Battle Hymn of the Republic

TITLE: Battle Hymn of the Republic
AUTHOR: Words: Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), using the music from the song “John Brown’s Body”
CATEGORY: Public Domain, Author Known
KEYWORDS: religious, patriotic, war
EARLIEST DATE: 1861
HISTORICAL REFERENCES: The words to this piece were written by Julia Howe-Battle-HymnWard Howe in November 1861 after Howe watched a parade of Union troops.

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. (Howe, Julia Ward. Reminiscences: 1819-1899. Houghton, Mifflin: New York, 1899. p. 275)

Howe’s “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was first published on the front page of The Atlantic Monthly of February 1862. The lyric God’s judgment in the end times as referenced in the New Testament, Revelation 19). 

OTHER TITLES AND VARIATIONS:

  • Glory, Glory Hallelujah
  • Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

RECORDINGS:

YOUTUBE VIDEO: 

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BONUS YOUTUBE VIDEO: Mormon Tabernacle Choir

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 has loosed the fateful lightening
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 truth is marching on!

I have read a fiery gospel
Writ in burnish`d 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!
His truth 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!
His truth 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.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on!

SOURCES:

  • Folk Song Index: A Comprehensive Guide to the Florence E. Brunnings Collection, Florence E. Brunnings, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London 1981—Amazon Books
  • Folksinger’s Wordbook (Irwin and Fred Silber), Music Sales Corporation 1973.

NOTICE: I’m not the best guitar player or vocalist, but no one loves these songs more than I do. The tune and lyrics are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. The recording © copyright 2013 by Stephen Griffith and may be used by permission of the copyright holder. The variation of the song I’m posting is the version I perform and is not exactly replicating the sources cited, but is always in the same song family. If anyone has more details about this song, or believes I’ve stated something in error, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions to improve the site. Thanks. sgg

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