The original: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Many may not know this but the Battle Hymn of the Republic we sing isn’t how Julia Ward wrote it. Those who know it exactly how she wrote it was fortunate enough to be taught by someone who got one of the flyers she printed up herself after seeing how her song was altered to appease the sensitive.

 Many modern recordings of the Battle Hymn of the Republic use the lyric “As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free” as opposed to the lyric originally written by Julia Ward Howe: “let us die to make men free.”

Ward’s original manuscript differed slightly from the published version. Most significantly, it included a final verse. Many felt it was too harsh so it was omitted from the press. She was a hard core abolitionist so what were people expecting her to write about?

Anyway, she pitched a hissy fit and reprinted it how she actual wrote it and doled the flyers out to Union soldiers That’s how we know today how the song actually goes.

Another thing, some magazines  refused to reprint it because she was printing it in her maiden name. Julia Ward not Julia Ward Howe.  Older musical books you find it listed as Julia Ward not Julia Ward Howe. From a modern perspective..what difference does that makes??

Now, how do I know how she originally she wrote it? My great great-great grandfather was in the Civil War and got one of these prints. It’s muddied, dirty, bloodied, yellowed and brittle with age but the family still has it. It’s not the published print included in this post. 

 

————————————————–

“Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!”
His truth is marching on.

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 have read His righteous sentence in 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 His 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.
For He died to make men holy, let us die to make them free,
While God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

Julia Ward ‘s original manuscript differed from the published version. Most significantly, it included a final verse that was omitted.

He is coming like the Glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Honor to the brave,
The world is His footstool, and the souls of wrong men His slave,
Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on!

I personally don’t see the big deal about the last verse. It’s the first verse that’s scary if you asked me. Have they ever seen a winepress and what it does?

 

About unholypursuit

A. White, an award winning former librarian who is also long time member of Romantic Time and Publisher's Weekly. A. White has been writing for over fifteen years. She took classes in creative writing in college, specializing in ancient myths and legends. and at a local community center while living in Chicago. In college she won the national contest to verbally list every country in the world, it's capital and ingenious language. Her works are mainly horror, fantasy, extreme, and sci-fi as well as, as some may says, "the truly strange predicament and puzzling." Books that I've written are "Clash with the Immortals, and eleven others which are part of the "Unholy Pursuit saga,". She has been working on the Chronicles since 2007. She wished to complete them all before introducing them to public so the readers wouldn't have to for the continuation to be written. The ideas of the book come from classic literature such as whose work greatly influence the world world such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and many more. The "Book of Enoch" influenced the usage of Azazael as a main character and love interest. I created the primary main character from the Chronicle of Saints. I wanted to show them as real flesh and blood with thoughts, desires and yearning as any human. Not as they are so often depicted. So I created one of my own to show her as a real human that everyone can relate to.
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2 Responses to The original: Battle Hymn of the Republic

  1. Ben Milagro says:

    The last verse is calling a judgement on slave owners and there were many southern supporters in the north. That’s how the fugitive salve act worked so well.

    Like

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