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Thursday 11 September 2003

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

We need less Amazing Grace and more Battle Hymn of the Republic, is all I have to say.

C-SPAN has the National Prayer Service from September 2001 available online here. Fast-forward to 1:51:00 for the Battle Hymn of the Republic, at a reasonable tempo — it’s a call to arms, not a dirge — and with the fifth verse (“As He died to make men holy, let us die to make them free”) intact.

National Cathedral, 14 September 2001National Cathedral, 14 September 2001
National Cathedral, 14 September 2001National Cathedral, 14 September 2001

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.

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
l can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
His day 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.

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,
While God is marching on.

Posted by tino at 12:20 11.09.03
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When I was in high school, our county would gather up the best musicians who auditioned and allow them a couple of days off to rehearse for a music festival. Junior High and Senior High Chorus, all-grade Band, and all-grade Orchestra. At the end of the festival, the last piece was the combined Choruses and either the Orchestra or the Band (they alternated yearly) performing what I assume to be that arrangement of “Battle Hymn”. Shortened for time, I think they sang only the first and fifth verses, though.

Considering it was a festival sponsored by the public school districts, playing this song was somewhat odd. I’m willing to bet that it’s been dropped since 1989, though.

The arrangement of the last verse always gets me, though.

Posted by: Twonk at September 11, 2003 03:01 PM

How about less of both and more “this land is your land”?

In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple

Near the relief office - I see my people

And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’

If this land’s still made for you and me.

Posted by: at September 14, 2003 06:23 PM