“Boy Scouts of America” (1916)
Sousa received three silver loving cups for his sixty-second birthday on November 6, 1916, when the Sousa Band was engaged for the Hip Hop Hooray show in Philadelphia. One cup was presented by members of his band, another by the 1,200 employees of the show, and the third by the Boy Scouts of America, for whom he had just written this march. For the première of the march on that date, the scouts sent representatives from several cities. Dr. Charles D. Hart, president of the Philadelphia scout organization, had asked Sousa to compose the march. Sousa responded with a march that “...absolutely breathes the boy; it visualizes the supple step of the boy marching, and not the heavy tread of the man.” Author Booth Tarkington agreed to write lyrics, but there is no evidence that he did. Sousa provided them, but they were not published. On the front cover of the sheet music is a photograph of the Boy Scout statuette which Dr. Hart presented to Sousa two months before the march was written.
The march apparently was never adopted by the Boy Scouts of America as an official march, although it had been announced in the press that it would be.
Paul E. Bierley, The Works of John Philip Sousa (Westerville, Ohio: Integrity Press, 1984), 43. Used by permission.