The Battle Hymn of The U.S. Republic

The Battle Hymn of the Republic is usually heard at the national conventions of both the U.S. Republican Party and Democratic Party and is often sung at Presidential Inaugurations.

Words from the first verse (“He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored”) inspired John Steinbeck to title his 1939 masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath.

The US Army paratrooper song, Blood on the Risers, first sung in World War II, is set to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

The lyrics of the Battle Hymn of the Republic appear in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermons and speeches, most notably in his speech How Long, Not Long from the steps of the Montgomery, Alabama Courthouse on March 25, 1965 after the 3rd Selma March, and in his final sermon I’ve Been to the Mountaintop, delivered in Memphis, Tennessee on the evening of April 3, 1968, the night before his assassination.

In fact, the latter sermon, King’s last public words, ends with the first lyrics of the Battle Hymn: “And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”


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