Tune of the Day: Heart of Oak
“Heart of Oak” is the official march of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. It is also the official march of several Commonwealth navies, including the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy. Its music was originally composed by organist William Boyce as part of an opera. It was first played publicly on New Year's Eve of 1760 as part of David Garrick's pantomime Harlequin's Invasion.
The oak in the song's title refers to the wood from which British warships were generally made during the age of sail. The “heart of oak” is the strongest central wood of the tree.
There is also an American version of this piece, titled “The Liberty Song”, which was published by John Dickinson in 1768. It was often sung at political meetings, dinners and celebrations in the years leading up to the American Revolution.
Thanks to Steve for suggesting this tune!