Hail to the Cheif--er, Chief! "Hail to the Chief" is traditionally played by the U.S. Marine Band to announce the ceremonial entrance of the President of the United States. The song did not start out as a presidential march. It was originally written by English composer James Sanderson for a stage adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's poem "The Lady of the Lake." The tune for the song, however, may have been borrowed from an old Scottish melody. The song was first performed in the U.S. in 1812 and was first played to announce the arrival of the president at James K. Polk's inauguration on March 4, 1845. Julia Tyler, wife of Polk's predecessor, John Tyler, suggested that the song be played when a president made an appearance. The Department of Defense made "Hail to the Chief" the official music to announce the President of the United States in 1954.
Lyrics were written by Albert Gamse and are set to James Sanderson's music, but they are rarely sung:
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 cooperation
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!
Hail to the Chief changer of misspelled words in your catalog!