“The Legionnaires” (1930)
On December 5, 1930, Sousa told a newspaper reporter that he was anxiously awaiting the inspiration for this march. Later that day he sketched it out from start to finish. The march was written at the request of the French government for the 1931 International Colonial and Overseas Exposition in Paris. The only known manuscript does not reveal the identity of those to whom Sousa referred as legionnaires, but perhaps the frontispiece of the sheet music provides a clue. It depicts Washington and Lafayette and the dates 1776-1931. This would infer that these two pillars of democracy, who fought together in the American Revolution, were Sousa’s “legionnaires.”
Paul E. Bierley, The Works of John Philip Sousa (Westerville, Ohio: Integrity Press, 1984), 67. Used by permission.
*PLEASE NOTE: Currently, none of the marches from Volume 7 are in the public domain. Recordings of non-PD marches are only available for streaming on YouTube. To purchase a published edition of this march, please visit the sheet music vendor of your choice.