Glory, glory, hallelujah

Glory, glory, hallelujah  (Traditional)

From "A Song-book of Folk and Pop Music"

by Mario Papa & Giuliano Iantorno, Zanichelli Editore, Bologna, 1977 

 

John Brown's body lies amouldering in the grave,

John Brown's body lies amouldering in the grave,

John Brown's body lies amouldering in the grave,

But his soul goes marching on.

 

Chorus:

Glory, glory, halleluja,

Glory, glory, hallelujah,

Glory, glory, hallelujah,

And 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,

But his soul goes marching on.

 

Chorus:

Glory, glory, halleluja, etc.

 

The stars of Heaven, they are looking kindly down,

The stars of Heaven, they are looking kindly down,

The stars of Heaven, they are looking kindly down,

On the sould of old John Brown.

 

Chorus:

Glory, glory, halleluja, etc.

 

American Civil War

The American Civil War, which started in 1861, divided the people of the United States and took more American lives than any other war in history. The four years of bloodshed left a heritage of grief and bitterness that remains in part even today. This war ia also called the war of secession, the war of Independence, but whatever it is called, it was a great turning point in American history. It ended the Southern way of life that depended on slave labour in the cotton and tobacco fields.

Anyway the slavery issue was not the basic cause of the war, which resulted principally from the economic rivalry between the industrial North and the agricultural South. The major economic

groups in the North wanted better tariffs for all their manufactures, free homesteads for farmers and workers, and central banking for merchants and financers. The South opposed these demands. The result of these contrasts was a bitter war which ended in 1865 after about 1 million men had been killed or wounded.

 

John Brown

John Brown lived in the States before the Civil War broke out. He was born in Torr ington, Connecticut, one of the Northern States, and spent all his life fighting fr the freedom of the black people who were kept as slaves in the Southern States. Bron had been considering an invasion of the South, and began to collect arms and men for that purpose. His idea seems to have been to raid the United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry in Western Virginia and then, encourage slaves to rebel. He and 18 followers captured the arsenal on Oct 1 6, 1959, but they failed to escape and he was delivered by Colonel Robert E. Lee to the court for trial. He was convicted on the charge of treason and hanged December 2 , 1859.

Two years later the Civil War broke out, and the Union Troops began to sing “John Brown's body lies amouldering in the grave, but his soul goes ma rching on” 'to the melody an old hymn. The American writer Henry david Thoreau (1817-1862) who lived in John Brown's days, wrote in one of his essays: “ John Brown did not recognize unjust human laws, but resisted them as was bid. No man in America has ever stood up so persistently and effectively for the dignity of human nature, knowing himself for a man, and the equal of any and all governments. In that sense he was the most American of us all.