Question of the Week 11/30 – 12/6


This week’s QotW comes from Dan Welch, who asks:

What is your favorite Civil War-era song? What artist’s rendition do you love listening to today?

9 Responses to Question of the Week 11/30 – 12/6

  1. Ooh, tough choices. Is it possible to only have one favorite? My all-time first choice is “Battle Cry of Freedom” – both the Union and Confederate versions. “The Young Volunteer” (Southern) is my favorite of the sentimental songs. “Homespun Dress” and “Stonewall Jackson’s Way” rival for my favorite of the lively songs.
    No, particular artist preference at this time – but I am very fond of recordings by the Fort Point Garrison Brass Band.

  2. Tough one. I really like Battle Hymn of the Republic and Battle Cry of Freedom, but Marching Through Georgia and instrumental versions of Kingdom Coming are really good too.

    As for artists, I’m not too picky, but any military band’s version of the BHOTR is good as are Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s versions of it snd Battke Cry.

  3. My favorite Civil War song is Lorena, which, oddly enough, I heard the first time on the John Wayne film, THE SEARCHERS. It was performed, I think, by the Sons of the Pioneers. Another version I liked was performed by The Robert Shaw Chorale. You can also add The Bonnie Blue Flag.

  4. I have to say “Battle Cry of Freedom.” It was, after all, my wedding march. Our recessional was “Marching Through Georgia.” And give them to me with a brass band, please!! Preferable one with rear-facing horns! Huzzah!

  5. I’m a fan of Old Crow Medicine Show’s redition of “Marching through Georgia”, but “Battle Cry of Freedom” (George Root’s Unionist lyrics) remains my favorite song of all; not at all certain if I have a favorite version, enjoying both instrumental and vocal performances of the old standard. THE UNION FOREVER!

  6. It seems as though “Battle Cry of Freedom” and “Battle Hymn” are among the top as musical favorites of the war. Additionally, many of you prefer those brass bands performing those faces, which by the way Meg are called saxhorns (no longer used in an orchestra or band today). Although picking a favorite for me was just as a struggle, once past that I find the different liberties and artistic licenses of various recordings of the same song over the decades to be fascinating. As far as music of this period, or traditional Americana roots music, we are experiencing a boon in the music industry of some top-notch performers and albums. A list here could be quite extensive but I suggest checking out a newer release with many of those current artists. Divided and United: The Songs of the Civil War provides many of these classics with new, contemporary interpretations. Check it out and let us know your thoughts!

    1. I was–no kidding!–just listening to “Divided & United” when I read your response. ECW is considering making some changes to the website, and in the future we may be able to include audio clips of things like brass band music. I love banjos as well, and fiddles. I like every song in which the 11th NY Zouaves are mentioned, and I completely am in love with the fact (FACT!!!) that John Phillip Sousa helped finalize the official version of the Star Spangled Banner.

      We had the Band of the California Battalion play at our wedding, and it was just amazing. They were great, inspiring and completely perfect in every way! My favorite comment about the wedding came a couple of months later when a 9-year old boy who was there asked his uncle if we were going to do it again next year! It is hard to beat a brass band and a bi-plane flyover! Huzzah!

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!