The Battle Cry of Freedom – two versions

With a song as memorable as “The Battle Cry of Freedom” it is easy to understand why each side of the conflict that we currently know as the Civil War – would want their own version of this rousing song.

Written by George F. Root in 1862 as a rally song for the Union army, the lyrics were later adapted by W. H. Barnes for the CSA.

While anyone would expect different lyrics for the individual verses, I believe that the biggest example of the difference between the two versions are their respective choruses.

The original Union version –

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!

And the Confederate version –

Our Dixie forever! She’s never at a loss!
Down with the eagle and up with the cross!
We’ll rally round the bonny flag, we’ll rally once again,
Shout, shout the battle cry of freedom!

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