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“ [347] nearest us struck up the favorite song of the Kentuckians— ‘cheer, boys, cheer.’ the effect was inspiring beyond words.”

several versions of adapted words were sung to the melody of this song. One of the versions was dedicated to Horace Greeley and circulated throughout the north. The original cheer, boys, cheer, has, however, always remained closely identified with Southern sentiment.


Cheer, boys, cheer! no more of idle sorrow;
Courage! true hearts shall bear us on our way;
Hope points before and shows a bright tomorrow,
Let us forget the darkness of today:
Then farewell, England, much as we may love thee,
We'll dry the tears that we have shed before;
We'll not weep to sail in search of fortune;
Then farewell, England, farewell forevermore.

Chorus—
Then cheer, boys, cheer! for England, Mother England.
Cheer boys, cheer for the willing strong right hand;
Cheer, boys, cheer! there's wealth in honest labor;
Cheer, boys, cheer for the new and happy land.


To Canaan

This is an example of the many spontaneous lyrics sung to old tunes,—lyrics that were composed on the spur of occasions and soon afterwards consigned to oblivion.


Where are you going, soldiers,
With banner, gun and sword?
We're marching south to Canaan
To battle for the Lord.
What Captain leads your armies
Along the rebel coasts?
The mighty One of Israel,
His name is Lord of Hosts.

Chorus-
To Canaan, to Canaan,
The Lord has led us forth,
To blow before the heathen walls
The trumpets of the North.


Dixie: the original version

Dixie was first written as a ‘walk-a-round’ by an Ohioan, Dan Emmet, and was first sung in Dan Bryant's minstrel show on Broadway, New York, shortly before the war. It came into martial usage by accident and its stirring strains inspired the regiments on many a battlefield. Curiously enough it was adapted to patriotic words on both sides and remained popular with North and South alike after the struggle was over. Abraham Lincoln loved the tune and considered the fact that it was truly representative of the ‘land of cotton’ far more important than its lack of adherence to the strict laws of technical harmony. Twenty-two versions of the Confederate stanzas set to this famous melody have been collected by the Daughters of the Confederacy.



To Canaan

‘Where are you Going, soldiers, with banner, gun, and sword?’

these soldiers so brilliant in brass buttons and gold braid, with gun and sword, were ‘green Mountain boys,’ members of the Sixth Vermont, stationed at Camp Griffin in 1861. the boy in the picture who stands so sturdily between the men has been enthused by the call of patriotism and hurried away from the mountains to join the army, inspired by the leaping rhythm of war songs like ‘Canaan.’ many youngsters like him never returned to their homes after ‘the trumpets’ had blown their final call.


I wish I was in de land ob cotton,
Old times dar am not forgotten;
Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land.
In Dixie Land whar I was born in,
Early on one frosty mornin,
Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land.

Chorus-
Den I wish I was in Dixie,
Hooray! Hooray!

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