Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Shouting The Battle Cry Of Freedom" (Lyrics & Videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases the United States Civil War song "Shouting The Battle Cry Of Freedom".

The content of this post is presented for historical, inspirational, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Battle Cry of Freedom" is a song written in 1862 by American composer George Frederick Root (1825–1895) during the American Civil War. A patriotic song advocating the cause of the Union, it became so popular that composer H. L. Schreiner and lyricist W. H. Barnes adapted it for the Confederate States of America. The Union version was used as the campaign song for the Lincoln-Johnson ticket in the 1864 presidential election. The song was so popular that the music publisher at one time had 14 printing presses going at one time and still could not keep up with demand. It is estimated that over 700,000 copies of this song were put in circulation...

(composed by George Frederick Root, 1862)

Yes we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
Shouting the battle cry 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 battle cry of freedom!
And we'll fill our vacant ranks with a million freemen more,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!


We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And although they may be poor, not a man shall be a slave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
Click for the lyrics of this song that was sung by the Confederate side.
Hat tip to political blogger Charles Pierce for mentioning the accapella group Committed's performance of this song at a Gospel brunch prior to the start of the 2012 Democratic convention. Here's how Pierce described his experience of that group singing "Shouting The Battle Cry Of Freedom":

I was only here for about eight hours before I found the coolest place at this convention. It's an air-conditioned tent being run by the Democratic delegation from Alabama in back of an old brick church about halfway down Brevard Street between the convention center and the arena. On Sunday, they ran a gospel brunch there, and the entertainment was an a cappella group from Huntsville called Committed. The centerpiece of their show is a gorgeous version of "The Battle Cry of Freedom," the song by George F. Root behind which the Union armies marched and Abraham Lincoln was re-elected in 1864.

[excerpt of the song quoted here]

The version they sang was not martial. It was slow and reverent. It was not the song you sang while marching toward Sharpsburg, or Gettysburg, or Appomattox, a song you sang to steel yourselves against the horrors you knew were coming. It was a song you sang on the long walk home at the end of it all, to Wisconsin or Minnesota, New Hampshire or Vermont, the April blossoms bursting around you while the dark memories of those same horrors erupted unbidden in your mind at night, and you sang it this way, as a hymn to memory, to steel yourself against an even harder battle while the firelight died out. That is the way they sang it, these six young African American men, history as resonant in them as the notes of their voices, and it was far too early to start weeping at this convention, but I did... "What Democrats Should Be Talking About at the DNC" By Charles P. Pierce
A video of Committed singing that Civil War song is provided as Example #2 below.

Example #1: The Battle Cry of Freedom

Uploaded by Winboloer2 on Aug 17, 2008

By Columbia Masterworks

Example #2: Committed~Battle Cry of Freedom

Published on Apr 24, 2012 by EMFiLMs09

Committed at the Arlington 7th Day Adventist Church.

My thanks to the composer of "Shouting The Battle Cry Of Freedom", the acapella group "Committed", the Wikipedia writers who posted information about this song, and Charles Pierce whose blog post I quoted & linked.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.


  1. could u find me a more slow or solemn version of this? i have the confederate version in a more somber mooding... this is the confederate version

    1. Thanks for your comment, Unknown.

      Since this blog focuses on African American and other Black cultural products and customs, I've chosen not to include the hyperlink for the confederate version of this song or further showcase that video.