Little did I know the song, with its refrain of "Glory, glory, hallelujah," had been used to root for college football teams, or as an anthem for labor unions. I do not know whether it is part of being an academic historian or not, but I find most of my colleagues in academe know nothing of the military in general, or military history aside from the simplistic recognition that there were a few wars and who won them (if they know that); and that they care not for it, yet profess their "credentials" as historians at times like we see now. "So when they start making up songs to pass the time, comrades needle him and say, 'You can't be John Brown — John Brown's dead.' Battle Hymn of the Republic (Mine eyes have seen the coming) This hymn, by pacifist and Mother's Day founder Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), originated from the American Civil War. His truth is marching on. they have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps; This week, NPR inaugurates a new series called American Anthem, exploring songs that tap into the collective emotions of listeners and performers around an issue or belief. Union soldiers are sitting around a campfire, goofing off, singing songs — and they're ribbing on this one guy. Yes, "Battle Hymn" is the expression of the Union's moral cause for fighting the Civil War, "As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free." In the case of the Robert Bray piece on the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", the purpose of the author is to promote the Lost Cause, the Confederate States of America, the losers of the Civil War, as the "good" Americans. As we read the words or perhaps sing it aloud, may we as Americans be inspired anew by the words and pray that they might still influence the character of our citizens and our nation. I again thought of the Londoners singing the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' (did they really know the significance of the words they were mouthing?) On the flipside, the day before he was killed in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, which he ended by quoting the song's first line: "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." With a nauseating predictability, both televangelists sat smugly across the desk from one another and interpreted the attack on the United States as a sign that the Christian God was displeased with the recent comportment of His covenanted nation (the United States and only the United States). And in fact, that flexibility is part of its design. One hundred and fifty-six years ago, from July 1-3, 1863, a battle raged in and around the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Yes, evil: Julia Ward Howe’s poem, set to the tune of 'John Brown’s Body' (and there’s another one!) I heard a familiar melody and the occluded voices of hundreds in the congregation singing the first verse of the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic.' Yes, "Battle Hymn" is the expression of the Union's moral cause for fighting the Civil War, "As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free." The memory comes back each time I hear this beautiful hymn.
When he confessed, as he said, that he had not controlled events, but they, him, he was not giving himself the credit he had earned. And 'glory, hallelujah' about that.". But. If they in turn slew thousands, as they would during Pickett’s Charge on the third day at Gettysburg, those young Confederate soldiers they mowed down, as easily as cutting ripe wheat back home with a cradle scythe, were the Slaveocracy’s, i.e.,Satan’s minions, the quintessential Others, deserving of death and no Valhalla. Thank you for providing this forum for expression of views. Hallelujah! He has made the ultimate non-historian mistake of judging a 19th century concept by 21st century standards. Dragons are relative, however. I will look to see what He will say to me, .and then come the hard biblical words that imply that the South has gotten what it deserved, annihilation, and that the God whose will he could not tell in the Meditation of 1862 has by March, 1865, proved to be on the Union side, against the slaveocracy and for the surging chorus of singers of the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ Some sort of mysticism was the obverse of rationality in Lincoln’s character. Robert Bray's association of nationalist militarism and patriotism with the singing of "The Battle Hyman of the Republic" in response to the terrorist attacks on America with the "evil" abolitionists and the legal winners of the Civil War is transparent. "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" has been versatile enough to match the needs of Civil Rights activists and conservative nationalists, war hawks and peaceniks, as well as Europeans and Americans. But he was one of our clearest and most deeply thinking of presidents, and if Abraham Lincoln was infected with this irrational virus, so uniquely and perniciously"American," what can we expect of the etiolated Party of Lincoln today? This hymn became an anthem for national identity and purpose, and battles forged between good and evil. Evangelist Billy Graham, who helped popularize the song among Christians, even took it to the Russian army chorus in 1992. He believed we could see, at least dimly,"the right;" the"firmness" that the right accorded would allow the work to be finished.
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