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There is a strange, magical power in songs that spring from the hearts of men passing through great and passionate experience—the power to gather together again in after years a mirage of the emotions that begot them—a remembrance of the enthusiasm that incited men to perilous and heroic deeds. The question of actual literary merit has no place in the consideration of these war-songs; they were chronicles of events; they achieved universality, and on the field of battle they became the sublime paeans of a national crisis. Their words and melodies deserve a place in our records. The songs of the soldier boys, the spirited marching tunes, the sentimental ballads, the outbursts of fiery patriotism, must remain with us a legacy of unfailing inspiration and delight.

When Johnny comes marching home: Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore

This rousing war-song was the one most sung by the soldiers returning from service.

When Johnny comes marching home again, Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give him a hearty welcome then, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The men will cheer, the boys will shout,
The ladies they will all turn out.

And we'll all feel gay,
When Johnny comes marching home.
The old church-bell will peal with joy, Hurrah! Hurrah!
To welcome home our darling boy, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The village lads and lasses say
With roses they will strew the way.

The battlecry of freedom: George Frederick root

One of the best of the many flag songs written during the war.

Yes, we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
Shouting the battlecry of freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
Shouting the battlecry of freedom.

The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star,
While we rally round the flag, boys,
Rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.

We are springing to the call of our
brothers gone before,
Shouting the battlecry of freedom.
And we'll fill the vacant ranks with a
million freemen more,
Shouting the battlecry of freedom.

Marching through Georgia

Henry Clay Work
Written in honor of Sherman's famous march from Atlanta to the sea.

Bring the good old bugle, boys, we'll sing another song—
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along—
Sing it as we used to sing it, fifty thousand strong,
While we were marching through Georgia.

‘Hurrah! Hurrah! we bring the jubilee,
Hurrah! Hurrah! the flag that makes you free!’
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.

How the darkeys shouted when they heard the joyful sound!
How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found!
How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground,
While we were marching through Georgia.

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