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Thursday, May 27, 2010

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.
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.
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.
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.
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 live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
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 honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

The words to this beautiful song was written  in 1861 by Julia W. Howe. This hymn was written during the American Civil War. Howe visited an army camp on the banks of the Potomac River near Washington D.C.  She heard the soldiers singing "John Brown's Body" and was taken with the strong marching beat. She wrote the words the next day. The hymn appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in 1862. It was sung at the funeral of British statesman Winston Churchill, American senator Robert F. Kennedy and American presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

The music John Browns Body was possibly written by John William Steffe. John Brown was an American abolitionist who lead a short lived insurrection to free slaves.

5 comments:

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

It is always fun to learn the origins of things, such as songs, words, inventions, customs, traditions, etc. Thank you for sharing this. Isnt it inspiring to think of the creators and I love to imagine them back when they were inspired...

Blessings & Aloha!
...I always appreciate you stopping by!

Intense Guy said...

If you can read the lyrics without singing them - you can almost envision the camp that Ms. Howe was visiting as well as the sense of mission the men had going to battle.

Jillian said...

Wow, that was great! You took me back to a historic time and the beat of the drums! Makes me tear up just thinking about the sacrifices made by many... and what they went through.

Thank you for stopping by my blog...and thank you for posting this today!

Mary said...

Beautiful eagle and flag picture - the imagery is powerful. Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend~

LV said...

You did a remarkable job on reminding us how important our country is and what the holiday represents. I truly enjoyed your post today.