Sung from our boot camp days until we're old and grey, the hymn holds so much meaning, causes me to purse my lips and grit my teeth. My eyes close to a squint as I listen and sing or hum along with a sense of pride shared by the few, the proud, the Marines both past and present.
Happy Birthday Marines!
If you're out and about tonight, you may hear the following three verses flowing out of the pubs, hotels, convention centers, or the next foxhole over, followed by human barking, jubilant shouts of "I love you man!", and proud men and women celebrating with a stern "Happy Birthday Marine!"
From the Halls of Montezuma,To they guys from Radio Batallion...Happy Birthday Marines! To my sister Amy and her husband Jason, both also a former Marines, Happy Birthday Marines!
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and 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 unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every 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.