The Battle Hymn of the Republic
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is a hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

 by American writer Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet, most famous as the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".-Biography:...

 using the music from the song "John Brown's Body
John Brown's Body
"John Brown's Body" is an American marching song about the abolitionist John Brown. The song was popular in the Union during the American Civil War. The tune arose out of the folk hymn tradition of the American camp meeting movement of the 19th century...

". Howe's more famous lyrics were written in November 1861 and first published in The Atlantic Monthly
The Atlantic Monthly
The Atlantic is an American magazine founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1857. It was created as a literary and cultural commentary magazine. It quickly achieved a national reputation, which it held for more than a century. It was important for recognizing and publishing new writers and poets,...

in February 1862. It became popular during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. Since that time it has become an extremely popular and well-known American patriotic
Patriotism is a devotion to one's country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy...



The tune was written around 1856 by William Steffe
William Steffe
William Steffe collected and edited a camp-meeting song with the traditional "Glory Hallelujah" refrain, in about 1856. It opened with "Say, brothers, will you meet us / on Canaan's happy shore?" The tune became widely known....

. The first known lyrics were called "Canaan's Happy Shore" or "Brothers, Will You Meet Me?" and the song was sung as a campfire spiritual
Spiritual (music)
Spirituals are religious songs which were created by enslaved African people in America.-Terminology and origin:...

. The tune spread across the United States
Music of the United States
The music of the United States reflects the country's multi-ethnic population through a diverse array of styles. Among the country's most internationally-renowned genres are hip hop, blues, country, rhythm and blues, jazz, barbershop, pop, techno, and rock and roll. The United States has the...

, gaining a reputation as the best song of its time.

Thomas Bishop, from Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, joined the Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 militia before the outbreak of war and compiled a popular set of lyrics, circa 1860, titled "John Brown's Body
John Brown's Body
"John Brown's Body" is an American marching song about the abolitionist John Brown. The song was popular in the Union during the American Civil War. The tune arose out of the folk hymn tradition of the American camp meeting movement of the 19th century...

", which became one of his unit's walking songs. According to writer Irwin Silber
Irwin Silber
Irwin Silber was an American journalist, editor, publisher, and political activist.-Early years:Irwin Silber was born October 17, 1925 in New York City to ethnic Jewish parents....

 (who has written a book about Civil War folk songs), the original lyrics were about John Brown
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

, the famed abolitionist
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...


Bishop's battalion was dispatched to Murray, Kentucky early in the Civil War, and Julia Ward Howe heard this song during a public review of the troops outside Washington on Upton Hill, Virginia. Rufus R. Dawes
Rufus R. Dawes
Rufus R. Dawes was a military officer in the United States Army during the American Civil War. He used the middle initial "R" but had no middle name. He was noted for his service in the famed Iron Brigade, particularly during the Battle of Gettysburg...

, then in command of Company "K" of the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, stated in his memoirs that the man who started the singing was Sergeant John Ticknor of his company. Howe's companion at the review, the Reverend James Freeman Clarke
James Freeman Clarke
James Freeman Clarke , an American theologian and author.-Biography:Born in Hanover, New Hampshire, James Freeman Clarke attended the Boston Latin School, graduated from Harvard College in 1829, and Harvard Divinity School in 1833...

, suggested to Howe that she write new words for the fighting men's song. Staying at the Willard Hotel in Washington on the night of November 18, 1861, Howe awoke with the words of the song in her mind and in near darkness wrote the verses to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic". Of the writing of the lyrics, Howe remembered:
Howe's "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was first published on the front page of The Atlantic Monthly
The Atlantic Monthly
The Atlantic is an American magazine founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1857. It was created as a literary and cultural commentary magazine. It quickly achieved a national reputation, which it held for more than a century. It was important for recognizing and publishing new writers and poets,...

of February 1862. The sixth verse written by Howe, which is less commonly sung, was not published at that time. The song was also published as a broadside in 1863 by the Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Regiments in Philadelphia.

Both "John Brown" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic" were published in Father Kemp's Old Folks Concert Tunes in 1874 and reprinted in 1889. Both songs had the same Chorus with an additional "Glory" in the second line: "Glory! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!"

Julia Ward Howe was the wife of Samuel Gridley Howe
Samuel Gridley Howe
Samuel Gridley Howe was a nineteenth century United States physician, abolitionist, and an advocate of education for the blind.-Early life and education:...

, the famed scholar in education of the blind. Samuel and Julia were also active leaders in anti-slavery politics and strong supporters of the Union. Samuel Howe was a member of the Secret Six
Secret Six
The Secret Six, or the Secret Committee of Six, were six wealthy and influential men who secretly funded the American abolitionist, John Brown. They were Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Samuel Gridley Howe, Theodore Parker, Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, Gerrit Smith, and George Luther Stearns...

, the group who funded John Brown's work.


"Canaan's Happy Shore" has a verse and chorus of equal metrical length and both verse and chorus share an identical melody and rhythm. "John Brown's Body" has more syllables in its verse and uses a more rhythmically active variation of the "Canaan" melody to accommodate the additional words in the verse. In Howe's lyrics, the words of the verse are packed into a yet longer line, with even more syllables than "John Brown's Body". The verse still uses the same underlying melody as the refrain, but the addition of many dotted rhythms to the underlying melody allows for the more complex verse to fit the same melody as the comparatively short refrain.
One version of the melody, in C major
C major
C major is a musical major scale based on C, with pitches C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. Its key signature has no flats/sharps.Its relative minor is A minor, and its parallel minor is C minor....

, begins as below. This is an example of the mediant-octave modal frame.


22described in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 24:30, Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

 13:26, and Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 21:27). The second and third lines contain the images of treading out a winepress and a "terrible swift sword." These two images appear in both the Book of Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

 and the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

. Isaiah 27:1 (KJV) states, "In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan
Leviathan , is a sea monster referred to in the Bible. In Demonology, Leviathan is one of the seven princes of Hell and its gatekeeper . The word has become synonymous with any large sea monster or creature...

 the piercing serpent," and Isaiah 63:3 states, "I have trodden the winepress
Wine press
A wine press is a device used to extract juice from crushed grapes during wine making. There are a number of different styles of presses that are used by wine makers but their overall functionality is the same. Each style of press exerts controlled pressure in order to free the juice from the fruit...

 alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury." Revelation 14:19 describes an angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

 casting grapes into "the great winepress of the wrath of God" (14:19), and Revelation 19:15 describes the Word of God who wields "a sharp sword" and "treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."
  • The second verse contains an allusion to the writing on the wall opposite the lampstand in Daniel
    Book of Daniel
    The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

     5:5. The interpretation of that writing was the announcement of the destruction of the kingdom of Babylon (Daniel 5:17-28).
  • The third verse refers to God
    God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

    's promise in Genesis 3:15 that a descendant of Eve
    Eve is the first woman created by God in the Book of Genesis.Eve may also refer to:-People:*Eve , a common given name and surname*Eve , American recording artist and actress-Places:...

     will someday crush the serpent
    Serpent (Bible)
    Serpent is the term used to translate a variety of words in the Hebrew bible, the most common being , , the generic word for "snake"....

    , while the serpent can strike only at his heel
    In human anatomy, the heel is the prominence at the posterior end of the foot. It is based on the projection of one bone, the calcaneus or heel bone, behind the articulation of the bones of the lower leg.- Human anatomy :...

    . Indirectly, this also refers to Revelation 12:1-10, where a woman (often interpreted as being The Blessed Virgin Mary and/or the newly formed Christian Church and/or the ancient Israel) bears a child while engaged in struggle with a dragon/serpent. The dragon/serpent is defeated.
  • The fourth verse uses the imagery of the divine judgment. The first line alludes to the trumpet blast preceding the coming of the Lord (1 Thessalonians
    First Epistle to the Thessalonians
    The First Epistle to the Thessalonians, usually referred to simply as First Thessalonians and often written 1 Thessalonians, is a book from the New Testament of the Christian Bible....

     4:16), and the second line, to 2 Corinthians
    Second Epistle to the Corinthians
    The second epistle of Paul the apostle to the Corinthians, often referred to as Second Corinthians , is the eighth book of the New Testament of the Bible...

     5:10, which states that "we must all appear before the judgment
    Divine Judgment
    Divine judgment means the judgment of God or other supreme beings within a religion. The concept is prominent in Abrahamic religions, most significantly in the Last judgment.-Objective and subjective judgment:...

    A cathedra or bishop's throne is the chair or throne of a bishop. It is a symbol of the bishop's teaching authority in the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, and has in some sense remained such in the Anglican Communion and in Lutheran churches...

     of Christ
    Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

    ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
  • The fifth verse alludes to the glory of the transfiguration (Mark 9:2-3 and Matthew 17:1-2). It also refers to the doctrine that Christians can be made holy through the death of Christ (Colossians
    Epistle to the Colossians
    The Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, usually referred to simply as Colossians, is the 12th book of the New Testament. It was written, according to the text, by Paul the Apostle to the Church in Colossae, a small Phrygian city near Laodicea and approximately 100 miles from Ephesus in Asia...

  • The sixth verse refers to the Earth
    Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

     as the footstool
    A footstool is a piece of furniture, the purpose of which is to support one's feet. There are two main types of footstools, which can be loosely categorized into two categories, those designed for comfort and those designed for function....

     of God, a claim which appears in Isaiah
    Book of Isaiah
    The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

     66:1, Matthew 5:35, and Acts
    Acts of the Apostles
    The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...


Popularity and widespread use

In the years since the Civil War, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" has been used frequently as an American patriotic song.

This song is usually heard at the national conventions of both the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 and Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, and is often sung at Presidential inaugurations.

The song was notably played on September 14, 2001 at the Washington National Cathedral
Washington National Cathedral
The Washington National Cathedral, officially named the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, is a cathedral of the Episcopal Church located in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. Of neogothic design, it is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world, the second-largest in...

 and at Saint Paul's Cathedral during memorial services for the victims of the September 11 attacks.

This was one of Sir Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

's favorite songs. At his request this song was played at his funeral in St. Paul's Cathedral in 1965.

Recordings and public performances

In 1960
Grammy Awards of 1960
The second Grammy Awards were held on November 29, 1959. They recognized musical accomplishments by performers for that particular year. Duke Ellington won three awards.-Award winners:*Record of the Year**Bobby Darin for "Mack the Knife"*Album of the Year...

 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, sometimes colloquially referred to as MoTab, is a Grammy and Emmy Award winning, 360-member, all-volunteer choir. The choir is part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . However, the choir is completely self-funded, traveling and producing albums to...

 won the Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus
Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus
The Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus was awarded from 1959 to 1960. In 1961 the award was split into two awards for Best Performance by a Vocal Group and Best Performance by a Chorus....

. The 45 rpm
Gramophone record
A gramophone record, commonly known as a phonograph record , vinyl record , or colloquially, a record, is an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove...

 single record, which was arranged and edited by Columbia Records
Columbia Records
Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Japan's Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group with Aware Records. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company...

 and Cleveland disk jockey Bill Randle
Bill Randle
Bill Randle was an American disc jockey, lawyer and university professor.He was born William McKinley Randle Jr. in Detroit, Michigan. In Detroit, he hosted a popular show on WJLB-AM radio called The Interracial Goodwill Hour, featuring rhythm and blues music and hot jazz...

, was an unlikely commercial success and reached #13 on Billboard's Hot 100 the previous autumn.

Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years and for her renowned contralto voice, she attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage...

 performed this song on her weekly television show in December 1963. She originally wanted to do a dedication show for JFK upon his assassination but CBS would not let her, so she performed the song without being able to mention his name.

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
Whitney Elizabeth Houston is an American singer, actress, producer and a former model. Houston is the most awarded female act of all time, according to Guinness World Records, and her list of awards include 1 Emmy Award, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among...

 also sang this song at her concert to the troops called "Welcome Home Heroes" in 1991.

Influence on other media

Words from the first verse gave John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden and the novella Of Mice and Men...

's wife Carol Steinbeck the title of his 1939 masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath is a novel published in 1939 and written by John Steinbeck, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962....

. The title of John Updike
John Updike
John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic....

's In the Beauty of the Lilies
In the Beauty of the Lilies
In the Beauty of the Lilies is a 1996 novel by John Updike. It takes its title from a line of the abolitionist song "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."-Summary:...

also came from this song, as did Terrible Swift Sword and Never Call Retreat, two volumes in Bruce Catton
Bruce Catton
Charles Bruce Catton was an American historian and journalist, best known for his books on the American Civil War. Known as a narrative historian, Catton specialized in popular histories that emphasized colorful characters and historical vignettes, in addition to the basic facts, dates, and analyses...

's Centennial History of the Civil War.

The lyrics of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" appear in Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

's sermons and speeches, most notably in his speech "How Long, Not Long
How Long, Not Long
"How Long, Not Long" is the popular name given to the public speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after the successful completion of the Selma to Montgomery March on March 25, 1965...

" from the steps of the Alabama State Capitol building on March 25, 1965 after the 3rd Selma March, and in his final sermon "I've Been to the Mountaintop
I've Been to the Mountaintop
"I've Been to the Mountaintop" is the popular name of the last speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr.King spoke on April 3, 1968, at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. The next day, King was assassinated....

", delivered in Memphis, Tennessee on the evening of April 3, 1968, the night before his assassination. In fact, the latter sermon, King's last public words, ends with the first lyrics of the "Battle Hymn", "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

The opening line to 'These Things Take Time' by The Smiths alludes to the first line of 'The Battle Hymn': 'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the sacred wunderkind / You took me behind a disused railway line.'

In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is the critically acclaimed science fiction 4X turn-based strategy video game sequel to the Civilization series. Sid Meier, designer of Civilization, and Brian Reynolds, designer of Civilization II, developed Alpha Centauri after they left MicroProse to join the newly...

, one of the colony names for the Believers faction is "Terrible Swift Sword" (their colonies are all named with references to militant Christianity).

An instrumental version features in the film Born Yesterday
Born Yesterday (1950 film)
Born Yesterday is a 1950 film based on the play of the same name by Garson Kanin and directed by George Cukor. The screenplay was written by Albert Mannheimer with uncredited contributions from Kanin....


The first verse of the song can be heard in the right channel of the Dream Theater
Dream Theater
Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. They subsequently dropped out of their studies to further concentrate on the band that would...

 song, 'In the Name of God' from the album Train of Thought
Train of Thought (Dream Theater album)
-Chart performance:* Billboard 200: Train of Thought - #53* Billboard Top Internet Albums: Train of Thought - #53* UK Album Charts: Train of Thought - #146* Norwegian Album Charts: Train of Thought - #9-Personnel:* James LaBrie – lead vocals...

 from 12:56 onwards (2003).

In Wild Wild West
Wild Wild West
Wild Wild West is a 1999 American steampunk action-comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, and starring Will Smith, Kevin Kline , Kenneth Branagh and Salma Hayek.Similar to the original TV series it was based on, The Wild Wild West, the film features a large amount of gadgetry...

, the music appears before a Lincoln head shaped cake explodes, which from inside Dr.Loveless comes out.

Other songs set to this tune

The tune has been used with alternative lyrics numerous times. The University of Georgia's fight song, “Glory Glory to Old Georgia
Glory, Glory (fight song)
Glory, Glory is the rally song for the Georgia Bulldogs, the athletics teams for the University of Georgia. Glory, Glory is sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and was sung at football games as early as the 1890s...

,” is based on the patriotic tune, and has been sung at American college football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

 games since 1909. Other college teams also use songs set to the same tune. One such is "Glory, Glory to Old Auburn" at Auburn University. Another is "Glory Colorado", traditionally played by the band and sung after touchdowns scored by the Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado Buffaloes
The University of Colorado Boulder sponsors 16 varsity sports teams. Both men's and women's team are called the Buffaloes or Golden Buffaloes . "Lady Buffs" referred to the women's teams beginning in the 1970s, but was officially dropped in 1993...

. "Glory Colorado" has been a fight song at the University of Colorado (Boulder) for more than one hundred years.

Another famous variant is "Solidarity Forever
Solidarity Forever
"Solidarity Forever", written by Ralph Chaplin in 1915, is perhaps the most famous union anthem. It is sung to the tune of "John Brown's Body" and is inspired by "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Although it was written as a song for the Industrial Workers of the World , other union movements,...

", a marching song for organized labor in the 20th century. It was also the basis for the anthem of the American consumers' cooperative
Consumers' cooperative
Consumer cooperatives are enterprises owned by consumers and managed democratically which aim at fulfilling the needs and aspirations of their members. They operate within the market system, independently of the state, as a form of mutual aid, oriented toward service rather than pecuniary profit...

 movement, "The Battle Hymn of Cooperation
The Battle Hymn of Cooperation
Sung to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic , this song was widely popular throughout the American consumers' cooperative movement from the 1930s onward...

", written in 1932.

The United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force.Paratroopers are used for tactical advantage as they can be inserted into the battlefield from the air, thereby allowing them to be positioned in areas not accessible by land...

 song, "Blood on the Risers
Blood on the Risers
"Blood Upon the Risers" is an American paratrooper song from World War II. It is sung by the United States 82nd Airborne Division, the United States 101st Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade and 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division, and the 120th CTS...

", first sung in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, is set to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".

A number of terrace songs
Football chant
A football chant or terrace chant, is a song or chant sung at association football matches. They can be historic, dating back to the formation of the club, adaptations of popular songs, or spontaneous reactions to events on the pitch. They are one of the last remaining sources of an oral folk song...

 (in association football) are sung to the tune in Britain. Most frequently, fans chant "Glory, Glory..." plus their team's name: the chants have been recorded and released officially as songs by Hibernian
Hibernian F.C.
Hibernian Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Leith, in the north of Edinburgh. They are one of two Scottish Premier League clubs in the city, the other being their Edinburgh derby rivals, Hearts...

, Tottenham
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club , commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English Premier League football club based in Tottenham, north London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane....

, Leeds United and Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

. Other chants include "We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland national football team
The Northern Ireland national football team represents Northern Ireland in international association football. Before 1921 all of Ireland was represented by a single side, the Ireland national football team, organised by the Irish Football Association...

". The 1994 World Cup
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

 official song "Gloryland" interpreted by Daryl Hall and the Sounds of Blackness has the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".

In Australia, the most famous version of the song is used by the South Sydney Rugby League
South Sydney Rabbitohs
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are an Australian professional rugby league football team based in Redfern, a suburb of South-central Sydney, New South Wales. They participate in the National Rugby League premiership and are one of nine existing teams from the state capital...

 club – "Glory Glory to South Sydney". The song mentions all the teams in the competition when the song was written, and says what Souths did to them when they played. Each verse ends with, "They wear the Red and Green".

Len Chandler
Len Chandler
Len Hunt Chandler, Jr. , better known as Len Chandler, is a folk musician from Akron, Ohio.-Biography:He showed an early interest in music and began playing piano at age 8. Studying classical music in his early teens, he learned to play the oboe so he could join the high school band, and during...

 sang a song called "Move on Over" to this tune on Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger
Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

's Rainbow Quest
Rainbow Quest
Rainbow Quest was a U.S. television series devoted to folk music and hosted by Pete Seeger. It was videotaped in black-and-white and featured musicians playing in traditional American music genres such as traditional folk music, old-time music, bluegrass and blues...

 TV show.

The British band Half Man Half Biscuit
Half Man Half Biscuit
Half Man Half Biscuit, often "HMHB", are an English rock band from Birkenhead, Merseyside, active since the mid-1980s, known for satirical, sardonic, and sometimes surreal songs. The group comprises Nigel Blackwell , Neil Crossley , Ken Hancock , and Carl Henry...

 used the melody for their song "Vatican Broadside".

"Kalle-Kustaan muori makaa hiljaa haudassaan, ja yli haudan me marssimme näin" (Kalle-Kustaa's hag lies silently in her grave, and we're marching over the grave like this) is a popular derivative song labouring the same tune sung often by the Finnish military when marching on feet.

Cajun country singer Johnny Rebel
Johnny Rebel (singer)
Johnny Rebel is the pseudonym of Cajun country musician Clifford Joseph Trahan , also known as Pee Wee Trahan. Trahan has used this pseudonym most notably on racist recordings issued in the 1960s on J. D. "Jay" Miller's Reb Rebel label of Crowley, Louisiana...

 used the tune for his song "The White Man Marches On," as a parody of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Rebel's song was also used in the film American History X
American History X
American History X is a 1998 American drama film directed by Tony Kaye and starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. It was distributed by New Line Cinema....

as Seth Ryan, played by Ethan Suplee
Ethan Suplee
Ethan Suplee is an American film and television actor best known for his roles as Seth Ryan in American History X, Louie Lastik in Remember the Titans, Frankie in Boy Meets World, Randy Hickey in My Name Is Earl, Thumper in The Butterfly Effect, Dewey in Unstoppable, and his roles in Kevin Smith...

, was driving his van and singing along to the lyrics while it was playing on the radio.

Various parodies have been written using the song. "The Burning of the School
The Burning of the School
"The Burning of the School" is a parody of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", known and sung by schoolchildren throughout the United States and in some locations in the United Kingdom....

" is a well-known one. A somewhat more mature parody is "The Ballad of Harry Lewis"
My Son, the Folk Singer
My Son, the Folk Singer is an album by Allan Sherman [monophonic W-1475/stereophonic WS-1475], released by Warner Bros. Records in 1962. On the album sleeve, the title appears directly below the words "Allan Sherman's mother presents."- Side One :...

, by Allan Sherman
Allan Sherman
Allan Sherman was an American comedy writer and television producer who became famous as a song parodist in the early 1960s. His first album, My Son, the Folk Singer , became the fastest-selling record album up to that time...

. Melanie Safka
Melanie Safka
Melanie Anne Safka-Schekeryk is an American singer-songwriter. Known professionally as simply Melanie, she is best known for her hits "Brand New Key", "Ruby Tuesday" and "Lay Down ".-Early career:...

's song Psychotherapy also uses the tune. In Poland, the tune is known with Polish lyrics based on "John Brown's Body" version, rather than Julia Ward Howe's. Based on that version, a parody was sung in Poland in 1970s ridiculing Andrzej Czechowicz, a Polish spy styled by state propaganda as a national hero for infiltrating Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a broadcaster funded by the U.S. Congress that provides news, information, and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East "where the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed"...


"Queen's College Colours
Oil Thigh
The Oil Thigh is the name given to the anthem and fight song of Queen's University and its sports teams, the Queen's Gaels. Although the song's official title is Queen's College Colours, it is almost universally referred to by the first words of the Gaelic chorus.-Etymology:Oilthigh is the...

," written in 1898 by student Alfred Lavell to inspire the Queen's University
Queen's University
Queen's University, , is a public research university located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Founded on 16 October 1841, the university pre-dates the founding of Canada by 26 years. Queen's holds more more than of land throughout Ontario as well as Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England...

 football team to victory after a disappointing loss to the University of Toronto, is also set to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".

"Golya Golya" is a popular folk song in Felcsik in Transylvania (Romania).

"Balay ko sa langit" ("My house in Heaven") is a popular children's song
Children's song
Children's song may be a nursery rhyme set to music, a song that young children invent and share among themselves, or a modern creation intended for entertainment, use in the home, or education...

 sung in the Filipino dialect of Visayan
Visayan languages
The Visayan languages of the Philippines, along with Tagalog and Bikol, are part of the Central Philippine languages...


The progressive metal band Dream Theater uses a version of this song set to a minor key as a conclusion to their song "In the Name of God" from their album "Train of Thought"

"An American Trilogy
An American Trilogy
"An American Trilogy" is a song arranged by country songwriter Mickey Newbury and made popular by Elvis Presley, who began including the song as part of his regular concert routine in the 1970s, thereby making the song a showstopper...

" is a song arranged by country songwriter Mickey Newbury
Mickey Newbury
Mickey Newbury was an American songwriter, a critically acclaimed recording artist, and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.-Biography:...

 and made popular by Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

. It is a medley
-Sports:*Medley swimming, races requiring multiple swimming styles*Medley relay races at track meets-Music:*Medley , multiple pieces strung together*"Medley" -People:...

 of three 19th century songs—"Dixie
Dixie (song)
Countless lyrical variants of "Dixie" exist, but the version attributed to Dan Emmett and its variations are the most popular. Emmett's lyrics as they were originally intended reflect the mood of the United States in the late 1850s toward growing abolitionist sentiment. The song presented the point...

", a blackface minstrel song that became the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy since the Civil War; "All My Trials
All My Trials
All My Trials was a folk song during the social protest movements of the 1950s and 1960s. It is based on a Bahamian lullaby that tells the story of a mother on her death bed, comforting her children, "Hush little baby, don't you cry./You know your mama's bound to die," because, as she explains,...

", originally a Bahamian
Culture of the Bahamas
Bahamian culture is a hybrid of African, European, and other cultures. During the past thirty years the culture has become increasingly influenced by the Hip-Hop culture of United States....

 lullaby, but closely related to African-American spirituals, and well-known through folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 revivalists; and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", the marching song of the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 during the Civil War.

Japanese electronics chain Yodobashi Camera
Yodobashi Camera
Yodobashi Camera Co.,Ltd. is a chain store mainly selling electronic products. Currently, there are 21 stores in Japan. It also maintains two online stores in China; one with a limited selection of products from its Japanese online store through SBI VeriTrans that supports payments by UnionPay,...

 uses the music in TV commercials and in-store.

See also

  • William Weston Patton
    William Weston Patton
    Rev. William Weston Patton , was president of Howard University, a fierce abolitionist and one of the contributors to the words of John Brown's Body. He was the son of Rev...

  • "Glory, Glory" (Georgia fight song)
    Glory, Glory (fight song)
    Glory, Glory is the rally song for the Georgia Bulldogs, the athletics teams for the University of Georgia. Glory, Glory is sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and was sung at football games as early as the 1890s...

  • Blood on the Risers
    Blood on the Risers
    "Blood Upon the Risers" is an American paratrooper song from World War II. It is sung by the United States 82nd Airborne Division, the United States 101st Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade and 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division, and the 120th CTS...

Further reading

  • Claghorn, Charles Eugene, "Battle Hymn: The Story Behind The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Papers of the Hymn Society of America
    Hymn Society in the United States and Canada
    The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, founded in 1922 as The Hymn Society of America and renamed in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization for those people who:* believe that congregational song is an integral component of worship...

    , XXIX.
  • Jackson, Popular Songs of Nineteenth-Century America, note on "Battle Hymn of the Republic", p. 263–4.
  • Scholes, Percy A. (1955). "John Brown's Body", The Oxford Companion of Music. Ninth edition. London: Oxford University Press.
  • Stutler, Boyd B. (1960). Glory, Glory, Hallelujah! The Story of "John Brown's Body" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Cincinnati: The C. J. Krehbiel Co.
  • Clifford, Deborah Pickman. (1978). Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Biography of Julia Ward Howe. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.
  • Vowell, Sarah. (2005). "John Brown's Body," in The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad. Ed. by Sean Wilentz and Greil Marcus. New York: W. W. Norton.

Sheet music

  • 1917 Sheet Music at Duke University
    Duke University
    Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco industrialist James B...

     as part of the American Memory
    American Memory
    American Memory is an Internet-based archive for public domain image resources, as well as audio, video, and archived Web content. It is published by the Library of Congress...

     collection of the Library of Congress
    Library of Congress
    The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

  • Sheet music for The Battle Hymn of the Republic, from Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books...

  • The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Facsimile of first draft


  • "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", Stevenson & Stanley (Edison Amberol 79, 1908)—Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project.
  • MIDI for The Battle Hymn of the Republic from Project Gutenberg
  • The Battle Hymn of the Republic sung at Washington National Cathedral
    Washington National Cathedral
    The Washington National Cathedral, officially named the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, is a cathedral of the Episcopal Church located in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. Of neogothic design, it is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world, the second-largest in...

    , mourning the September 11, 2001 attacks
    September 11, 2001 attacks
    The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

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