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Columbia, The Gem of the Ocean

Written by Thomas Becket and D. Shaw (1843) © 1999 AmeriMusic, Inc.

The American flag during the Civil War

The version that was written in 1843 was extremely popular during the Lincoln years, and was usually included among the patriotic songs played by the Marine Band for the President's ceremonial gatherings. But the song was apparently a rewrite of a very well known British tune entitled "Red, White, and Blue" that was composed and written by Thomas A'Becket in 1750.

O, Columbia! the gem of the ocean,
The home of the brave and the free,
The shrine of each patriot's devotion,
A world offers homage to thee.
Thy mandates make heroes assemble
When Liberty's form stands in view;
Thy banners make tyranny tremble

When borne by the Red, White and Blue! 
When borne by the Red, White and Blue!
When borne by the Red, White and Blue!
Thy banners make tyranny tremble
When borne by the Red, White and Blue!

The wine cup, the wine cup bring hither,
And fill you it true to the brim!
May the wreaths they have won never wither,
Nor the star of their glory grow dim!
May the service united ne'er sever,
But they to their colors prove true!
The Army and Navy forever,
Three cheers for the red, white and blue,
Three cheers for the red, white and blue,
Three cheers for the red, white and blue,
The Army and Navy forever,
Three cheers for the red, white and blue.


Red, White, and Blue

Written by Thomas A' Becket  (circa 1750)

Britannia, the pride of the ocean,
The home of the brave and the free,
The shrine of the patriot's devotion,
No land can compare unto thee:
Thy mandates make heroes assemble,
With garlands of glory in view,
Thy banners make tyranny tremble,
When borne by the Red, White and Blue.

Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue,
Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue,
Three cheers for the Army and Navy,
Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue

When war spread its wide desolation,
And threaten'd our land to deform,
The ark, then of freedom's foundation,
Britannia rode safe through the storm
With the garlands of vict'ry around her,
So nobly she bore her brave crew,
Her flag floating proudly before her,
The flag of the Red, White and Blue.

Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue,
Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue,
Three cheers for the Army and Navy,
Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue

Britannia, the pride of the ocean,
And so of a truth shall she be.
While true in her loyal devotion,
To all that is noble and free:
The fire that glows in her story,
Still burns in the hearts of her sons,
And her flag shall still lead her to glory,
When duty shall march with her guns.

Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue,
Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue,
Three cheers for the Army and Navy,
Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue.