"sang a few bars of the 'Halls of Montezuma'"

The "Marines' Hymn", or Halls of Montezuma, is the official hymn of the United States Marine Corps. It is the oldest official song in the United States military. The "Marines' Hymn" is typically sung at the position of attention as a gesture of respect. However, the third verse is also used as a toast during formal events, such as the birthday ball and other ceremonies.

The Halls of Montezuma refers to Chapultepec Castle, a strategic Mexican position stormed by the Marines in 1847 during the Mexico-American War.  The red stripe on Marines' dress trousers, or "blood stripe", commemorates the Chapultepec Marines.

  From the Halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli; We fight our country's battles In the air, on land, and sea; First to fight for right and freedom; And to keep our honor clean; We are proud to claim the title; Of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze From dawn to setting sun; We have fought in every clime and place Where we could take a gun; In the snow of far-off Northern lands And in sunny tropic scenes; You will find us always on the job The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps Which we are proud to serve; In many a strife we've fought for life And never lost our nerve; If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven’s scenes; They will find the streets are guarded By United States Marines.

Listen on Spotify: Halls of Montezuma