The tune that the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" is sung to. The tune was originally called Say Brothers, Will You Meet Us? but generally known as Glory, Hallelujah, and dates back to 1856 or earlier. After John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry and his attempt to start an insurrection, this tune, a camp meeting hymn attributed to composer William Steffe took on new words:
John Brown's body lies a -mouldering in the grave,
John Brown's body lies a -mouldering in the grave,
John Brown's body lies a -mouldering in the grave,
But his soul goes marching on.
These lyrics have been attributed to the glee club of the "Tigers," a battalion of the Massachusetts Infantry, stationed at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor, who had a little runt of a sergeant who shared the same name as the noted abolitionist . The song spread thanks to Colonel Fletcher Webster's 12th Masschusetts Regiment on their way south, and various Union soldiers created their own patriotic and ribald versions including:
Hang Jeff Davis on a sour apple tree.
and:
We'll feed Old Jeff Davis sour apples (3x)
Until he gets the diarhee.
Charles Cardwell McCabe, the singing chaplain of the 122d Ohio Regiment of Volunteers is often credited with teaching Union soldiers the words written by Julia Ward Howe.
John Brown's Body
by Anonymous


John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave,
John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave,
John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave,
But his soul goes marching on.
chorus: Glory, glory, hallelujah,
Glory, glory, hallelujah,
Glory, glory, hallelujah,
His soul goes marching on.
He's gone to be a soldier in the Army of the Lord,
He's gone to be a soldier in the Army of the Lord,
He's gone to be a soldier in the Army of the Lord,
His soul goes marching on.
chorus
John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back,
John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back,
John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back,
His soul goes marching on.
chorus
John Brown died that the slaves might be free,
John Brown died that the slaves might be free,
John Brown died that the slaves might be free,
His soul goes marching on.
chorus
The stars above in Heaven now are looking kindly down,
The stars above in Heaven now are looking kindly down,
The stars above in Heaven now are looking kindly down,
His soul goes marching on.
chorus

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.