Saturday, December 02, 2006

Roll up the score, Navy, Anchors Aweigh

"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, Anchors Aweigh.
Sail Navy down the field and sink the Army, sink the Army Grey!"
We're within a few minutes of The Game, and I'm hanging out with some West Point grads here at the office so that I can harass them during (and after!) the game. It starts at 10:30pm and runs past midnight, but this is definitely one worth staying up for. We've been trading jabs back and forth all week, including a few well placed back-and-forth notes in this morning's staff brief. (I had the Chaplain on my side, so I think that trumps all the other ones!) Some have asked me why I have put up so much with the Army shenanigans, and I've explained that they need to take their shots before the game since they won't have a chance after! Touche!

If you watch the game until the end, you'll see one of the longstanding traditions, where the players all go to the opponents' side of the field to sing their alma maters... losing side first, and then the winners. I'll repeat that order and post the words here so you can sing along. (I'll actually put all verses, although traditionally only the first verse is sung at the game.)

The Alma Mater by P. S. Reinecke, USMA 1911
"Hail, Alma Mater dear,
To us be ever near,
Help us thy motto bear
Through all the years.
Let duty be well performed,
Honor be e'er untarned,
Country be ever armed,
West Point, by thee."
"Guide us, thy sons, aright,
Teach us by day, by night,
To keep thine honor bright,
For thee to fight.
When we depart from thee,
Serving on land or sea,
May we still loyal be,
West Point, to thee."
"And when our work is done,
Our course on earth is run,
May it be said, 'Well Done;
Be Thou At Peace.'
E'er may that line of gray
Increase from day to day,
Live, serve, and die, we pray,
West Point, for thee."
Of note, the second verse of the West Point alma mater starts out with "Guide us, thy sons, aright" and has not been changed despite its gender specific language. On the other hand, Navy's alma mater was altered in May 2004 to alter "college men" to read "colleges" and "sailor men" to read "sailors brave". While meaning absolutely no offense to female sailors who serve just as valiantly as the men, I'm still going to sing it the way it was pounded into my head 22 years ago.
Navy Blue and Gold
Lyrics by CDR Roy DeS. Horn, USN (Ret)
Music by J.W. Crosley
"Now colleges from sea to sea
May sing of colors true,
But who has better right then we
To hoist a symbol hue?
For sailors brave 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."

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