naval Academy Business Services Division), the author of the words was Roy de Saussure Horn, later Commander. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where his tombstone gives his dates as February 2, 1894 — December 28, 1973; he was a member of the Class of 1915.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 14 Nov 21