To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=76253
7 messages

Lyr Add: Battle Hymn of the Republic (Mark Twain)

06 Dec 04 - 01:22 PM (#1348977)
Subject: Lyr Add: Mark Twain's Battle Hymn of the Republic
From: McGrath of Harlow

Came across this while I was looking for something else. Over 100 years after Mark Twain wrote it, back in 1900, and it still seems pretty topical:

Battle Hymn of the Republic - (Brought Down to Date)

Mine eyes have seen the orgy of the launching of the Sword;
He is searching out the hoardings where the stranger's wealth is stored;
He hath loosed his fateful lightnings, and with woe and death has scored;
His lust is marching on.

I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded him an altar in the Eastern dews and damps;
I have read his doomful mission by the dim and flaring lamps --
His night is marching on.

I have read his bandit gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my pretensions, so with you my wrath shall deal;
Let the faithless son of Freedom crush the patriot with his heel;
Lo, Greed is marching on!"

We have legalized the strumpet and are guarding her retreat;*
Greed is seeking out commercial souls before his judgement seat;
O, be swift, ye clods, to answer him! be jubilant my feet!
Our god is marching on!

In a sordid slime harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch,
With a longing in his bosom -- and for others' goods an itch.
As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich --
Our god is marching on.

* NOTE: In Manila the Government has placed a certain industry under the protection of our flag. (M.T.)


06 Dec 04 - 01:37 PM (#1348992)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mark Twain's Battle Hymn of the Republic
From: Peace

I used to do that on stage during the late '60s and early '70s. It works well because the audience is seldom familiar with the 'new' words. Thanks for posting the lyrics, McG of H.


06 Dec 04 - 09:51 PM (#1349484)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mark Twain's Battle Hymn of the Repub
From: Janice in NJ

It's in the current (Winter 2005) issue of Sing Out magazine.


07 Dec 04 - 02:11 PM (#1350113)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mark Twain's Battle Hymn of the Repub
From: McGrath of Harlow

That's not where I found it. Sometimes old songs get forced back into the open by the times we live in.


08 Dec 04 - 02:12 PM (#1351141)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mark Twain's Battle Hymn of the Republic
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Not set in verse, but other Twain writings that are applicable today are "As Regards Patriotism," and "The War Prayer."

Also worth reading in historical context is "The United States of Lyncherdom."

These are easily found on the Internet.


08 Dec 04 - 10:01 PM (#1351544)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mark Twain's Battle Hymn of the Republic
From: GUEST

Immediately before Barney was appointed by Bush to be the new director of homeland security he sold his shares in the stun-gun company "Taser International" (TASR) it had made a 700% leap on the exchange. Barney pocketed over 2million profits. I'm a hard-core Republican ... but my focus is beginning to shake.


09 Dec 04 - 02:03 PM (#1352173)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mark Twain's Battle Hymn of the Republic
From: Mark Ross

Mark Twains rewrite is in a collection called A PEN WARMED UP IN HELL
I believe. After I heard Bruce Murdoch sing it, I went and tracked down the words. Great piece of writing. Knowing that Twain played the guitar, I wonder if he ever performed it at soirees at his home?

Mark Ross