The Civil War Connections Blog

Music Monday: Marah

There is no doubt about the historical nature of this Music Monday song. “John Brown’s Body” by Marah was included of the three disc compilation Song of America. Marah is a modern rock band that hails from Philly but relocated to New York City. The song “John Brown’s Body” is shockingly about John Brown the famous abolitionist who tried on many occasion to free slaves using force when necessary. This particular song is about his and his few followers 1859 attempt to raid an armory at Harpers Ferry in western Virginia (which is now West Virginia).

Marah

Here are the lyrics of “John Brown’s Body”

The tune was originally a camp-meeting hymn Oh brothers, will you meet us on Canaan’s happy shore? It evolved into this tune. In 1861 Julia Ward Howe wife of a government official, wrote a poem for Atlantic Monthly for five dollars. The magazine called it, Battle Hymn of the Republic. The music may be by William Steffe.

John Brown’s body lies a-mold’ring in the grave
John Brown’s body lies a-mold’ring in the grave
John Brown’s body lies a-mold’ring in the grave
His soul goes marching on

Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
His soul is marching on

He captured Harper’s Ferry with his nineteen men so true
He frightened old Virginia till she trembled
through and through
They hung him for a traitor, themselves the traitor crew
His soul is marching on

Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!

His soul is marching on
John Brown died that the slave might be free,
John Brown died that the slave might be free,
John Brown died that the slave might be free,
But his soul is marching on!

Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
His soul is marching on

The stars above in Heaven are looking kindly down
The stars above in Heaven are looking kindly down
The stars above in Heaven are looking kindly down
On the grave of old John Brown

Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
His soul is marching on

 

 

Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/88/MarahACL.jpg