The Battle Cry of Freedom - New England Music Scrapbook
The Battle Cry of Freedom
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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 the vacant ranks with a million freemen more,

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 will welcome to our numbers the loyal true and brave,

Shouting the battle cry of freedom,

And altho' he may be poor he shall never be a slave,

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.


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.

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.


*Or, "And we'll prove a loyal crew to the land we love the best"



Hutchinson Family





George F[rederick] Root. "The Battle Cry of Freedom: Song and Chorus." Music and lyrics: George F. Root. First line of text: "Yes we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again." First line of chorus: "The Union forever, Hurrah, boys, hurrah! Down with the Traitor, Up with the Star." Chicago: Root and Cady. 1862.

  • Score may be found at "The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music," levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu.
  • Sometime certainly by the summer of 1862, the repertoire of Asa B. Hutchinson's concert troupe, the Tribe of Asa - Asa, Lizzie, Abby, Freddy, and "Little Dennett" - started going through a great change. It was at some point during this period that Asa and company worked "The Battle Cry of Freedom" into the group's concerts. A program for a show on September 25, for instance, included "Battle Cry of Freedom," along with "John Brown's Body" and "Kingdom Coming."
  • The Tribe of Asa did not compose, publish, or introduce "The Battle Cry of Freedom" to the public; but this group, certainly with an assist from John's company and from Brother Joshua, did much to popularize it. This song was one of the greatest hits in Civil War-era Hutchinson Family concerts.
  • John W. Hutchinson's family sang "The Battle Cry of Freedom" to an estimated war-time crowd of 50,000 at New York's Madison Square, in what the New York Times called the "largest popular gathering ever held in this City."
  • Every now and then, I'll hear a version of "The Battle Cry of Freedom" that has slightly but significantly different lyrics. It has long puzzled me. Did George F. Root come out with two different versions of the song? I don't have a specific reference at hand at the moment, but I'll try to remember to get back to this question later.

Alan Lewis, May 16, 2004






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Notes copyright © 2004 by Alan Lewis.
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