The Battle Hymn of the Republic

From Academic Kids

The Battle Hymn of the Republic is a patriotic anthem written by Julia Ward Howe for the United States during the American Civil War as a variation for the words to the marching song John Brown's Body. It was first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February, 1862.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Updated (1901), was Mark Twain's mocking parody of the below lyrics, inspired by then-recent events of the Spanish and Philippine Wars.

In 1960, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir won the Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus at the that year's awards ceremony with a recording that replaced the line "let us die to make men free" with the more cheery "let us live to make men free", a variation that has since caught on to some extent.

It is often regarded as the northern counterpart to "Dixie". Despite this, it is the fight song for UGA. 3 hours before each Georgia football game (when the gates open) a lone trumpeter stands in the South Deck of Sanford Stadium and plays the first phrase of the song.

One version of the melody, in C major, begins:

Missing image
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" melody beginning

This is an example of the mediant-octave modal frame.



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.
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 to make men free, (sometimes "let us live to make men free")
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.

Further reading

  • Scholes, Percy A. (1955). "John Brown's Body", The Oxford Companion of Music. Ninth edition. Londong: Oxford University Press.
  • Jackson. Popular Songs of Nineteenth-Century America, note on "Battle Hymn of the Republic", p.263-4.


The Japanese electronic retail store Yodobashi Camera uses the melody of the song for their in store advertisements. Of course the lyrics are in Japanese and are about buying cameras and electronics.

External link

  • The Battle Hymn of the Republic (, The Atlantic Monthly, February, 1862. (available to subscribers only)

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