John Philip Sousa

U. S. Field Artillery, march for band

    Description by Robert Cummings

    This march has an unusual history: about half of its music is an adaptation of a 1908 song written by Edmund Gruber, a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army and relative of Franz Gruber, composer of the Christmas favorite "Silent Night." Edmund Gruber's effort was named The Caisson Song and soon became popular among the six regiments of the United States Field Artillery in the World War I era. Sousa, who had joined the Naval Reserve in 1917, at the age of 62, was then asked to make an adaptation of Gruber's song for band. The Caisson Song was later arranged by H.W. Arberg as The Army Goes Rolling Along, and thereafter became the U.S. Army's official song. The march opens with an original theme by Sousa, a lively, jaunty creation, festive and ebullient, quite the colorful stuff of parades and patriotic celebrations in the best Sousa style. Gruber's famous theme is initially heard about midway through, first in a subdued, mellow manner, then growing bigger and more celebratory. The work ends gloriously, the whole obviously intended, more than most other Sousa marches, as a grand call for patriotic celebration. This classic work typically has a duration of two-and-a-half minutes.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2014 Decca
    2013 Decca / Mercury 4785092
    2011 Naxos 85599396
    2010 Paraclete 01
    2009 Walking Frog Records WFR 363
    2009 Columbia River Entertainment Group 180138
    2008 Collectors' Choice Music CCM 959
    2007 Madacy 52916
    2007 Golden Stars GSS 5455
    2006 Decca
    2005 Legacy 102
    2005 RCA Red Seal 82876663712
    2005 Mercury 4756851
    2004 Golden Classics / Madacy 3358
    2004 St. Clair 3404
    2003 BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / BCI-Eclipse Distribution 40400
    2003 Decca 000658
    2002 Koch International / Koch International Classics 7544
    2002 RCA 74321913802
    2001 Walking Frog Records 300
    1998 Premium Latin Music / Premium Music 6027
    1998 Angel Records 66827
    1997 Crystal Records Dist. 461
    1995 Retro Records / St. Clair 21282
    1994 Bescol / Legacy / Legacy International 335
    1994 Mercury 434334
    1993 RCA 61255-2
    1992 Delos 3102
    Madacy 52917
    Mark Custom Recording 3874
    Tuxedo Music 5032