A Life on the Ocean Wave

Song of the Royal Marines

By: Henry Russell Arr. Joel Jacklich
For: String quartet
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Henry Russell Arr. Joel Jacklich
Joel Jacklich
Year of arrangement
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
1 minute
Folk music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

"A Life on the Ocean Wave" is a poem-turned-song by Epes Sargent published in 1838 and set to music by Henry Russell. One day Sargent sir and Russell were walking on The Battery in New York City watching the ships enter the harbour. This scene inspired Sargent to write a poem, which Russell then put to music. The song soon became popular in both the United Kingdom and the United States. At an 1851 celebration in Salem, Massachusetts, the Boston Cadet Band gave the new clipper ship Witch of the Wave a lively sendoff by striking up "A Life on the Ocean Wave" as the USS R. B. Forbes towed the new clipper out to set sail for Boston. In 1882, the Deputy Adjutant General Royal Marines requested that the Bandmaster of each Royal Marine Division (Portsmouth, Plymouth, Chatham) submit an arrangement for a new regimental march for the corps, if possible based on a naval song. Kappey, the Bandmaster of the Chatham Division, submitted an arrangement of "A Life on the Ocean Wave", with an eight bar trio from "The Sea" by Sigismund Neukomm, which was authorised for use as the regimental quick march of the Corps of Royal Marines in 1882. In the United States, it is the official march of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. (Wikipedia)

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