Jubilee

A son of the South (I am a fils of les gens de couleurs libres, who fought first for the independence of Louisiana and then for the abolition of slavery), I naturally experience some emotional ambiguity concerning General Sherman’s “March to the Sea.”   Nevertheless, in light of Kristor’s “Jubilee” theory  of polity, I recommend New-Yorker Henry Clay Work’s “hit song” of 1864, “Marching through Georgia.”  Here are the lyrics. —

Bertonneau 01 Arnold Bertonneau circa 1880

Arnold Bertonneau (1832 – 1912), my great-grandfather, author of the Creole Petition

Here are the lyrics of Work’s “Marching through Georgia.” —

Bring the good old bugle, boys, we’ll sing another song
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along
Sing it as we used to sing it, 50,000 strong
While we were marching through Georgia.

Chorus
Hurrah! Hurrah! we bring the jubilee!
Hurrah! Hurrah! the flag that makes you free!
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea
While we were marching through Georgia.

Verse 2
How the darkeys shouted when they heard the joyful sound
How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found
How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground
While we were marching through Georgia.

Verse 3
Yes and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears,
When they saw the honored flag they had not seen for years;
Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers,
While we were marching through Georgia.

Verse 4
“Sherman’s dashing Yankee boys will never reach the coast!”
So the saucy rebels said and ’twas a handsome boast
Had they not forgot, alas! to reckon with the Host
While we were marching through Georgia.

Verse 5
So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,
Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main;
Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain
While we were marching through Georgia.

Here is another, modern version, of the same song —

Henry Clay Work was a better songster than Stephen Foster, granting Foster’s merit.  Did anyone learn “My Grandfather’s Clock” in grade-school?  That’s Henry Clay Work.  So is “Kingdom Coming,” an affirmation of the Freedman’s jubilation. —

2 thoughts on “Jubilee

  1. Pingback: Jubilee | @the_arv

  2. Pingback: Jubilee | Reaction Times

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s