Played by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band!
According to Wikipedia:
The “Marines’ Hymn” is the official hymn of the United States Marine Corps, introduced by the first Director of USMC Band, Francesco Maria Scala. It is the oldest official song in the United States Armed Forces. The “Marines’ Hymn” is typically sung at the position of attention as a gesture of respect. However, the third verse is also used as a toast during formal events, such as the birthday ball and other ceremonies. Western Illinois University [my alma mater!!!] uses the hymn prior to all football games. They are the only non-military academy allowed to use the hymn. The university has had permission to use the official nickname, mascot, and hymn of the Corps since 1927.
Some lyrics were popular phrases before the song was written. The line “To the shores of Tripoli” refers to the First Barbary War, and specifically the Battle of Derne in 1805. “The Halls of Montezuma” refers to the Battle of Chapultepec on 12/13 September 1847 during the Mexican-American War, where a force of Marines stormed Chapultepec Castle.
While the lyrics are said to date from the 19th century, no pre-20th century text is known. The author of the lyrics is likewise unknown. Legend has it that a Marine on duty in Mexico penned the hymn. The unknown author transposed the phrases in the motto on the Colors so that the first two lines of the Hymn would read: “From the Halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli”, favoring euphony over chronology.
The music is from the Gendarmes’ Duet (the “bold gendarmes”) from the revision in 1867 of the Jacques Offenbach opera Geneviève de Brabant, which debuted in Paris in 1859. Correspondence between Colonel Albert S. McLemore and Walter F. Smith (the second leader of the United States Marine Band) traces the tune: “Major Richard Wallach, USMC, says that in 1878, when he was in Paris, France, the aria to which the Marines’ Hymn is now sung was a very popular one.”
“From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country’s battles
On the land as on the 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 ev’ry 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.”