Hail to the Chief
I can’t begin to count the number of times they played Hail to the Chief today. I got to wondering where this earworm* came from. Seems the words are from Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake, published in 1810. (Yes there are words!) And the music, by James Sanderson, is from the London musical version of the poem. It didn’t take long to cross "the pond" and in 1815 was used at a memorial service for George Washington. According to the , Julia Tyler, wife of President John Tyler (who served from 1841 to 1845), was the first to ask that the song be used to announce the commander in chief's arrival. But it was another first lady, Sarah Polk, wife of President James K. Polk (1845-1849), who requested that "Hail to the Chief" be played routinely for presidential entrances. According to historian William Seale, Sarah Polk was concerned that her husband "was not an impressive figure, so some announcement was necessary to avoid the embarrassment of his entering a crowded room unnoticed." Funny how a short man’s insecurity lead to this Presidential March based on a London music hall melody! So I promised you the words…..enjoy! Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation, Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all. Hail to the Chief, as we pledge co-operation In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call. Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander, This you will do, That's our strong, firm belief. Hail to the one we selected as commander, Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief! [Repeat as often as necessary to get him where he‘s going!] * an "earworm" is a tune that once you hear it, you just can't get outta your head!