Heart of Oak

Words: David Garrick 1759

Music: Dr William Boyce (1716 – 1769)

Heart of Oak is the official march of the Royal Navy. David Garrick was a famous actor of the day, and is credited with coining the phrase ‘break a leg’.

Heart of Oak

Come, cheer up, my lads, ’tis to glory we steer,
To add something more to this wonderful year;
To honour we call you, as freemen not slaves,
For who are as free as the sons of the waves?

CHORUS: Hearts of oak are our ships,
Jolly tars are our men, we always are ready;
Steady, boys, steady!
We’ll fight and we’ll conquer again and again.

We ne’er see our foes but we wish them to stay,
They never see us but they wish us away;
If they run, why we follow, and run them ashore,
And if they won’t fight us, we cannot do more.

CHORUS

They swear they’ll invade us, these terrible foes,
They frighten our women, our children and beaus,
But should their flat bottoms in darkness get o’er,
Still Britons they’ll find to receive them on shore.

CHORUS

We’ll still make them fear and we’ll still make them flee,
And drub them ashore as we’ve drubbed them at sea,
Then cheer up, my lads, with our hearts let us sing,
Our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen, our Queen.

CHORUS

Random Quote

If the tune no longer fits, then the obvious solution is to change it. Why, then, should the British National Anthem continue to be played and sung at occasions which are strictly English affairs?

— Dennis Ellam, Birmingham Post

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