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Blow the Man Down

In 1906, Bandmaster Lieutenant Zimmerman was approached by Midshipman First Class Alfred Hart Miles with a request for a new march or fight song. Midshipman Miles was a member of the Naval Academy class of 1907. Miles and his classmates were eager "to have a piece of music that would be inspiring, one with a swing to it so it could be used as a football marching song, and one that would live forever." The two men reportedly worked out the tune and it was first called "Stand Navy Down The Field." It eventually became the official song for the U.S. Navy. "Aweigh," meaning to raise or hoist, comes from the nautical phrase "to weigh anchor." The current lyrics, as revised by George D. Lottman, were adopted in the 1920s. The 2nd verse is the most well known.

I'll sing you a song, a good song of the sea
With a way, hey, blow the man down
And trust that you'll join in the chorus with me
Give me some time to blow the man down

There was an old skipper I don't know his name
With a way, hey, blow the man down
Although he once played a remarkable game
Give me some time to blow the man down

His ship lay be-calmed in the tropical sea
With a way, hey, blow the man down
He whistled all day but in vain for a breeze
Give me some time to blow the man down.