Sunday, December 07, 2008

From My In Box

"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." ~ Julia Ward Howe

Someone sent this to me by e-mail. It is one of the best versions of the Battle Hymn of the Republic I have ever heard. Apparently, Patriotism is still alive and well in some of America's schools.

Not all the words are sung in this version, so I've pasted the complete lyrics below:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

It was this spirit that the egregious attack on Pearl Harbor, 67 years ago today, failed to quell, and the same spirit exists today in the breasts of our countrymen.

Remember Pearl Harbor.

12 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

I, too, am a fan of the song. I especially like

In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea
With a glory in his bosom
That transfigures you and me
As he died to make men wholly,
Let us live [or die] to make men free
God's truth is marching on


What I wonder, though, is how this song became associated with patriotism, or love of country? There is nothing in the lyrics themselves that point to love of country. Rather, it strikes me as being about love of all people.

I will say that that last verse - with which I am not familiar - has the rather strange imagery of God enslaving "the souls of wrong." Really? That's not an especially biblical message.

Also, I find the association of this song with war-making odd. It strikes me as the more metaphorical war against sin - in our own lives and elsewhere - not actual battles being waged with guns and bombs.

Julia Ward Howe, I believe, came to be rather opposed to war-making - founding Mothers Day as a peacemaking effort. See here

Her powerful words:

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of
peace.


Julia Ward Howe
Boston
1870

=====
She was a powerful writer.

Mark said...

Dan says, "I find the association of this song with war-making odd"

I suppose one has to take into account the circumstances under which Ms Ward wrote the song. She was observing soldiers in a time of war, and she viewed their mission as the God's Holy and righteous judgment, it would seem to me.

"I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
"

Seems like pretty warlike imagery to me.

Krystal said...

Followed a link from Misfit...

I have a list of the names of the people killed at Pearl Harbor at my blog. The list I found from a government website had 2,402 names.
Here it is, if you're interested http://krystalakelly.blogspot.com/2008/12/names-of-dead-from-attack-on-pearl.html

Personally, I don't think that the same spirit is in our country today. There are those of us who DO carry that spirit, but liberalism is doing all it can to squelch it.

I love that song! And it is all about war. The War to end all wars. Are we prepared?

Jim O'Sullivan said...

Dan: Somehow, you've reminded me that some Muslims claim (perhaps in good faith) that "jihad" means "inner struggle to overcome sin." Words and lyrics can have different connotations.
Take it from someome who has had the privledge of serving with hardened Viet Nam vets (my unit was shipped back home just before I joined it). No true American glorifies war. The brave men I served with didn't. Quite the reverse. The song glorifies those brave enough to fight when the time comes to fight, and the faith in God that gives them their strength. May America continue to produce such people forever, and may it never (after they get these last two jobs done)have to send them into battle again.
I doubt that you disagree, except maybe about the "get the job done" part.
One more point. My friend's Dad passed away this year. A Pearl Harbor Vet, scheduled to get out in a couple of months, but had to stay for the duration. A great man. Never, never said a word about what happened that morning.

Joe said...

Mark: You are so patient with Dan.

I used this video in our Independence Day tribute in church.

It stirs me still.

Mark said...

Krystal, welcome to my blog.

You said, "Personally, I don't think that the same spirit is in our country today."

I disagree. I believe all Americans have that spirit when we really need it. Look at the way all Americans rallied to help each other after Hurricane Katrina struck. Party affiliation was not an issue then. Neither was it an issue when Terrorists struck the World Trade Center and Pentagon on 9/11.

Remember all the members of Congress (both houses) congregating on the steps of the Capitol to sing "God Bless America" after 9/11? The Libs lost that zeal quickly, but for those few days immediately following 9/11, we were a united people. That spirit will continue to re-surface every time our Liberty is threatened.

Mark said...

I'm thinking of deleting Misfit from my blogroll. It is too long for me to visit every blog everyday anyway, and Misfit has never responded to comments I've made at his place, nor even acknowledged them. I have no idea if he ever visits here at all.

In the blogosphere, there is something to be said for quid pro quo.

Gayle said...

I sort of feel the same way Krystal does, Mark. I've heard so many of the far left say hateful things about America. I don't know if they'd stand up for this country if push came to shove. You do make a good point about them uniting right after 9/11, but it sure didn't last very long!

But I love that song, and thank you for the link!

Blessings and Merry Christmas.

Cameron said...

A great song and great rendition. Thanks Mark.

Here's another version that's pretty good.

Mark said...

Very Good, Cameron! Although, I thought I heard a sour note in there! LOL! just kidding.

Of course, a combination of 4 high school choirs has nothing on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but they are still pretty good, for amateurs.

Hey, Cameron, did you hear the one about the choir from the state hospital? Each one held an apple and a pencil, and while they sang, they tapped the apples with their pencils. When asked the name of the choir, the conductor said, why, "The Moron Tapanapple Choir, of course!"

Cameron said...

Nicely done, Mark. :-)

Frenzied Feline said...

That is the same arrangement I sang in the combined choirs at my (*gasp*) public high school graduation ceremony. I still get goose bumps thirty years later. :)

I'll bet we wouldn't be allowed to sing it at school today. :,(