Post Reply 
"Battle Hymn of the Republic"
01-08-2018, 05:50 AM
Post: #1
"Battle Hymn of the Republic"
Recognize That Tune? It’s the Northern Accent of Georgia Football

New York Times By MARC TRACY JAN. 8, 2018

For lifelong Georgia fans, it is simply their fight song. On Monday night in Atlanta, it will represent nothing more than the Bulldogs’ aspirations to defeat the Crimson Tide and claim the national championship.

In the spring of 1861, the soldiers of a Boston-based Union regiment pinned the tune to the lyrics: “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave/His soul is marching on.” It was an ode to the man who was hanged for raiding the Harpers Ferry Armory in protest of slavery not two years earlier.

Julia Ward Howe, a well-to-do Northern abolitionist and poet, heard the tune that autumn while observing Union troops in Virginia. She decided to prettify (apparently, this is a real word with an obvious meaning) the lyrics, which had expanded to include such lines as, “We’ll hang Jeff Davis from a sour apple tree.”

She wrote five verses — beginning with the famous “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord” — and submitted them to The Atlantic Monthly. The poetry editor published them in the February 1862 issue under the title “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The lyrics became extremely popular — Abraham Lincoln praised them — and remained widely known after the war had ended.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-08-2018, 11:19 AM (This post was last modified: 01-08-2018 11:40 AM by David Lockmiller.)
Post: #2
RE: "Battle Hymn of the Republic"
November 23, 2012
Julie Taboh

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic," originally written as a Civil War anthem, was President Abraham Lincoln’s favorite, according to historians.

The appeal of the hymn continues today. The original manuscript of the song's lyrics will be sold at auction in New York next month and is expected to fetch between $250,000 and $350,000.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 19, 1861, poet and anti-slavery activist Julia Ward Howe woke up from a powerful dream and quickly scribbled down some words.

Those verses, written during the early years of the Civil War at the Willard hotel in Washington, D.C., were inspired by a skirmish between Union and Confederate soldiers she'd witnessed just hours earlier.

The previous day, she and her husband, Samuel Gridley Howe, also met President Abraham Lincoln at the White House. In her memoir, published in 1899, Howe wrote of being struck by "the sad expression of Mr. Lincoln’s deep, blue eyes."

In the carriage on the way back to the hotel, which is located near the White House and only a few miles from the Confederate advance posts, she and a few members of her party started singing snatches of popular army songs, including the rousing folk tune, "John Brown’s Body," about the famed abolitionist John Brown.

Her friend, Rev. James Freeman Clarke, suggested she write new words to the song, which had become popular in the Union Army during the Civil War.

And Howe did just that.

"I went to bed that night as usual, and slept, according to my wont, quite soundly," wrote Howe. "I awoke in the gray of the morning twilight; and as I lay waiting for the dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to twine themselves in my mind. Having thought out all the stanzas, I said to myself, ‘I must get up and write these verses down, lest I fall asleep again and forget them.’"

Julia Ward Howe penned "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in November 1861.

Howe’s visions of "Lincoln and battles and marching troops" resulted in "this rather remarkable series of verses," says Chris Coover, senior specialist in American historical documents at Christie's auction house in New York.

With the verses set to the tune of "John Brown’s Body," it quickly became a resounding success with the Union soldiers, and even President Lincoln himself.

"Lincoln loved this piece and asked for it to be performed on many occasions," Coover says.

Since the Civil War, the hymn has become an iconic anthem, part of the traditional choir repertoire, and a standard at major political events.

Martin Luther King, Jr. quoted parts of the hymn in several of his speeches, including his rousing 1968 address in Memphis, Tennessee, delivered the night before his assassination. King’s last spoken words at a public event were taken from the hymn's first verse.

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Kenneth W. Osbeck

At one time it was sung as a solo at a large rally attended by President Abraham Lincoln. After the audience had responded with loud applause, the President, with tears in his eyes, cried out, "Sing it again!" It was sung again.

The words to the song,"The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps;
they have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
O be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant my feet
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
as He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
while God is marching on.

Chorus: Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

The Battle Hymn of John Brown

Disunion follows the Civil War as it unfolded.

On Nov. 17, 1861, Julia Ward Howe traveled with her husband Samuel, then director of the Army’s Sanitary Commission, to review a Union camp outside of Washington. Howe recalled the troops singing “the army songs so popular at the time,” noting especially their enthusiasm for the lyrics, “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the ground; His soul is marching on.” One of Howe’s companions, the Rev. James Freeman Clarke, made a suggestion: “Mrs. Howe, why do you not write some good words for that stirring tune?”

Howe never explained the reasons why Brown, the radical abolitionist, was deemed an unsatisfactory subject, but she woke up “in the gray of the [following] morning” with new lyrics in her head. “I sprang out of bed,” she recalled, “and found in the dimness an old stump of a pen [and] I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper.”

Howe’s “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” written in the early morning of Nov. 18, 1861, and eventually published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862, became one of the most memorable patriotic songs in American history. When Abraham Lincoln first heard it, he reportedly cried, then requested an encore.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-08-2018, 04:48 PM
Post: #3
RE: "Battle Hymn of the Republic"
That song is one of my favorites. Some of you know that I spent nearly 30 years as the organist in my hometown's Episcopal church (starting at age 12). Over the years, I had played that for offertories and as recessionals on Sundays near July 4th.

One Sunday, however, when I was in my 20s, I played a rousing version of it as the recessional as people were departing the church. After everyone had shaken the priest's hand and gone outside, the honorable reverend came stomping down the aisle with fire in his eyes. "Young lady, you will never play that piece in this church again as long as I am the rector." And off he went.

I learned later that the "gentleman" was born and raised in Georgia and that The Battle Hymn of the Republic was often sung by members of the Union forces under Sherman as they laid waste to the state.

I still love the song, and when I was teaching, our junior high had a wonderful choir of about 25 voices led by a very dynamic music teacher (a man who also coached sports). He taught them a beautiful rendition which highlighted a wide range of voices, especially in the ending bars. Those kids were so good that they were asked to record the song. Every time I heard it, I broke down in tears. If that priest had not moved on to another parish, I swear I would have secretly invited that choir to perform at a service in my church!
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-08-2018, 06:15 PM
Post: #4
RE: "Battle Hymn of the Republic"
There was an essay about it in a recent book about Lincoln - I can't remember which one. It talked about how the south eventually adopted it and it became a national song. I enjoy Elvis' American Trilogy, which features it. It has such a cool history that I wish people knew the words - really helps you understand the mindset of people at the time.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-10-2018, 07:41 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2018 07:43 PM by AussieMick.)
Post: #5
RE: "Battle Hymn of the Republic"
I read that "Country singer Dolly Parton has discarded the word "Dixie" from the name of her popular dinner show."
I think Lincoln would be saddened. Mary probably wouldnt mind though.
The Australian 11 Jan
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Forum Jump:

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)