IT Anthems: Ever Onward IBM!

Possibly the greatest ever IT Anthem, this classic makes a triumphant return to our site, with a fantastic Flash animation

Here is an anthem with a pedigree. Predating the electronic computer, it dates back to the time when company men (and in those days it was men) really did sing rousing choruses together. There is a whole IBM songbook - available online here - which includes many gems. One which would make a particularly good tune for this festive time of year, is "IBM, happy men", which is sung to the tune of Jingle Bells: IBM, Happy men, smiling all the way.
Oh what fun it is to sell our products night and day.
IBM, Watson men, partners of T. J.
In his service to mankind -- that's why we are so gay!
Obviously, a genuine recording of that one would be a prize worth having. In the meantime, we have the classic Ever Onward song, in a classic version recorded at least thirty years ago. Some correspondents report having seen a video of this event -- but we haven't seen any sign of it here. In the meantime, we will make do with a superb Flash animation, produced by genius Tim Flaherty. All the other songs in the IBM songbook are corporate parodies of existing songs of the era (along with some national anthems) but this one appears to have been written specially for IBM. The copyright was registered in 1958, with lyrics given as by Frederick W Tappe -- no credit is given for the music. The sheet music for the song, from the 1958 edition of the IBM songbook, is here, for those who want to perform the song themselves. A third verse is sometimes appended, and was in circulation with some early PCs -- so users could sing along to the MIDI player provided. There's a feeling everywhere
Of bigger things in store
Of new horizons coming into view
Our aim is clear to make each year
Exceed the one before
Staying in the lead in everything we do
The will to win is built right in
It will not be denied
And we will go ahead, we know
By working side by side
As usual, please send any information and suggestions to Audio
Flash Animation Lyrics
There's a thrill in store for all
For we're about to toast
The corporation that we represent.
We're here to cheer each pioneer
And also proudly boast,
Of that man of men
Our friend and guiding hand
The name of T.J. Watson means
A courage none can stem
And we feel honored to be
Here to toast the IBM. chorus
Ever onward! Ever onward!
That's the spirit that has brought
us fame.
We're big but bigger we will be,
We can't fail for all can see,
That to serve humanity
Has been our aim.
Our products now are known
In every zone.
Our reputation sparkles
Like a gem.
We've fought our way through
And new fields we're sure to conquer, too,
For the ever onward IBM! Ever onward! Ever onward!
We're bound for the top
To never fall,
Right here and now we thankfully
Pledge sincerest loyalty
To the corporation
That's the best of all
our leaders we revere
and while we're here,
let's show the world just what
we think of them!
so let us sing men - sing men
once or twice, then sing again
for the ever onward IBM!

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