|Semper Fidelis is the title of the official march of the United States Marine Corps, composed by John Philip Sousa in 1889. Lyrics to the march were written by Charles Burr.
"Semper fidelis" is a fabulous Latin motto
meaning that in centuries of Roman might the soldier swore that he would fight
For Caesar, never questioning if he might return
or if the enemy when they attack could be driven aback — and that's what it means.
"We're ever faithful" is the general gist in countries that are Christian
Though it means almost the same we pledge no longer to the name
Of Caesar, but to principles of the land we know and love,
Bestowing the motto in war on our readiest corps — the mighty Marines.
Men are dutiful to things contradictory —
loving all that is beautiful — knowing battle and victory.
They expect our expressions benedictory,
and they find it perplexing and vexing and odd when we are shocked.
They've forgotten the old established verities,
seeking only for fame and gold, seeing only disparities.
Those who worship the one true God are rarities
who remember the Biblical saying that God will not be mocked!
When the call to the true believer comes from the Church of God
Will they all in their heart receive Him go where He bids them trod?
Will the men who appear deserving, who to their faith are true,
answer when they are called to serving, do what she bids them do?
For many men profess their loyalty to true democracy yet bow to mockery
and bend the knee to aristocracy, for to live their creed their need is small.
And may men proclaim their worthiness, display their lowliness, disclaim their earthiness.
Oh give us strength to seek true holiness, and in word and deed to heed the call!
Here is a more modern version of the lyrics, written in 2009 by Don Farrar:
Who’s making all the noise?
It’s just the Marching Boys!
Let’s all go out to greet them as they tramp along the street!
“Semper Fidelis” is the song that we sing as we go marching
Over land and everywhere; yes, even flying in the air.
We’re always marching, even though we got heavy boots beneath us
And a forty-pound pack on our back, all because we must be
Prepared to attack!
We’re happy fella’s as we’re marching ahead; we may get blisters
But we’re manly sons o’bitches; even though our feet need stitches,
We keep marching to the beat of the drum. When all seems lost you see us
Forging ahead to the front. It’s because for Marines,
There’s no turning back!
It’s a wonderful thing to see us march for you!
What a fabulous sight to view,
Such a beautiful line of blue!
And forever we’ll keep the faith you’ve brought us forth:
To defend all the borders our nation can see,
Both south and north!
We will ever be faithful, true and, oh, so bold,
When the weather is freezing cold,
It can make us all feel so old,
But forget it, we’re young and foolish anyway,
You can count on us all to be “Semper Fidel-
Is” ev’ry day! Hey!
Don’t you know the Marines are marching,
When you can hear this song?
So, when all of the boys are marching,
Sing as they march along.
Yes, we know the Marines are coming!
Everyone sing along!
As we hear how the drums are thrumming,
Welcome the marching throng!
You can see as they pass before us,
Shoulders square, heads held high;
That the pride of the Corps is glorious,
Hail to our “Semper Fi!”
But only one can come “E Pluribus”
No one can worry us if you are sure of us,
We know this song won't be superfluous
If it gets more of us to join The Corps.
We always knew there’d be a Corps for us;
If there were more of us, they’d start a war for us!
‘Cause lately we’re so damn victorious
Let’s get uproarious for Semper Fi!
Copyright by Don Farrar 2009
All rights reserved
Permission granted for use in Wikisource by Don Farrar 5/12/09