To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
66 messages

Civil War Ballads

30 Sep 98 - 06:46 AM (#40015)
Subject: Civil War Ballads
From: Martin Ryan

The Irish Times newspaper had an article on Irish ballads from the American Civil War, yesterday, which might be of interest. It's in the on-line edition at:


30 Sep 98 - 12:41 PM (#40032)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Liam's Brother

Hi Martin!

Very interesting. Thanks for letting us know. This is a fascinating area of folk music.

Happy to tell you that I am anxiously awaiting the CD test pressing of "Irish Ballads and Songs of the Sea". "Billy O'Shea," sung by myself and Lou Killen is on it. There are 15 songs altogether. The other performers are Mick Moloney, The Irish Tradition, Brian Conroy and a group of guys I've sung with, off and on, at South Street Seaport here in NYC since 1972 (including, my brother, Liam). The CD should be on Folk-Legacy but I'll try to work out something so that it's readily available in Ireland too. At the least, I'll bring some to Ballyliffin in case anyone is interested.

Getting back to the thread, Dave Kincaid is singing in NYC tonight. Bonnie and I are going. I have heard the CD once and it's very well done though quite "produced." He has a good voice but, and the only negative, is that he uses it a lot like a rock'n'roll singer.

Bonnie and I sang "Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade" up in Ballyliffin. We had a couple of other Irish-American songs from the Civil War to do in keeping with the theme of the seminar but didn't get around to them.

Bob Conroy, whom you met in Ballyliffin, and I are in the middle of recording a "theme" CD that will include at least 3 U.S. Civil War songs of the Irish. Will keep you posted.

Hope your computer troubles are diminishing.

All the best, Dan Milner

30 Sep 98 - 01:12 PM (#40034)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Kathleen

Has anyone heard the music for the PBS Civil War special by Ken Burns? I have the tape of it, but not with me unfortunately. Anyways, it's a good example of the different sounds and perspectives of the war: slave songs, rebel songs, yankee songs, women's songs, etc. There's a song on it called "Lincoln and Liberty Too" which is actually "The Men of the West." Now that I think about it, I don't know if that's the correct title for the Irish version: I give you the galant of Wexford/Where rally the bravest and best/When Ireland was broken and bleeding/ Hurrah for the men of the west! Another misplaced Irish tune on the tape is "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" aka "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye." If you like Civil War music, I strongly recommend looking for it. It's simply called "Songs of the Civil War." I'll have to look for more info on it

30 Sep 98 - 02:52 PM (#40046)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Barry Finn

Well Golly Dan, I must say what I've got is a tape of great stuff by you, it must be the preCDrelease tape that was selling at this past Mystic, funny I had to start a long drive this morning at 5am & I brought you along for company, again, you seem to travel well. Great job, very rare & very well done. Barry

30 Sep 98 - 03:51 PM (#40050)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Liam's Brother

Hi Barry!

Thanks for the kind words. I'll start a new thread on "Irish Ballads & Songs of the Sea" when I when it's a CD reality and I get some copies here. I'll give you a full $ credit for your tape if you want to "upgrade" to a CD. Ok, pal? There are a number of retakes and a few additional songs on the CD. The sound should be excellent too.

But back to the U.S. Civil War... there are some Confederate songs too...

All the best, Dan Milner

30 Sep 98 - 04:36 PM (#40051)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Bob Schwarer

If you want a great catalog that has a fine selection of CDs tapes, and books on civil war music spend 5 bucks for the "Dixie Gun Works" catalog.

Dixie Gun Works, Inc
Box 130 Gunpowder Lane
Union City, TN 38281
Their phone is (800) 238-6785 & no I don't have a financial interest in it.(But I wish I did).

Bob S.

30 Sep 98 - 05:04 PM (#40055)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Barry Finn

Thanks for the kind offer Dan but the tape, as far as I'm concerned, by far exceeds what I paid for. I picked it up because of "Billy O'Shea", so what a trill when I heard the rest, another trill was to find that Shea was the one you first heard it from, talk about a great circle route, we see each other every Tues. By the time your CD is out, at the rate I'm going, I'll have worn out the tape anyway so it'll have gone far past & beyond it's expected life, I've probably put over 75,000 miles on it, my CD's don't last that long in the truck, maybe I get 25,000 out of them (I don't have a fancy CD player in the truck, I think I need to up grade the truck before the CD's, it's got over 1/4 million miles on it). The great thing for me with LPs, I couldn't take the best out on the road with me & ruin them. Give Bonnie a hello from me. Thanks Barry

01 Oct 98 - 12:19 AM (#40119)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: BSeed

Among the Confederate songs is the comical but historically meaningful "Goober Peas." It's on the DT, as is another goofy Rebel song, "Mister, Here's Your Mule."


01 Oct 98 - 02:06 PM (#40196)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Alice

Hi, I have refreshed a thread related to this thread that I started in May.

Subject: Add: Paddy's Lamentation (click here)
From: Alice
Date: 12-May-98 - 12:57 PM

alice in montana

02 Oct 98 - 01:50 PM (#40235)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads

A very Good set of albums was made by a group called the Cumberland three, featuring John Stuart. The Albums were called Civil War Songs of The South and ..obviously..Civil War etc. Ernie Ford also did albums of civil war songs. Both of these have been released as cds. The Cumberland Three Album has some excellent things on it.


16 Oct 98 - 06:29 AM (#41932)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Martin Ryan

A follow up to the article mentioned at the top of this thread:

BTW Dan: should reach me now! Have you a new address?


04 Nov 98 - 12:46 AM (#44135)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Dave White

Anne Hills does a wonderful Civil War ballad (she duets this song w/various artists) called "Richmond on the James" I found it on "Never Grow Old" Flying Fish Records

04 Nov 98 - 04:37 AM (#44161)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Rincon Roy

I also understand that a group of Irishmen crossed over from the yankee army in the Mexican War preceding the American CW and fought valiantly for the Mexican defending forces who nicknamed them the "San Patricios" (the Saint Patricks).

another surprising detail: Tucson Arizona was founded around 1775? by Col. Hugo Oconor, an Irishman in the service of the king of Spain.

07 Apr 01 - 10:10 AM (#435175)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: GUEST,TheGreatBear

I'd recommend David Kincaid's "The Irish Volunteer." It's my favorite CD for Irish Civil War songs.

07 Apr 01 - 04:20 PM (#435368)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Irish sergeant

Rincon Roy: You are correct that the San Patricios fought for the Mexican army. To clarify, they were Irishmen who initially joined the American Army and deserted to join the Mexican army. (Which is why Gen. Winfield Scott had a fair portion of them executed.) The song Lincoln and Liberty, written by Jesse Hutchinson borrowed the tune of Rosin the Beau. I'm not familiar with the song The Men of the West. Do the three songs share the same tune? In addition to the famed Irish Brigade of the Civil War, there was a unit know as the Clinch Rifles, raised in Georgia who fought for the Confederate cause. One of the best general in the CSA was Patrick Cleburne who had fought with the British Army in Crimea. He was killed at the battle of Franklin Tennesee. And by the way, The Streets of Laredo derives from The Bard of Armagh. Kindest reguards, NEil

07 Apr 01 - 05:04 PM (#435396)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Uncle_DaveO

Rosin the Beau and Lincoln and Liberty too share the tune (almost) with Acres of Clams, too.

Dave Oesterreich

07 Apr 01 - 06:34 PM (#435432)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads

This brings to mind the wonderful a cappella quadlet that Frank Warner included in his first Elektra album (IO think):

This day will be remembered by America's noble sons!
If it hadna been fer the Irish, what would the Union done?br> It was han' ta han' we FOWT 'em, all in the brilin' sun.
Stripped down to thuh pants, we did advance
aAt the Battle of Bull Run!!!!


07 Apr 01 - 07:44 PM (#435475)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Alice

Paddy's Lamentation (mp3 sound) click here

09 Apr 01 - 03:25 PM (#436601)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Chicken Charlie

The melody ("air," if you like) for Rosin the Beau was used for "Denver" by the New Christie Minstrels, as well as for "Lincoln & Liberty Too" and "Acres of Clams." Also, on the "urban folk" scene, the Limeliters used it for "Charlie the Midnight Marauder," about a guy who was arrested for B&E after mistaking an identical new suburban house for his own and walking in. Good tunes just don't wanna give up.

Chicken Charlie

09 Apr 01 - 08:09 PM (#436925)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads

The best of the lot, I think, was written by Henry Clay Work,the same guy who wrote My Grandfather's clock, Father dear Rather,and Watchman strike the bell (The basis for "Strike the Bell " and "Clip go the shears") among others. The song I'm referring to is never heard in the Southeastern United States, and is entitled MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA. It is in the DT

09 Apr 01 - 09:47 PM (#436997)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Giac

Of course Marching Through Georgia is heard in the southeastern United States. It's a good tune and I've played it myself (never sang the words). But to cleanse the air, it should be followed by Dixie, Bonnie Blue Flag, or maybe I Am A Good Old Rebel. **BG** ~;o)

09 Apr 01 - 10:03 PM (#437007)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Uncle Jaque

Henry C. WORK, like many of his contemporaries, was apparantly not above "borrowing" a pre-existant Folk, tavern, or work song which had probably never been written down, much less published, and publishing (and taking credit for) his own arrangement of it.

I have heard amongst Reenacting circles that the tune for "Georgia" was originally a Southern folk song known as "The Bedbug and the Flea". If the older lyrics could be found and documented, perhaps we could revive the tune while dispelling the culturally offensive (to Southerners, anyway)association with the later H.C.WORK lyrics.

About the best currently available collection of CW Music in printed form, IMHO, is the Jerry SILVERMAN Edition. One version of it is published by Mel BAY (MB94734). The arrangements are pretty basic and straightforward with guitar chords. Some purists have critisized it for supposedly deviating from original scores in some details, but I submit that they will suffice for all intents and purposes.

10 Apr 01 - 09:18 AM (#437269)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Irish sergeant

UNcle Jaque; Good to see you on the threads again! I would be intersted in the Bedbug and the Flea lyrics if they are available. If I'm playing in a mixed crowd Union and Confederate I'll usually pair "Battle cry of Freedom" and "Dixie's Land" And pair "Marching Through Georgia" with I'm a Good Old Rebel" I widely interspace that with "Non-sectarian" music ("SWeet Betsy From Pike Etc.) I do have a version of Acres of Clams and the chords are almost identical to Rosin the beau. Does anyone know where I can find the lyrics to The Irish Volunteer or the Irish Jaunting Car? It's the same tune as the Bonnie Blue Flag. I believe The Irish Jaunting Car is the owner of that tune by the way. Kindest reguards, NEil

10 Apr 01 - 08:46 PM (#437746)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: GUEST,TheGreatBear

Irish Sergeant: The words to "The Irish Volunteer" are printed in David Kincaid's CD of the same name.

10 Apr 01 - 09:19 PM (#437761)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Irish sergeant

Great bear, Thanks. An additional remark on the San Patricios Not all of them were Irish. The perception of them was that they were based on their flag and the fact that one of the organizers, John Reilly was. Not all of them were hanged. I think possibly seventeen were, one was shot a couple were branded and the rest were discharged without further action. Kindest reguards, NEil By the way, the Mexican War is supposedly responsible for the term Gringo Supposedly, the Mexicans used ut as a term for us "Nortes" and it derives from the song Green Grows the Laurel which was popular with the army at that time.

10 Apr 01 - 11:36 PM (#437821)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: GUEST,Fred

My parents gave me a copy of The Civil War Songbook, a collection of reprints of sheet music from that period, selected and introduced by Richard Crawford, published by Dover Publications in 1977. I have no idea whether it is still in print. It includes many of the songs mentioned above. Most are in harmony parts and have the piano accompaniment but no guitar chords.

11 Apr 01 - 12:23 AM (#437857)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: GUEST,Uncle Jaque

Don't forget some of the popular Minstrel and "Civilian" tunes of the period, like "Wait for the Wagon", "Lorena", "Poor Nellie Gray", and the Steven FOSTER hits like "Old Kentucky Home, "The Glendy Burke", and "Hard Times" (Parodied in the Army as "Hardtack Come again No More"). A favorite on both sides was "Home Sweet Home".

If you have the vocal range for it and want to impress the shucks out of yer Pards (provided that you can pull it off) try "Kathleen Mavourneen" By F. Nicholls CROUCH who fought in a Georgia Militia Artillery Unit throughout the War. It may be heard on the "More Songs and Tunes From Gettysburg" soundtrack recording. Don't know if it is on CD or not; I wore my cassette of it out.

One of my critisizims of the BURNS CW Series soundtrack is that despite his fairly competent renderings of such songs as he did, he neglected scads of really beautiful and compelling music of the period and repeated the same 5 or 6 tunes over and over and over...

It has been said that there was more music written in America during the ACW than at any other period in our history... and I am inclined to believe it. As I collect 19th Century music, more and more of it keeps turning up and God knows how much never got written down and was lost forever. One could easily devote a lifetime to the study of the Music of the American "Civil" War.

11 Apr 01 - 10:40 AM (#438064)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Irish sergeant

I agree you could do a full book of nothing but parodies. I just sent a manuscript of a book of Civil War songs to the publisher last month. There were in addition to the popular music several hymns sung then that are still church favorites such as "What a Friend We Have in Jesus", "The Doxology" (Old One Hundred), "Amazing Grace" and that perrenial favorite of B westerns, "Rock of Ages" Fred, I don't know but I believe the book you talk about may stioll be in print. I have seen it for sale in the sutler's tens at reenactments. I have a copy of that book and as I remember, he compiled it from the origional sheet music. Kindest reguards, NEil

11 Apr 01 - 03:52 PM (#438384)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: JedMarum

I have three new Civil War songs on my album (Streets of Fall River). Irish Music Magazine reviewed the album in their Feb 2001 issue. The lyrics and sound files are here:
Song tells tale of Irish Louisiana Regiment in CW
Ballad of a young immigrant, left potato famine and died at Gettysburg
Young Irish American says fare well to home and sweet heart

11 Apr 01 - 07:22 PM (#438569)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Irish sergeant

Jed: Reguarding Prayer from Little Round Top,That is an awesome song my man! I exstend my congratulations on a job well done!! Kindest reguards, Neil PS Will you be atFirst Manassas in August?

11 Apr 01 - 09:04 PM (#438633)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: GUEST,TheGreatBear

I have Jerry Silverman's "Ballads & Songs of the Civil War" and Wayne Erbsen's "Rousing Songs and True Tales of the Civil War". For harder to find tunes Johns Hopkins has made their Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music available on line at: Duke Univ. is another good online source at: Some of the tunes that I copied from the online sources are: Aura Lea, Hartimes Come Again No More, Kitty Wells, O Touch Not My Sister's Picture, Rose of Alabama, Sweet Evelina, The Blue and the Gray

One tune that I have not been able to find is "Green Grows the Lilacs." Does anyone know a source for this tune?

11 Apr 01 - 09:15 PM (#438643)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: GUEST,TheGreatBear

According to Wayne Erbsen JEB Stuart's favorite tunes are:

Jine the Cavalry (of course) Sweet Eveline (one of my favorite songs too) Old Folks at Home When this Cruel War is Over Love Not Passing Away Soldier's Joy The Dew is on the Blossom The Soldier's Dream The Cottage by the Sea When the Swallows Homeward Fly Annie Laurie Lorena (another of my favorites) Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still Ever of Thee Home Sweet Home Kathleen Mavoureen Passing Away Rock of Ages Napolitaine Maryland, My Maryland

I'm familiar with most but not all of these. Perhaps someone will make a CD of JEB's favorites. It would be a good collection of songs.

11 Apr 01 - 10:25 PM (#438686)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: JedMarum

Irish sergeant - I don't know about 1st Manassas, but I will be at the Sperryville Civil War Memorial in VA during the first weekend in June. It is a modest event in a beautiful setting.

What is 1st Manassas? Thanks for the comments on Prayer from Little Round Top. I love that song too. Seamus Kennedy is recording Sweet Ellen Joyce right now, for his next record. I am thrilled about that!

12 Apr 01 - 05:29 PM (#439306)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: JedMarum

Irish sergeant, fi you're interested; send me a PM with address and I mail you a CD with Prayer From Little Round Top.

12 Apr 01 - 08:18 PM (#439421)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: GUEST,TheGreatBear

The 140 anniversary of 1st Manassas/Bull Run is the big reenacting event this year in the mid-atlantic states.

12 Apr 01 - 09:55 PM (#439452)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: JedMarum

140 anniversary of 1st Manassas/Bull Run; when is it the event? do you have a link to some info?

13 Apr 01 - 12:56 PM (#439855)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Rex

If we're mentioning songbooks, I said it before and I'll say it again, Irwin Silber's "Songs of the Civil War" is hard to beat. A very complete listing along with history and parodies. I'm with Uncle Jacque, as a follower of 19th century music, the Civil War was a treasure trove of music and songs. It seems like hard times and conflict inspire the writers, song writers among them. Even up to this day.


13 Apr 01 - 07:45 PM (#440102)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: GUEST,TheGreatBear

I agree with you Rex, the introduction to Wayne's book touches on this same point. It states that approximately 10,000 new songs were written and published during the Civil War. That has got to be more than all of the songs previously published in the U.S.

26 Aug 02 - 11:36 AM (#771748)
Subject: Jine The Cavalry
From: GUEST,"Trooper Ray"

I am a reenactor in the 1st Virginia Cavalry Company G, Southern Legion, ANV. I was wondering where I might be able to find sheet music for the tune "Jine the Cavalry" (or any other Civil War songs) on the internet.

26 Aug 02 - 02:05 PM (#771825)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Midi and lyrics at Jine the Cavalry

The Levy site does not have the sheet music. Not in "Sound Off" (Soldier Songs)

26 Aug 02 - 02:57 PM (#771850)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Should have added that the Levy site does have sheet music for a number of Civil War Songs. Levy

26 Aug 02 - 07:06 PM (#771978)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Irish sergeant

Any re-enactors going to Antietam? If so, Look me up, I'm first sgt for the 12th US Inf. and will be billetted with 4th inf., USV (Regulars)?

Don't forget all the greta immigrants who gave songs to the Civil War. "By the Hush"(Irish), "I fights mit Siegel" German etc. Kindest regards, Neil

17 Apr 03 - 10:06 AM (#935395)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: JedMarum

17 Apr 03 - 11:23 AM (#935468)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: masato sakurai

There's a lyrics & midi page (based on Crawford's Civil War Songbook: Complete Original Sheet Music for 37 Songs), a section of Benjamin Robert Tubb's PUBLIC DOMAIN MUSIC.


17 Apr 03 - 11:26 AM (#935473)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: JedMarum

This is a great site, masato. Thanks for posting it.

17 Apr 03 - 12:28 PM (#935519)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Songster Bob

I hate to differ with the folk etymology, but "gringo" derives from "griego," or "greek," meaning "foreigner," and is not related to the color green or the pop song "Green Grows the Laurel," despite the well-known story related above.

Bob Clayton

17 Apr 03 - 12:37 PM (#935537)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Big Mick

Bob, what is your source for this information?

All the best,


17 Apr 03 - 12:43 PM (#935543)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: masato sakurai

"Gringo" has been discussed HERE (thread: ?Why Mexicans called them 'Gringos'?).

17 Apr 03 - 12:58 PM (#935553)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads

The fakelore which ties Gringo to Green Grow, or the Mexican War, or something Irish is one of the hardest bits of mis-information to kill among folkists.

The thread pointed out by Masato includes a posting of the word's occurrence in the "Diccionario Castellano" (1787)- "Foreigners who have a certain type of accent which keeps them from speaking easily and naturally." The word was also used in Latin America before the Mexican War (see other posts).
That the word was derived from griego seems likely.

17 Apr 03 - 07:35 PM (#935684)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Deckman

Hmmm? Do we have another whole new thread topic here? Bob

17 Apr 03 - 07:50 PM (#935695)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads

Getting back to the Civil War, in addition to the posting on "Jine the Cavalry," above, Uncle Jacque posted it in thread 46392. The outside posting may disappear. For some reason, it is not yet in the DT.
Jine the Cavalry: Jine the Cavalry

Why do so many southerners say "Jine the Calvary?

18 Apr 03 - 07:31 PM (#936236)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Ely

Wayne Erbsen has a whole series of tapes of 19th-century music--I know you can get them at a lot of battlefields and souvenir shops but I'm sure he's got a website. If you want to learn tunes & lyrics, they're great.

Cathy Barton and Dave Para from Missouri also recorded a lot of Civil War (and pre-Civil War) music from both sides of the issue.

My personal favorite Civil War songs (which aren't ballads, but oh, well) are "Vacant Chair", "Just Before the Battle, Mother", "Prairie Grove", and, although it's a bit later, "Faded Coat of Blue".

30 Apr 03 - 10:51 PM (#944094)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: masato sakurai

American Memory announces future collections HERE, which include:

Music for the Nation: Sheet Music from the Civil War Era
As part of the ongoing American Memory sheet music collections, the Music Division has chosen approximately 3,000 pieces of sheet music from the 1860s to represent the Civil War period.


01 May 03 - 02:58 AM (#944177)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Kaleea

Jeepers, when I saw some of the Ken Burns Civil War Special I thought--oh, that's the waltz so many people are so nuts about, but why does he keep playing it over, & over, & over, & over, & over, & over. . .
    Anyway, I was wondering at the time (of the over & over stuff), where are the many other beautiful songs of the time? With all the research into the times, couldn't they have uncevered a few more tunes so they wouldn't have to wear that new fangled waltz out? But perhaps it's about selling a tune by Jay Unger?

01 May 03 - 08:20 AM (#944296)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: JedMarum

They chos e alovely tune for a recurring theme, Ashoken Farewll. It is the only new song they used. They also repeated frequently Lorena, Battle Hymn and several other period tunes. I think they did a great job with the music selection.

28 Jan 04 - 01:00 AM (#1103163)
Subject: ADD: The Casto Hole
From: Joe Offer

Here's a ballad from a West Virginia Confederate sympathizer. I found it here (click).

During the war Nicholas Casto wrote a poem deriding the Confederate sympathizers in the country, of which there are no known copies, which moved his good friend Elijah Powers a Confederate sympathizer to pen the poem known as "The Casto Hole". in retaliation. This cave is supposedly at Limber Ridge at Statts Mill.

The Casto Hole
(Elijah Powers)

Far in the woods of Upper Tug
We wrap old Union in a rug.
Where nicholas reads his Union Roll
And Rallies round the Casto Hole.

The Casto Hole is a cavern deep
Where Union men can quiet sleep,
There all their war-like plans unfold
While forted in the Casto Hole.

There you can hail the Union flag,
For such they call a striped rag.
Some two feet square stuck on a pole
In the region of the Casto Hole.

Union, Union is their song,
It's two feet broad and four feet long.
Hold up your heads and sing it "bold"
A hundred feet in the Casto Hole.

A lame-leg miller took afright
For Upper Tug he cut one night.
His fears were far beyond control
So he bolted for the Casto Hole.

Since Wise is gone, they now know fear
Except at night, lest they might hear
Some demon howl, or ghost of old
Prowling around the Casto Hole.

A southern scout - horrors profound,
That name, it shakes the very ground;
That name's a thunderbolt to Joel -
The general of the Casto Hole.

But, oh, the terrors of a scout
To those poor devils crowded out.
In their retreat, headlong they roll
Chock full they fill the Casto Hole.

Go to their houses, give a call,
There reigns a solemn silence, all.
But take their tracks, however cold,
They'll lead you to the Casto Hole.

No danger near - see how they prance?
Like Indians in an Indian dance -
Ignorant as Indians, 'pon my soul,
These warriors of the Casto Hole.

Lord, calm their fears, thy grace is good;
Call these scared devils from the wood,
Call them, like sheep, unto thy fold -
Those heroes of the Casto Hole.

Poor old Joel, he died of late,
And took his flight to Heaven's Gate.
St. Peter knew the poor old soul,
And kicked them back to the Casto Hole.

Down from the pearly gates he flies,
A howling demon of the skies.
A ghastly ghost, black, grim, and cold -
Came sliding back to the Casto Hole.

On terra-firma, safe again,
Young, yelping devils, in this train
To the Old Rogues' March they beat a roll
And escorted him back to the Casto Hole.

Old wizard Nicholas was on hand
In the witches department, holds command
He sped his signs from pole to pole,
For all witches to meet him in the Casto Hole.

That great magician of the North
Nods, earthquakes shock all round the earth;
Conjures the light from his northern pole
To illuminate the Casto Hole.

Witches and wizards and goblins grim,
Assembled there and were sworn in.
Presiding, sat the ghost of Joel -
At a Union meeting in the Casto Hole.

And wooly heads, they came long
With chalky eyes and odors strong
In that deep den, high place did hold -
All abolition in the Casto Hole.

10 Mar 04 - 04:55 PM (#1133320)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: JedMarum

For those with an interest in Civil War Ballads and songs; Click Here for a pertinent, new Mudcat Thread.

I had to give it one more try!


14 Mar 11 - 01:43 PM (#3113606)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Dad Perkins

Hi there everyone. I'm new to the Cafe and am very glad to find so much music and information here. I currently working on a research paper about Civil War ballads and wondered, A.) if anyone is aware of any tunes releating to Col. Mosby and Mosby's Rangers, and B.) if anyone could turn me on to some recordings of unacompanied ballads about the war and/or field recordings of interviews with vets or their immediate kin.



14 Mar 11 - 02:08 PM (#3113620)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: GUEST,Songbob

Hi, Dad.

There's a fine, unaccompanied ballad on the Battle of Stone River on "Fine Times at Our House," Indiana folk songs and fiddle tunes.

See here!

You can even sample the music.

Bob Clayton

14 Mar 11 - 03:01 PM (#3113651)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Lighter

In years and years and years of interest in such things, I've never met with a Mosby ballad.

14 Mar 11 - 05:40 PM (#3113749)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Dad Perkins

that version of 'Ballad of Stone River' is actually what I'm using as my measuring stick. I'd love to hear other civil war ballads interspersed with interviews. That may be asking too much though. Thanks folks! keep'm comin!

14 Mar 11 - 07:20 PM (#3113795)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Lighter

This guy wasn't a Civil War veteran, but it sounds like he was pretty old:

And this is probably the final recording ever of a "rebel yell" uttered by a former Confederate soldier (in 1935):

14 Mar 11 - 07:30 PM (#3113804)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: saulgoldie

I don't know if it counts as a "balad." But, "Let the Band Play Dixie" by Bob Gibson is one of my most favorite of all times. I count it among my "A" songs.

I will help anyone wishing to hear it. PM me, if interested.



C                        Am                   F                G
The news was run from Richmond in that fading April Sun;
C                    Am                               F                       G
That Lee had handed Grant his sword, the war was finally won.
Into the streets the people spilled,
Feeling the excitement build,
And the crowd around the Whitehouse milled,
Asking is it true, it's finally done?

*Inside the Whitehouse Lincoln heard them calling out his name.
He sat there wondering what to say to ease their years of pain.
Someone yelled, "Come out the door, tell us what you have in store
For the rebels who've lost the war, so out upon the porch Abe Lincoln came.

*He said, "We are gathered not in anger, but in celebration.
Let's be grateful we are once again a single nation.
Let's stand together reassured, now that peace has been secured,
Our nation's illness can be cured, and I suggest the overture for this ocassion...
Let the band Play Dixie,
Am                                                  G
Play that song that holds its head up high and proud,
F                G                C                 Am
And let our nation once divided, bloodied but unbowed,
F                        G                        C              Am
Take the swords of war and beat them back into a plow."
F                        G                C                 Am        F/G
On the day that Lee surrendered, Mr. Lincoln told the crowd,
"Let the band play Dixie!"

*A tired Union soldier hobbled on his only limb,
Filled with bitter memories the war had left with him.
Dragged his wooden leg and cane, his face was set and creased with pain, he stumbled, fell, and         rose again,
And he wondered what the future held for him.

*He spied a Black child kneeling there in humble gratitude.
He knelt down right beside her to share her thankful mood.
Grateful words were raised in prayer, God in your sweet loving care,
Our broken lives now please repair, let our wounded nation be renewed. And...


15 Mar 11 - 12:39 AM (#3113920)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Dad Perkins

Hey gang. these are great leads. Here's a heart breaker of an unacompanied ballad I found on the Missou site that Lighter turned me on to. "Just as the Sun Went Down"

15 Mar 11 - 12:42 AM (#3113921)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: Dad Perkins

@ Saulgoldie- wow. that's incredible. I just read a memoir by Mary Todd Lincoln's seamstress which recounted The President's fondness for 'Dixie'. Do you know of any recordings of that song? 'Let the Band Play Dixie' I mean. great stuff. thanks.

15 Mar 11 - 04:57 PM (#3114434)
Subject: RE: Civil War Ballads
From: saulgoldie

Sure, Dad. I heard it first, last, and only from the late, great Bob Gibson. The album--I think it was an album--was from the 80s. I can put my hands on a recording that I put on a personal compilation, um cassette. PM me for details and discussion. Thanks for your interest!