The Full Wiki

Battle Hymn of the Republic: Wikis

Advertisements

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to The Battle Hymn of the Republic article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Problems listening to this file? See media help.
Cover of the 1862 sheet music for "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is an American abolitionist song. The lyrics were written by Julia Ward Howe in November 1861 and first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862. It became popular during the American Civil War.

Contents

History

The tune was written around 1855 by William Steffe. The first known lyrics were called "Canaan's Happy Shore" or "Brothers, Will You Meet Me?" and the song was sung as a campfire spiritual. The tune spread across the United States, taking on the best song of its time.

Thomas Bishop, from Vermont, joined the Massachusetts Infantry before the outbreak of war and compiled a popular set of lyrics, circa 1860, titled "John Brown's Body" which became one of his unit's walking songs. According to writer Irwin Silber (who has written a book about Civil War folk songs), the original lyrics were only obliquely about John Brown, the famed abolitionist. More particularly the lyrics were about a Scotsman of the same name who was a member of the 12th Massachusetts Regiment, and the lyrics were composed to poke some good-natured fun at the runty, mild-mannered Scotsman who shared the same name as the much more famous and fearsome abolitionist.[1]

Bishop's battalion was dispatched to Washington, D.C. early in the Civil War, and Julia Ward Howe heard this song during a public review of the troops in Washington. Rufus R. Dawes, then in command of Company "K" of the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, stated in his memoirs that the man who started the singing was Sergeant John Ticknor of his company. By this time the association with the diminutive Scotsman John Brown was forgotten or unknown to most listeners, who heard only a rough and somewhat oddly-phrased marching song about John Brown the abolitionist. Howe's companion at the review, the Reverend James Clarke, suggested to Howe that she write new words for the fighting men's song. Staying at the Willard Hotel in Washington on the night of November 18, 1861, Howe awoke with the words of the song in her mind and in near darkness wrote the verses to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" [1]. Of the writing of the lyrics, Howe remembers, "I went to bed that night as usual, and slept, according to my wont, quite soundly. 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.' So, with a sudden effort, I sprang out of bed, and found in the dimness an old stump of a pen which I remembered to have used the day before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper."[2]

As originally published 1862 in The Atlantic Monthly

Howe's "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was first published on the front page of The Atlantic Monthly of February 1862. The sixth verse written by Howe, which is less commonly sung, was not published at that time. The song was also published as a broadside in 1863 by the Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Regiments in Philadelphia.

"Canaan's Happy Shore" has a verse and chorus of equal metrical length and both verse and chorus share an identical melody and rhythm. "John Brown's Body" has more syllables in its verse and uses a more rhythmically active variation of the "Canaan" melody to accommodate the additional words in the verse. In Howe's lyrics, the words of the verse are packed into a yet longer line, with even more syllables than John Brown's Body. The verse still uses the same underlying melody as the refrain, but the addition of many dotted rhythms to the underlying melody allows for the more complex verse to fit the same melody as the comparatively short refrain.

Both "John Brown" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic" were published in Father Kemp's Old Folks Concert Tunes in 1874 and reprinted in 1889. Both songs had the same Chorus with an additional "Glory" in the second line: "Glory! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!"[3]

Julia Ward Howe was the wife of Samuel Gridley Howe, the famed scholar in education of the blind. Samuel and Julia were also active leaders in anti-slavery politics and strong supporters of the Union.

Score

One version of the melody, in C major, begins as below. This is an example of the mediant-octave modal frame.
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" melody beginning

Lyrics

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.
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires 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.
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God 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:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
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!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.
Advertisements

Notes

In later years, when this song was sung in a non-military environment, the clause "let us die to make men free" was sometimes changed to "let us live to make men free". This change can be seen in most modern hymnals. In addition, the term "bosom" in the fifth verse is often changed to "being". Sometimes, gender-neutral language is used and it is sung as "as he died to make us holy, let us live to make all free".

The sixth verse is often omitted, as is the third. Also, a common variant changes "soul of Time" to read "soul of wrong", and "succour" to "honor".

Influence

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is usually heard at the national conventions of both the Republican Party and Democratic Party and is often sung at Presidential inaugurations. The tune has been used with alternative lyrics numerous times. The most famous variant is "Solidarity Forever", a marching song for organized labor in the 20th century. It was also the basis for the anthem of the American consumers' cooperative movement, "The Battle Hymn of Cooperation", written in 1932.

Words from the first verse gave John Steinbeck to title his 1939 masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath. The title of John Updike's In the Beauty of the Lilies also came from this song, as did Terrible Swift Sword and Never Call Retreat, two volumes in Bruce Catton's Centennial History of the Civil War.

The United States Army paratrooper song, "Blood on the Risers", first sung in World War II, is set to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".

The lyrics of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" appear in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s sermons and speeches, most notably in his speech "How Long, Not Long" from the steps of the Montgomery, Alabama Courthouse on March 25, 1965 after the 3rd Selma March, and in his final sermon "I've Been to the Mountaintop", delivered in Memphis, Tennessee on the evening of April 3, 1968, the night before his assassination. In fact, the latter sermon, King's last public words, ends with the first lyrics of the "Battle Hymn", "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

In 1960 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir won the Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus. The single record had #13 on Billboard's Hot 100 the previous autumn.

A number of popular terrace songs (in football) are sung to the tune in England; renditions include "Glory Glory Leeds United", "Glory Glory Man United", and "Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur". The 1994 FIFA World Cup official song "Gloryland" interpreted by Daryl Hall and the Sound of the Blackness has the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".

Various parodies have been written using the song. "The Burning of the School" is a well-known one. A somewhat more mature parody is "The Ballad of Harry Lewis", by Allan Sherman.

The opening line to 'These Things Take Time' by The Smiths alludes to the first line of 'The Battle Hymn': 'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the sacred wunderkind / You took me behind a disused railway line.'

Judy Garland performed an outstanding television historic moment performance of "THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC" She originally wanted to do a dedication show for JFK upon his assassination but CBS would not let her, so she performed this for Him without being able to mention his name.

Len Chandler sang a song called "move on over" to the tune on Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest TV show.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ George Kimball, "Origin of the John Brown Song", New England Magazine, new series 1 (1890):374. (online via Cornell University)
  2. ^ Howe, Julia Ward. Reminiscences: 1819-1899.Houghton, Mifflin: New York, 1899. p. 275.
  3. ^ Hall, Roger L. New England Songster. PineTree Press, 1997.
  4. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAHk3TGR7WE

Further reading

  • Claghorn, Charles Eugene, "Battle Hymn: The Story Behind The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Papers of the Hymn Society of America, XXIX.
  • Jackson, Popular Songs of Nineteenth-Century America, note on "Battle Hymn of the Republic", p. 263-4.
  • Scholes, Percy A. (1955). "John Brown's Body", The Oxford Companion of Music. Ninth edition. London: Oxford University Press.
  • Stutler, Boyd B. (1960). Glory, Glory, Hallelujah! The Story of "John Brown's Body" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Cincinnati: The C. J. Krehbiel Co.
  • Clifford, Deborah Pickman. (1978). Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Biography of Julia Ward Howe. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.
  • Vowell, Sarah. (2005). "John Brown's Body," in The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad. Ed. by Sean Wilentz and Greil Marcus. New York: W. W. Norton.

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

 
Battle Hymn of the Republic
by Julia Ward Howe
Six verses were written in 1861, however only the first five verses were published in Atlantic Monthly in February 1, 1862.
Battle Hymn of the Republic, sung by Frank C. Stanley and Elise Stevenson in 1908 for Edison Records. (help | file info or download)

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave Julia Ward Howe The Battle Hymn of the Republic - Project Gutenberg eText 21566.png Battle Hymn of the Republic, Frank C. Stanley, Elise Stevenson.ogg

Wikipedia logo Wikipedia has more on:
Battle Hymn of the Republic.
The Battle Hymn of the Republic - Project Gutenberg eText 21566.png
Battle Hymn of the Republic.jpg
[page]

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 watch-fires 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.


I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you My grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,

Since God 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:
Oh, 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[1] to make men free,

While God is marching on.
The sixth verse:

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,

Our God is marching on.

Footnotes
  1. Often "die" is changed to "live".
PD-icon.svg This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message