“Jack Tar” (1903)
When composing this march, which was originally to be called “British Tars,” Sousa had hoped that it would be to naval men what “The Stars and Stripes Forever” was to army men. This ambition was not realized, however. The format of the march is slightly different from the usual Sousa march and contains traces of “Sailor’s Hornpipe.” The introduction and first two strains were taken from his operetta Chris and the Wonderful Lamp (1899).
Royalties from the sale of sheet music in Britain were turned over to the Union Jack Club, a newly formed service club organized for the benefit of servicemen in London. With everyone waving miniature Union Jacks, the march was given a rousing première in London’s Albert Hall on June 25, 1903. The King, Queen, and the Prince and Princess of Wales were present as the new march was played by the combined bands of the Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards, Himenoa Band of New Zealand, Sousa’s Band, and the Queen’s Hall Orchestra.
Paul E. Bierley, The Works of John Philip Sousa (Westerville, Ohio: Integrity Press, 1984), 43. Used by permission.