Battle Hymn of the Republic, The

DESCRIPTION: "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord...." A hymn of praise to a martial God, who sounds forth a trumpet "that shall never call retreat," and to Christ who "died to make men holy." The listener is reminded, "Our God is marching on."
AUTHOR: Words: Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)
EARLIEST DATE: 1861
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad patriotic war
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (15 citations):
RJackson-19CPop, pp. 22-24, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lawrence, pp. 362-363, "Battle Hymn of the Republic, adapted to the favorite Melody 'Glory Hallelujah'" (1 text, 1 tune, a copy of the Oliver Ditson sheet music; only the first verse is shown)
Silber-CivWarFull, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-CivWarAbbr, pp. 36-37, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warren-Spirit, pp. 201-202, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hill-CivWar, pp. 193-194, "Battle-Hymn of the Republic" (1 text)
Krythe 7, pp. 113-132, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (1 text, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #93, p. 8, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (1 reference)
Fireside, p. 220, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (2 texts (the second being "John Brown's Body"), 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 286, "The Battle Hymn Of The Rebublic" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 131-135+, "Battle Hymn of the Republic (Say, Brothers, Will You Meet Us? -- John Brown -- Glory Hallelujah -- John Brown's Baby Had a Cold upon His Chest")
DT, GLORYHAL*
ADDITIONAL: Harry Dichter and Elliott Shapiro, _Early American Sheet Music: Its Lure and Its Lore, 1768-1889_, R. R. Bowker, 1941, pp. 111-112, catalogs early sheet music printings of "Glory Hallelujah" songs
Charles Johnson, One Hundred and One Famous Hymns (Hallberg, 1982), p. 90-91, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (1 text, 1 tune)
Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #176, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (1 text)

ST RJ19022 (Full)
RECORDINGS:
100% Americans, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (KKK 75005, c. 1924)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "John Brown's Body" (tune & meter) and references there
NOTES: Yes, you read the recording listing correctly: a recording of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" issued by the Ku Klux Klan. I haven't heard the disk in question, but one would suspect it's been slightly, umm, folk-processed. - PJS
I'm not sure even that follows; there isn't much in the Hymn that is really anti-slavery, and military metaphors are common among reactionary conservatives.
The words to this piece were written by Julia Ward Howe in November 1861 (so Fuld; Johnson says December, as Howe watched a parade of Union troops). It was first published in 1862 with neither music nor the famous "Glory hallelujah" refrain. It was not until the text and music were combined (later in 1862) that the piece became a success.
At least, that's the official story. There is one claim (found in William Reynolds, Companion to Baptist Hymnal, Broadman Press, 1976, p. 140, that James Freeman Clarke and Howe passed soldiers singing "John Brown's Body," and he suggested that she write better words for the tune, and she did. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.0
File: RJ19022

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