Music And it's 1, 2, 3 what are we fighting for?

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James Brenner

Private
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Location
North Canton, Ohio
In an idle moment, it struck me that the popular songs of the Civil War may give anecdotal insight into why the war was fought. Here a just a few examples that I came up with off the cuff; I’m certain there are more – just as there are numerous versions of these songs:

Bonnie Blue Flag: “When our rights were threatened”; "fighting for our property we gained by honest toil”; and “our heritage to save …”.

Marching through Georgia: “treason fled before us …”

Battle Hymn of the Republic; No single line stands out, but the theme of a holy war comes through very clearly.

We are Coming Father Abraham: “… our Union to restore …”

The Vacant Chair: “… uphold our country’s honor”

Speaking of musical legacies, Thanks and a tip o’ the hat to Country Joe McDonald
 

jackt62

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
Very astute insight. The song lyrics demonstrate that the south was fighting to preserve slavery and the way of life associated with it ("our rights were threatened," "fighting for our property"), whereas the north was fighting to preserve the Union and the democratic principles that it was based on ("treason fled before us," "uphold our country's honor").
 

John Winn

Captain
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
In an idle moment, it struck me that the popular songs of the Civil War may give anecdotal insight into why the war was fought. Here a just a few examples that I came up with off the cuff; I’m certain there are more – just as there are numerous versions of these songs:

Bonnie Blue Flag: “When our rights were threatened”; "fighting for our property we gained by honest toil”; and “our heritage to save …”.

Marching through Georgia: “treason fled before us …”

Battle Hymn of the Republic; No single line stands out, but the theme of a holy war comes through very clearly.

We are Coming Father Abraham: “… our Union to restore …”

The Vacant Chair: “… uphold our country’s honor”

Speaking of musical legacies, Thanks and a tip o’ the hat to Country Joe McDonald
And Kid Ory.
 
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Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I love the below linked Saturday Night Live skit about a fictional Civil War song.

I know that this song is a parody, but the skit’s premise is that the men’s morale increased when they sang a fun song.

Here is a blog post that I found about the actual historical accuracy of the skit in question. This isn’t my blog and I don’t actually know anything about this blogger. However, I thought that this blogger did a really good job talking about the actual music of the Civil War.

 
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