You're a Grand Old Flag

Sheet Music & Lyrics

You're a Grand Old Flag was written by George M. Cohan, in 1906, for his musical play "George Washington, Jr". This upbeat music is a tribute to the American flag.

The story behind the lyrics is explained in the Library of Congress website:

"The original lyric for this perennial George M. Cohan favorite came, as Cohan later explained, from an encounter he had with a Civil War veteran who fought at Gettysburg.

The two men found themselves next to each other and Cohan noticed the vet held a carefully folded but ragged old flag.

The man reportedly then turned to Cohan and said, "She's a grand old rag." Cohan thought it was a great line and originally named his tune "You're a Grand Old Rag."

So many groups and individuals objected to calling the flag a "rag," however, that he "gave 'em what they wanted" and switched words, renaming the song "You're a Grand Old Flag."

— Library of Congress

George Cohan, a Broadway performer and songwriter, was already a star. But when his sheet music for You're a Grand Old Flag was the first sheet from a musical to sell over a million copies, he became a nationwide sensation.

Here Are Your Sheet Music & Lyrics

You're a Grand Old Flag - Sheet Music (in PDF)
You're a Grand Old Flag - Lyrics (in PDF)




You're a Grand Old Flag


You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag,
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of the land I love,
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'Neath the Red, White and Blue.
Where there's never a boast or a brag.
But should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eyes on the grand old flag!
There's a feeling comes a-stealing,
And it sets my brain a-reeling,
When I'm listening to the music of a military band.

Any tune like "Yankee Doodle"
Simply sets me off my noodle,
It's that patriotic something that no one can understand.

"Way down South, in the land of cotton",
Melody untiring,
Ain't that inspiring?
Hurrah! Hurrah! We'll join the Jubilee!
And that's going some,
For the Yankees, by gum!

Red, white and blue, I am for you!
Honest, you're a grand old flag!

You're a Grand Old Flag
You're a High Flying Flag
And forever, in peace, may you wave!
You're the emblem of the land I love,
The home of the free and the brave!

Ev'ry heart beats true 'neath the Red, White, and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
But should auld acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the Grand Old Flag!

I'm a cranky hanky panky,
I'm a dead square, honest Yankee,
And I'm mighty proud of that old flag
That flies for Uncle Sam.

Though I don't believe in raving
Ev'ry time I see it waving,
There's a chill runs up my back that makes me glad I'm what I am.

Here's a land with a million soldiers,
That's if we should need 'em,
We'll fight for freedom!

Hurrah! Hurrah! For every Yankee tar
And old G.A.R.
Ev'ry stripe, ev'ry star.
Red, white and blue,
Hats off to you
Honest, you're a grand old flag!

You're a Grand Old Flag
You're a High Flying Flag
And forever, in peace, may you wave!
You're the emblem of the land I love,
The home of the free and the brave!

Ev'ry heart beats true 'neath the Red, White, and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
But should auld acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the Grand Old Flag!



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