Home > String quartet > Semper Paratus (official song of the U.S. Coast Guard)

Semper Paratus (official song of the U.S. Coast Guard)

Composer
Capt. Francis Saltus Van Boskerck, U.S.C.G.
Year of composition
1927
Arranger
Lyricist
none
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
1 minute
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
String quartet
Instrumental parts
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Semper paratus (Latin for always prepared) had long been the watch word of the U.S. Coast Guard, but no official recognition of it was made until 1910 when it was added to the ensign (flag) of the service. In 1922, Capt. Francis Saltus Van Boskerck, U.S.C.G., wrote the lyrics, and in 1927, the music with which to set those lyrics, hoping to make the Coast Guard motto Semper Paratus as famous as Semper Fidelis, the motto of the U.S. Marines.

This service song was arranged for string quartet for possible performance at the Navy Birthday Ball in October, 2007, by the Imperial Valley String Quartet. Traditionally at formal military balls and messes, the service song of the sponsoring organization is always played. When distinguished guests are introduced, if they belong to other branches or the U.S. military or to military units of allied countries, the appropriate music for those military services are played at that time. Semper Paratus is ready should any of the distinguished guests be Guardsmen.

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