Battle Hymn of the Republic — Mark Twain Version

Courtesy of Don Livingston, here’s Mark Twain’s version of the celebration of the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens, and the bombing, burning, rape, pillage and plunder of entire cities that is taught to American school children as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

“Mine eyes have seen the orgy of he Launching of the Sword
He is searching out the hoardings where the stranger’s wealth is stored;
He hath loosed his fateful lightnings and with woe and death has scored;
His lust is marching on.

I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded him an altar in the Eastern dews and damps;
I have read his doomful mission by the dim and flaring lamps;
His night is marching on!I have read his bandit gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my pretensions, so with you my wrath shall deal; Let the faithless son of Freedom crush the patriot with his heel;
Lo, Greed is marching on!”

We have legalized the strumpet and are guarding her retreat;
Greed is seeking out commercial souls before his judgement seat;
O, be swift, ye clods, to answer him! Be jubilant my feet!
Our god is marching on.

In a sordid slime harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch,
With a longing in his bosom — and for others’ goods an itch.
As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich –Our god is marching on.”

Just a guess, but I bet “the faithless son of Freedom” is Lincoln, and “the patriot” is the Confederate soldier.

Obviously, Mark Twain would never have been welcomed at a Claremont Institute, Heritage Foundation, AEI, or National Neocon Review. The Weekly Standard would have called for his stoning in light of the fact that he once said, after meeting Teddy Roosevelt, that the man was “clearly insane.”


2:16 pm on March 4, 2005

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