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Coast Guard Anthem

Semper Paratus (Always Ready)

Words and Music
by Captain Francis Saltus Van Boskerck, USCG

Words and Music © Sam Fox Publishing Co, Inc.

Coast Guard Anthem Clip (400K WAV file)
Coast Guard Anthem Clip (400K AU file)

Current Version


Verse

From Aztec Shore to Arctic Zone
To Europe and Far East.
The Flag is carried by our ships,
In times of war and peace.
And never have we struck it yet
In spite of foe-men's might,
Who cheered our crews and cheered again,
For showing how to fight.

Chorus

We're always ready for the call,
We place our trust in Thee.
Through surf and storm and howling gale,
High shall our purpose be.
"Semper Paratus" is our guide,
Our fame, our glory, too.
To fight to save or fight and die,
Aye! Coast Guard we are for you!

Versions & Changes

The original words and music were written by Captain Francis S. Van Boskerck, USCG in 1927. The first line of each chorus was changed in 1969.

1st Verse (original, 1927 version)

From Aztec shore to Arctic zone,
To Europe and Far East.
The Flag is carried by our ships,
In times of war and peace.
And never have we struck it yet,
In spite of foe-men's might,
Who cheered our crews and cheered again,
For showing how to fight.

2nd Verse (original, 1927 version)

SURVEYOR and NARCISSUS,
The EAGLE and DISPATCH,
The HUDSON and the TAMPA
The names are hard to match;
From Barrow's shores to Paraguay,
Great Lakes or ocean's wave,
The Coast Guard fought through storms and winds
To punish or to save.

3rd Verse (original, 1927 version)

Aye, we've been "Always Ready"
To do, to fight, or die
Write glory to the shield we wear
In letters to the sky.
To sink the foe or save the maimed
Our mission and our pride
We'll carry on 'til Kingdom Come
Ideals for which we've died.
The current verse, and a second chorus, were written by Homer Smith, 3rd Naval District Coast Guard quartet, Chief Cole, others and LT Walton Butterfield USCGR in 1943.

1st chorus (original, 1927 version)

So here's the Coast Guard marching song,
We sing on land or sea.
Through surf and storm and howling gale,
High shall our purpose be.
"Semper Paratus" is our guide,
Our fame, our glory too.
To fight to save or fight to die,
Aye! Coast Guard, we are for you!

2nd chorus (added 1943)

So here's the Coast Guard battle song,
We fight on land or sea.
Through howling gale and shot and shell,
To win our victory.
"Semper Paratus" is our guide,
Our pledge, our motto too.
We're "Always Ready" do or die!
Aye! Coast Guard we are for you!

1st chorus (1969 change to 1927 original 1st chorus)

We're always ready for the call,
We place our trust in Thee.
Through surf and storm and howling gale,
High shall our purpose be.
"Semper Paratus" is our guide,
Our fame, our glory too.
To fight to save or fight to die,
Aye! Coast Guard, we are for you!

2nd chorus (1969 change to 1943 2nd chorus)

We're always ready for the call,
We place our trust in Thee.
Through howling gale and shot and shell,
To win our victory.
"Semper Paratus" is our guide,
Our pledge, our motto too.
We're "Always Ready" do or die!
Aye! Coast Guard we are for you!
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Last Modified 8/14/2014