The Marine's Ballad

Retired First Sergeant Robert G. "Bob" Lay was a staff sergeant in 1966 who could pick a guitar. He kept hearing the Army Special Forces staff sergeant named Barry Sadler singing "The Ballad of the Green Berets" and wondered why the Corps didn't have a song.

So he wrote one. In fact, he wrote two: “The Marine's Ballad" and "Make a Marine." Although they were not chart busters, they were popular with the leathernecks and have been re-released several times over the years. If "The Marine's Ballad" sounds a little familiar, that’s because it was (with permission) to the tune of Johnny Horton's "Sink the Bismarck."

Nothing fancy here. Just good gung-ho music. If you want your own copy of the songs, 1stSgt Lay plans on having a website up and running soon. In the meantime, he said to call him at (503) 648-0236, or contact him by email: He told us: "When I order more CDs, I plan to include both soundtracks. I may include one or more original songs I have written over the years that are Marine oriented.

Read Leatherneck's R.R. Keene's April 2011 story on Lay called “Ballad of the Green Berets".