- Joseph Rezek: "Hail to the Chief" originated in an 1810 poem by British subject Sir Walter Scott
- Americans fell in love with the verse during the War of 1812 (which also gave us "The Star-Spangled Banner"), he says
Joseph Rezek is an assistant professor of English at Boston University. He is the author of London and the Making of Provincial Literature: Aesthetics and the Transatlantic Book Trade, 1800-1850. Unless otherwise noted, facts included here reflect that book's research. The views expressed here are solely his.
(CNN)On Friday, "Hail to the Chief" will be played one last time for President Barack Obama and then again for Donald Trump, immediately after he is sworn in as president. As Trump takes office, the song's forgotten 19th-century origins celebrating intransigence, white nationalism and populism are more relevant than ever before.