Music: US Battle Hymn of the Republic
Alberto Gutierrez says: -I find the US national anthem a little difficult to sing. While I do not dislike the sound of "Dixie's Land" I would prefer instead "The Battle Hymn of The Republic" as a replacement.
RH: Oh dear! Some Southern WAISers might want Alberto's scalp, since it was a Northern song during the Civil War. In 1861, after a visit to a Union Army camp, Julia Ward Howe wrote the poem that came to be called "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." It was published in February, 1862, in The Atlantic Monthly. Howe reported in her autobiography that she wrote the verses to meet a challenge by a friend, Rev. James Freeman Clarke. As an unofficial anthem, Union soldiers sang "John Brown's Body." Confederate soldiers sang it with their own version of the words. But Clarke thought that there should be more uplifting words to the tune. Howe met Clarke's challenge. The poem has become perhaps the best-known Civil War song of the Union Army, and has come to be a well-loved American patriotic anthem.
Randy Black writes: The politically correct types would never tolerate even a discussion of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" as a potential National Anthem on the matter of inferred violence of the words. If the National Anthem ever changes, Americans overwhelmingly would favor "America the Beautiful". Easier to sing, beautiful poetry, harmless and unthreatening to others.
As to the Battle Hymn: Words: Julia W. Howe, 1861. This hymn was born during the American civil war, when Howe visited a Union Army camp on the Potomac River near Washington, D. C. She heard the soldiers singing the song “John Brown’s Body,” and was taken with the strong marching beat. She wrote the words the next day: I awoke in the grey of the morning, and as I lay waiting for dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to entwine themselves in my mind, and I said to myself, “I must get up and write these verses, lest I fall asleep and forget them!” So I sprang out of bed and in the dimness found an old stump of a pen, which I remembered using the day before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper.
The hymn appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in 1862. It was sung at the funerals of British statesman Winston Churchill, American senator Robert Kennedy, and American president Ronald Reagan.
Music: “John Brown’s Body,” 19th Century American camp meeting tune. John Brown was an American abolitionist who led a short lived insurrection to free the slaves.