... A Sour Apple Tree

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Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

John Brown's Body

History buffs can quickly identify the source of this blog's title as a fragment of a line from the Civil War marching song "John Brown's Body" and, as a result, every week ...ASAT gets several hits from search engines for keywords that suggest that the Googlers were searching for information about the tune. So, directly from the Library of Congress by way of
Wikipedia
, here are the most common/quasi-official lyrics (there are numerous versions, BTW):

Tune: Brothers, will you meet me

John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
His soul's marching on!

(Chorus)
Glory, halle—hallelujah! Glory, halle—hallelujah!
Glory, halle—hallelujah! his soul's marching on!

He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord!
He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord!
He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord!
His soul's marching on!


(Chorus)

John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back!
John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back!
John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back!
His soul's marching on!

(Chorus)

His pet lambs will meet him on the way;
His pet lambs will meet him on the way;
His pet lambs will meet him on the way;
They go marching on!

(Chorus)

They will hang Jeff. Davis to a sour apple tree!
They will hang Jeff. Davis to a sour apple tree!
They will hang Jeff. Davis to a sour apple tree!
As they march along!

(Chorus)

Now, three rousing cheers for the Union;
Now, three rousing cheers for the Union;
Now, three rousing cheers for the Union;
As we are marching on!


The "to a sour apple tree" has been adapted many times over to match a given enemy. For example, striking workers during the mine wars sang the tune with "Don Chaffin" (Logan County's fiercely anti-labor sheriff) subbing for Davis.

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1 Comments:

Blogger All Click said...

I used to sing this round a campfire:

http://everything2.net/index.pl?node_id=1134133

Same tune.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007  

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