The Army Goes Rolling Along

The Army Goes Rolling Along

"The Army Goes Rolling Along" is the official song of the United States Army [ Army Regulation 220-90,] "Army Bands", 27 November 2000, para 2-5f, g] and is typically called "The Army Song."

The Caisson Song

The song is based on the "Caisson Song" written by field artillery First Lieutenant (later Brigadier General) Edmund L. Gruber, Lieutenant William Bryden, and Lieutenant (later Major General) Robert Danford while stationed at Fort Stotsenburg in the Philippines in March 1908. [ "Field Artillery",] November-December 2002, background and original lyrics] The tune quickly became popular in field artillery units. In 1917 the Secretary of the Navy and Army Lieutenant George Friedlander of the 306th Field Artillery asked John Philip Sousa to create a march using the "Caisson Song." Sousa changed the key, harmony, and rhythm and renamed it "U.S. Field Artillery." [ [ Marshall's Civic Band] ] The recording sold 750,000 copies. [ Fort Bragg] article] Sousa did not know who had written the song and had been told that it dated back to the Civil War. Upon learning of the true composer, he gave the royalties to Gruber. Wigginton, F. Peter, [ "Soldiers" magazine,] July 1994, p. 45 ] "The Caisson Song" was never designated as the official Army song likely because the lyrics were too closely identified with the field artillery and not the entire Army.

earch for an Official Song

As the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard had already adopted official songs, the Army was anxious to find a song of its own. In 1948, the Army conducted a contest to find an official song, but no entry received much popular support. In 1952, Secretary of the Army Frank Pace asked the music industry to submit songs and received over 800 submissions. "The Army's Always There" by Sam Stept won the contest, [ [,9171,820890,00.html "Time" magazine,] January 19, 1953] and an Army band performed it at President Dwight D. Eisenhower's inaugural parade on January 20, 1953. However, many thought that the tune was too similar to "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts," so the Army decided to keep the tune from the "Caisson Song" but with new lyrics. A submission by Harold W. Arberg, a music advisor to the Adjutant General, was accepted. [ Dorr, Robert, [ "Westchester Chordsmen",] December 2004, p. 4 ] Secretary of the Army Wilber Marion Brucker dedicated the song on Veterans Day, November 11, 1956. [ [ Army Field Manual 3-21.5,] "Drill and Ceremonies", 12 April 2006, para. 1-2h ] The song is played at the conclusion of most U.S. Army ceremonies, and all soldiers are expected to stand at attention and sing. When more than one service song is played, they are played in the order specified by Army regulations: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

Caisson Song (1908, original version) [ [ United States Field Artillery Association] ]

Over hill over dale we have hit the dusty trail
As our caissons go rolling along.
Up and down, in and out, Countermarch and right about,
And our caissons go rolling along.

For it's hi-hi-hee in the Fifth Artillery,Shout out the number loud and strong.

Till our final ride, It will always be our pride
To keep those caissons a rolling along.
(Keep them rolling - keep them rolling)*
Keep those caissons a rolling along.
(B-a-t-t-e-r-y H-a-l-t!)*

=U.S. Field Artillery (1917) =

(by Sousa, copyright and published by Carl Fischer)

Verse::Over hill, over dale:We have hit the dusty trail,:And the Caissons go rolling along.:In and out, hear them shout,:Counter march and right about,:And the Caissons go rolling along.

Refrain::For it's hi! hi! hee!:In the field artillery,:Shout out your numbers loud and strong,:And where e'er you go,:You will always know:That the Caissons go rolling along.

Verse::In the storm, in the night,:Action left or action right:See those Caissons go rolling along:Limber front, limber rear,:Prepare to mount your cannoneer:And those Caissons go rolling along.


Verse::Was it high, was it low,:Where the hell did that one go?:As those Caissons go rolling along:Was it left, was it right,:Now we won't get home tonight:And those Caissons go rolling along.


The Army Goes Rolling Along (1956, current official version) [ [ U.S. Army Bands] information and recordings ]

"typically only the first verse and refrain are sung (not including the intro)"

Intro::March along, sing our song, with the Army of the free:Count the brave, count the true, who have fought to victory:We're the Army and proud of our name:We're the Army and proudly proclaim

Verse::First to fight for the right,:And to build the Nation’s might,:And The Army Goes Rolling Along:Proud of all we have done,:Fighting till the battle’s won,:And the Army Goes Rolling Along.

Refrain::Then it's Hi! Hi! Hey!:The Army's on its way.:Count off the cadence loud and strong *:For where e’er we go,:You will always know:That The Army Goes Rolling Along.:"* "Two! Three!" is typically sung here but is not an official part of the song"

Verse::Valley Forge, Custer's ranks,:San Juan Hill and Patton's tanks,:And the Army went rolling along:Minute men, from the start,:Always fighting from the heart,:And the Army keeps rolling along.


Verse::Men in rags, men who froze,:Still that Army met its foes,:And the Army went rolling along.:Faith in God, then we're right,:And we'll fight with all our might,:As the Army keeps rolling along.


Dirigere Christian Academy (Augusta, ME U. S. A.) Theme Song

In 1979, this popular military tune acquired new lyrics for use by Dirigere Christian Academy, a Christian school at the First United Pentecostal Church in Augusta, Maine. Sis. Deanna Willhoite came up with the words for the school song; the song in this rendition is still used today.

Chorus::Dirigere — Dirigere::That’s the name we like to hear:When we stand up to honor our school.

Refrain::As we learn to live,:And of ourselves we give —:Standing tall for Jesus everyday;:Take the cross with the crown,:And it makes us Heaven-bound;:Dirigere — Dirigere —:Hooray!

The Dirigere School Song is sung each school morning in Chapel and devotions by the student body and staff just before heading off into the Learning Center (main classroom) for studies; it’s even played at special school events.

References in popular culture

*The tune was used by the Hoover Company in vacuum radio advertisements during the 1940s.
*The tune was used in commercials for Hasbro's "G.I. Joe" toyline during the 1960s. The words: "G.I. Joe...G.I. Joe...fighting man from head to toe...on the land...on the the air."
*The tune was used in at least ten movies. [ [ Internet Movie Database,] entry for Gruber]
*Rerun van Pelt briefly sings the U.S. Field Artillery version of the song in "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown."
*A sped-up version of the tune is the official fight song of North Carolina State University. [ [ North Carolina State University.] Retrieved on February 22, 2007.] (See NC State Wolfpack.)
*A song is sung in "Barney and Friends" called "The Rocket Song" to the same tune.
*Musical satirist Tom Lehrer served during the time when the Army was soliciting an official song. Later, as part of his stage act, he stated that he had submitted an entry called "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier," which lampooned the Army and was rejected.
*The WWII mod of Half-Life, called Day of Defeat, plays the Army Song whenever the Allied team completes all of their objectives.


External links

* [ Army Field Manual 12-50, "Army Bands", 15 October 1999, Appendix A-9] , sheet music
* [ U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus] recordings
* [ Dallas Wind Symphony] recording
* [ Library of Congress] article
* [ 1921 recording of "U.S. Field Artillery," at the Library of Congress]

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