AIR: "John Brown's Body" (aka "Battle Hymn of the Republic")
During the Civil War few songs were as popular as the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The tune was a popular church hymn from the 1850's. These pro-Lincoln lyrics are part of the campaign song tradition of creating exciting, easily memorable words for mobilizing supporters and local political organizers. For this reason, it is not surprising that the publisher dedicated the song sheet to "Lincoln and Johnson Clubs." The lyrics are surprisingly violent in nature, as they threaten death to their political enemies: "we'll hang the copperheads in the air." "Copperheads" was the term used for anti-war democrats. The song calls for the ending of the war and all the glory that would come with victory on the battlefield.