The Stars and StripesThe Stars And Stripes Forever is one of John Philip Sousa's most famous and most often played works. Written in 1896 while on a trip to Europe, the familiar strains of this tune today are commonplace at celebrations, band concerts, and patriotic events across the United States of America.

 

Sousa was said to have played this piece at nearly every concert during the last thirty years of his career. One original recording of the Sousa band performing the song exists and can be listened to online. It is amazing to hear the actual band under the direction of Sousa himself. Although the recording is fairly poor quality, every band should listen to this recording at least once.

Another little realized fact about The Stars and Stripes is that Sousa himself wrote a set of lyrics to accompany the music:

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.

The rest of the lyrics to this song are found at the bottom of this document.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SHEET MUSIC CONTAINS THE BASIC MELODY PARTS ALONG WITH A FULL PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT. This piano arrangment is courtesy of the Mutopia Project .

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The Stars and Stripes ForeverThe Stars and Stripes Forever

 

The lyrics (words) to The Stars and Stripes Forever:

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

 

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