Tune of the Day: Anchors Aweigh
“Anchors Aweigh” is the fight song of the United States Naval Academy, and strongly associated with the United States Navy. It was composed in 1906 by Lieutenant Charles A. Zimmerman, a bandmaster of the United States Naval Academy Band. The song was first played the same year during the Army-Navy football game at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Before a crowd in excess of 30,000 Navy won the game 10–0, their first win in the match up since 1900.
“Anchors Aweigh” is unusual for a college fight song in that it refers, specifically and repeatedly, to a particular opponent (the Army) which may not even be present at the event at which the song is sung. Nonetheless, the song has been gradually adopted as the song of the U.S. Navy. Although there is even a pending proposal to make it the official song, and to incorporate protocol into Navy regulations for its performance, its status remains unofficial.
As regards the etymology, the word “weigh” in this sense comes from the archaic word meaning to heave, hoist or raise. “Aweigh” means that that action has been completed, so the anchor is aweigh when it is pulled from the bottom.