The Battle Cry of Freedom: About the Song

Song History

In the midst of the Civil War, on July 2, 1862, President Lincoln issued a call for 300,000 volunteers to enter military service. Inspired by the call, composer George F. Root wrote "The Battle Cry of Freedom." The song was first introduced at a war rally in Chicago on July 24, 1862 and was soon sung by millions of Americans from New York to California. There are many anecdotes in diaries, reminiscences, and newspapers concerning the inspirational effects of the song. One such claim from a Union soldier states that the song "put as much spirit and cheer into the camp as a splendid victory."

Lyrics

chorus:
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

verses:
Oh, 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

We are springing to the call of our brothers gone before
Shouting the battle cry of freedom
And we'll fill the 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

So we're springing to the call from the East and from the West
Shouting the battle cry of freedom
And we'll hurl the Rebel crew from the land we love the best
Shouting the battle cry of freedom

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