Something for the weekend. One of the more bizarre songs to arise from our Civil War: Poor Kitty Popcorn. Sung by Bobby Horton who has a talent for resurrecting even the most obscure of Civil War tunes.
Written by Founding Father John Dickinson in 1768, the song was sung by patriots in America to the tune of Heart of Oak. The video below is the most hilarious scene from the John Adams mini-series where a completely fish out of water John Adams gets donations for the American cause from French aristocrats as they sing the Liberty Song, led by Ben Franklin who is obviously immensely enjoying himself. It is a good song for Americans to recall, and perhaps especially so in this year of grace, 2017.
Something for the weekend. The Reluctant Conscript performed by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War era music to modern audiences. This song is typical of the type of humorous songs sung by soldiers on both sides. Civil War soldiers endured hardships and casualties that modern students of that conflict can only regard as appalling. However, the amazing thing is the good humor that those very brave men also displayed, often directed against themselves. We stand on the shoulders on the giants, and among those giants are a lot of 18-20 young men clad in blue and gray, many of whom did not get any older, and who overwhelmingly met their fates with courage and a type of laughing gallantry that is all too foreign to our debased times.
Something for the weekend. Stand Up For Uncle Sam My Boys sung by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences. A pro-Union song written in 1861 by that tireless writer of Civil War tunes George F. Root. Sadly its patriotism may seem over the top to modern audiences. Not so to most of the fighting men on both sides during the Civil War who liked their songs about the War to be lively and very patriotic.
Something for the weekend. Good-bye Old Glory. Published on September 29, 1865 with music by the most prolific song writers of the Civil War era, George Frederick Root and lyrics by L.J. Bates. This song was popular at Union Army reunions and at meeting halls of the Grand Army of the Republic. This rendition is performed by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War era music to contemporary audiences.
Something for the weekend. Ye Cavaliers of Dixie, sung by Bobby Horton who has fought a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences. Written by Benjamin F. Porter, the song was a riff on the popular song Ye Mariners of England.
Something for the weekend. A moving rendition of the hymn What Wondrous Love Is This by Bobby Horton, who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War era music to modern audiences. The lyrics were first published in 1811 during the Second Great Awakening, a huge religious revival that swept the nation. The hymn was written either by that most prolific song writer Anonymous or by Alexander Means, the historical record is unclear. The tune comes from that hit of 1701,The Ballad of Captain Kidd.
Few hymns are better than this one in powerfully, and simply, conveying the eternal truth of Christianity: God, the great I AM, became one of us, walked and taught among us, and died for us.
Here is another rendition I have always liked, combining the hymn with another work of art that wordlessly conveys the core of Christianity, the Pieta:
Something for a Veteran’s Day weekend. The Army of the Free, one of the more rousing of the Civil War songs, set to the tune of The Wearing of the Green. It is sung by the immortal Tennessee Ernie Ford, who, like so many natives of The Volunteer State, had ancestors who fought on both sides of the War.
And here is another rendition, sung by Bobby Horton, who has waged a one man crusade to bring the music of the Civil War to modern audiences.
Something for the weekend. The New York Volunteer sung by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man campaign to bring Civil War music to modern audiences. New York supplied more troops to the Union than any other state. Some 400-460,000 New Yorkers wore Union blue during the War in 27 regiments of Cavalry, 3 regiments of United States Colored Troops, 15 regiments of artillery, 8 engineer regiments and an astounding 248 infantry regiments. The New York Volunteers took a back seat to men from no other state in the Union in providing manpower to win the War.
“And Thou knowest O Lord, when Thou didst decide that the Confederacy should not succeed, Thou hadst first to remove thy servant, Stonewall Jackson.”
Father D. Hubert, Chaplain, Hay’s Louisiana Brigade, upon the dedication of the statue of Stonewall Jackson on May 10, 1881 in New Orleans
Something for the weekend. After the 150th anniversary of Chancellorsville only Stonewall Jackson’s Way, sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford, seems appropriate. The song is a fitting evocation of the man, who, if he had not been mortally wounded at Chancellorsville, might well have with Lee brought about a war ending victory for the Confederacy at Gettysburg. I fully agree with Father Hubert that the death of General Jackson was probably a necessary factor in the defeat of the Confederacy. As a military team he and Lee were able to accomplish military miracles and with his death the Confederacy could still rely upon the endless courage of their ragged warriors and the brilliance of Lee, but the age of military miracles in the Civil War ended with the passing of Jackson.
The song was taken from a poem found on the body of a dead Confederate sergeant after the First Battle of Winchester, May 25, 1862:
Something for the weekend. Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade sung by Bobby Horton, who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences. Immigrants, especially Irish and German, were a mainstay of the Army of the Potomac, and wherever you have Irish fighting you are going to have Irish songs about the fighting.
Something for the weekend. The Cavalier’s Glee, a song which captures well the daring spirit of the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia under General Jeb Stuart. The song was written by Captain William W. Blackford, an engineer on the staff of General Stuart. It is sung by Bobby Horton, a man who every American is indebted to for his constant efforts to bring Civil War songs to modern audiences.
Something for the weekend. O’, I’m a Good Old Rebel by Major James Randolph. This rendition is sung by Bobby Horton, who has fought a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences. It is the most moving rendition I have heard of this song, with Horton conveying well the bitterness and despair felt by almost all Confederates after the conclusion of the War. The author served on the staff of General J.E.B. Stuart. The song has always been popular in the South and was a favorite of Queen Victoria’s son, the future Edward VII, who referred to it as “that fine American song with cuss words in it.”
Something for the weekend. Army of the Free, one of the more rousing of the Civil War songs. Sung by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring the music of the Civil War to modern audiences.
Something for the weekend. Stonewall Jackson’s Way, sung by the endlessly talented Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences.
Of Thomas Jonathan Jackson, nicknamed Stonewall by General Barnard Bee at the battle of Bull Run, it was said he lived by the New Testament and fought by the Old. Certainly throughout his life he was a convinced Christian. As a young man he would attend services of various Christian denominations. In Mexico, during his service in the Mexican War, he attended mass, although sadly he did not convert to Catholicism. Instead he eventually became a Presbyterian. His Bible was his constant companion, and he would often speak of God and theological matters in private conversation.
Jackson in his professional life was a soldier. Just before the Civil War he was a professor of natural and experimental philosophy (science) and artillery instruction at the Virginia Military Institute. As a teacher he made a good soldier. His lectures were rather dry. If his students seemed to fail to grasp a lecture, he would repeat it the next day, word for word.
His home life was a mixture of sorrow and joy. His first wife died in childbirth along with their still-born son, a tragedy that would have crushed many a man less iron-willed than Jackson. His second marriage, like his first, was happy, but heartache also haunted it. A daughter died shortly after birth in 1858. A second daughter was born in 1862, shortly before Jackson’s own death in 1863.
He and his second wife established and taught a Sunday school for black slaves. At the time it was against the law in Virginia to teach slaves to read, but apparently that is precisely what Jackson and his wife did. One of the last letters he ever posted was his regular contribution he mailed off throughout the war for the financial support of the Sunday school for slaves he and his wife had founded.