Come, cheer up, my lads, ’tis to glory we steer,
To add something more to this wonderful year;
To honour we call you, as freemen not slaves,
For who are as free as the sons of the waves?
Heart of oak are our ships, jolly tars are our men,
we always are ready; Steady, boys, steady!
We’ll fight and we’ll conquer again and again.
Composed in the latter part of the 18th century by Dr. William Boyce, Hearts of Oak was hugely popular during the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars. Today it is the official march of the Royal Navy.
In naval fiction set during this period the command “Beat to Quarters” is followed by the drummer boy of the ships military detachment executing a drumroll. In most cases the tune would be \"Hearts of Oak\".