The place is Tun Tavern and the day is the first day that the Corps of Marines has been authorized. The first potential recruit walks in the door and after he signs up he gets his free tankard of beer.Another version has the exchange taking place in a boat below the trapdoor in Tun Tavern (apparently, in this telling, located on the docks of the Philadelphia harbor) into which the “recruits” fall after being lured in with the promise of a free beer (in this variation the early marines were a bit less than volunteers). The first recruit is waiting when the second recruit falls into the boat and tells him “If you think this is bad, you should have seen the Old Corps”.
The second recruit walks in and after he signs up he walks up to the bar and begins to talk to the first recruit. The first recruit looks the second recruit in the eye and say, "Son, let me tell you about the Old Corps."
And I’ve always thought the final stanza of the last verse of the Marines’ Hymn was funny:
If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven's scenes,Yes, even in heaven, we get stuck with guard duty.
They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.