Battle Hymn

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This article is about the tune customarily associated with Julia Ward Howe's Battle Hymn of the Republic (first line: Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord). There is another tune also called Battle Hymn: Battle Hymn (Whitaker), metrically 8 8 8 8, which The Cyber Hymnal associates with the lyric "Eternal Father, Thou Has Said". There is also another tune associated with an Esperanto version of the Howe hymn, but with an altered refrain. This tune can be seen at the article Batal-Himno (Beatty).


The date of composition of this tune, and the identity of its composer, are not certain. It is often attributed to [John] William Steffe, or given an anonymous attribution such as "US Campmeeting Tune, early 19th century".

Also called

  • Battle Hymn of the Republic — this is the title of the most famous hymn associated with the tune, written in 1861 by Julia Ward Howe, and published (minus the sixth verse) in the Atlantic Monthly in 1862.
  • John Brown's Body — this is the title of the preexisting lyrics Julia Ward Howe was familiar with when she wrote her text; this is what the Cyber Hymnal™ calls the tune. Not a hymn, the text is a satirical piece about a Massachusetts militiaman with the same name as the famous abolitionist.
  • Say Brother Will You Meet Us — this is the title of the earliest hymn associated with the tune, an anonymous 1850s campmeeting song reputedly of Methodist origin.

External Links


Associated Lyrics