Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


Odes, Hymns and Songs of the GAR-1882(a)


    Opening Ode
    Glory Hallelujah
    Badge Ode
    Closing Ode
    Hymn For Decoration Day
    Brave Boys Are They
    Stand By The Flag
    Who Will Care For Mother Now?
    Dear Mother, I've Come Home To Die
    Viva la Compagne
    Do They Miss Me At Home?
    Good-Bye Old Arm

          Opening Ode

          Once again, once again, Comrades here we meet,
          And gath'ring round the kindling fire,
          Our words of cheer repeat.
          'Tis here remembrance fills the cup,
          'Tis here she warms the heart,
          And as we hear the well known name,
          Her sleeping echoes start.

            Once again, once again, Comrades here we meet,
            And gather'ring round the kindling fire,
            Our world of cheer repeat.

          Happy days, happy days, day of joy and dread,
          Come sweeping through the vale of thought,
          Like hosts of victory led,
          And conqu'ring all the time between,
          We live the past once more,
          While still the rainbow tint of hope
          The future arches o'er.

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          Glory Hallelujah

          Warm be the welcome and glad be the cheer,
          Greeting our comrades who join with us here,
          Warm as in days when with never a fear,
          We all went marching on.

            Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,
            Glory, Glory, Glory, Hallelujah

            Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,
            We all go marching on.

          Held by fraternity in bonds that are sure,
          Drawn close in charity by ties that are pure,
          Filled with a loyalty that ever shall endure,
          We still go marching on.


          Elbow to elbow we stood through the fight,
          Elbow to elbow we stand here tonight,
          Elbow to elbow till heaven is in sight,
          We all go marching on.


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          Badge Ode

          Comrade, take this badge of Freedom
          Our Republic gives;
          Let it be the sign that honor
          Ever loyal lives.


          Wear the badge and keep it shining
          All life's journey through,
          Ever as the glorious emblem
          Of the work we do.

          Then, proud eagle, still soar sunward;
          Flag, your folds seeing loose;
          Love shall shield the helpless orphan-
          Fill the widow cruse.


          Let it promise still they country
          Manhood staunch and true,
          And the star shall glisten brighter
          When she call for you!


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          Closing Ode

          Shall we forget those far-off days,
          Which made us comrades all?
          Shall we forget how swift the feet
          That ran at duty's call?
          Shall we forget the honored dead
          That sleep beneath the sod,
          Who gave their lives for liberty
          Our country and our God?

          No, here we pledge fraternity
          With every human life
          That sang the songs of vict'ry won,
          Or fell amend the strife;
          And when at last we answer here,
          As death each name shall call,
          We'll leave these ranks with charity
          And loyalty to all.

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          Hymn For Decoration Day

          As in the days that once were ours,
          In camp, on march, in field,
          Our strength was in Thy mighty arm-
          They guardian love our shield;

          As when the storm of battle lowered
          Our courage was in Thee,
          And for one country and one flag
          We fought on land and sea;

          As we have mourned with aching hearts
          The loss of comrades brave,
          And gather here to scatter flowers
          Upon each cherished grave.

          So muster back our dead, that they
          With us our rank may fill,
          And stand in glad "fraternity,"
          Shoulder to shoulder still;

          So give us faith in human right,
          In justice in Thee,
          That we may hold those, once our foes,
          In Christian "charity;"
          So make each patriot soldier's grave,
          A sacred shrine to be,
          That a high alter it may prove,
          Of Stalwart "loyalty."

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          Brave Boys Are They

          Heavily falls the rain,
          Wild are the breezes tonight,
          But 'neath the roof the hours, as they fly,
          Are happy and calm and bright;
          Gathering around the fireside,
          Though it be summer time,
          We sit and talk of brother abroad,
          Forgetting the midnight chime.

            Brave boys are they,
            Gone at their country's call;
            And yet, and yet we cannot forget
            That many brave boys must fall.

          Under the homestead roof,
          Nestled so cosy and warm,
          While soldiers sleep and little or naught!
          To shelter them from the storm,
          Resting on grassy couches,
          Pillowed on hillocks damp
          Or martial fare how little we know,
          Till brothers are in the camp!


          Thinking no less of them,
          Loving our country the more,
          We send them forth to fight for the flag
          Their fathers before them bore.
          Though the great tear drops started,
          This was our parting trust;
          Gold bless you, boys! we'll welcome you home,
          When rebels are in dust.


          May the bright wings of love
          Guard them wherever they roam;
          The time has come when brothers must fight, And sisters must pray at home.
          Oh! the dread field of battle-
          Soon to be strewn with graves,
          If brothers fall, then bury them where
          Our banners in triumph waves!


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          Stand By The Flag

          Stand by the flag, its folds have streamed in glory
          To foes a fear, to friends a festal robe,
          And Spread in rhythmtic lines find sacred story
          Of freedom's triumphs over all the globe.
          Stand by the flag, on land and ocean billow;
          By it your father's stood unmoved and true;
          Living, defend-dyring, from their pillow,
          With their last blessings, passed it on to you.

          Stand by the flag, though death round it rattle,
          And underneath its waving folds have met,
          In all the dread aray of sanguine battle,
          The quivering lance and glittering bayonet,
          Stand by the flag, all doubt and treason scorning,
          Believe with courage firm, and faith sublime,
          That it will float until the eternal morning
          Pales in its glories all the light of time.

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          Who Will Care For Mother Now?

          Why am I so weak and weary?
          See how faint my heated breath;
          All around to me seems darkness;
          Tell me, comrades, is this death?
          Ah, how well I know your answer,
          to my fate I meekly bow,
          If you'll only tell me truly;-
          Who will care for mother now.

            Soon with angels Ill be marching,
            With bright laurel on my brow;
            I have for my country fallen- Who will care for mother now?

          Who will comfort her in sorrow?
          Who will dry the falling tear,-
          Gently smoothie the wrinkled forehead?
          Who will whisper words of cheer?
          Even now I think of her
          Kneeling, praying for me!-how
          Can I leave her in her anguish?
          Who will care for mother now?


          Let this knapsack be my pillow,
          And my mantle be the sky;
          Hasten comrades, to the battle,--
          I will like a soldier die.
          Soon with angles I'll be marching,
          With bright laurels on my brow;
          I have for my country
          Who will care for now now?


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          Dear Mother, I've Come Home To Die

          Dear Mother, I remember well
          The parting kiss you gave to me;
          When merry rang the village bell,
          My heart was full of joy and glee.
          I did not dream that one short year
          Would crush the hopes that soared so high
          Dear Mother, I come home to die.

            Call sister, brother, to my side,
            And Take your soldier's last good-bye.
            Oh! mother dear, draw near to me,
            Dear mother, I've come home to die.

          Hark mother, 'tis the village bell,
          I can no longer with you stay;
          My country calls to arms! to arms!
          The foe advances in fierce array!
          The vision's past, I feel that now
          For my country I can only sigh;
          Oh mother dear, draw near to me
          Dear mother, I've come home to die.


          Dear Mother, sister, brother, all,
          One parting kiss-to all good-bye;
          Weep not, but clasp your hands in mine
          And let me like a soldier die!
          I've met the foe upon the field
          Where kindred fiercely did defy:
          I fought for right-God bless our flag!
          Dear mother, I've come home to die.

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          Viva la Compagne

          Come all ye true Union men, rally again,
          Gather, my boys in blue!
          And all the sweet maidens wake up the dear men.
          Gather my boys in blue!

            Gather, gather, gather again!
            Gather, gather, gather again!
            Gather again! gather again!
            Gather, my boys in blue!

          Let none of my enemies call is my name!
          Gather, my boys in blue!
          Come, as when Sumpter guns called you, you came
          Gather, my boys in blue!


          Come, and again win Columbia's thanks
          Gather, my boys in blue
          Follow Old Glory and fill up the ranks!
          Gather, my boys in blue!


          Sure that you love me, I call upon you;
          Gather, my boys in blue!
          You who have ever been loyal and true;
          Gather, my boys in blue!


          Deep in your hears your best live is for me;
          Gather, my boys in blue;
          Shall not your country forever be free?
          Gather, my boys in blue!


          They who have sowed should the good harvest reap
          Gather, my boys in blue!
          They who have won will the prize safely keep;
          Gather, my boys in blue!


          "Truth" shall go forward my army to lead;
          Gather, my boys in blue!
          "Union" to help him, and both will succeed;
          Gather, my boys in blue!

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          Do They Miss Me At Home?

          Do they miss me at home, do they miss me?
          'Twould be an assurance most dear,
          To know that this moment some loved one
          Were say, I wish he was here.
          To fell that the group at the fireside
          Were thinking of me as I roam;
          Oh, yes, 'twould be joy beyond measure
          to know that they missed me at home,
          To know that they missed me at home.

          When twilight approaches the season
          that ever is sacred to song,
          Does someone repeat my name over,
          And sigh that I tarry so long?
          And it there a chord in the music
          That's missed when my voice is away,
          And is there a chord in each heart that awaketh
          Regret at my wearisome stay,
          Regret at my wearisome stay.

          Do they set me a chair near the table,
          When evening's home pleasures are nigh
          When the candles are lit in the parlor,
          and the stars in the calm azure sky?
          And when the "good-nights" are repeated,
          And all lay them down to their sleep,
          Do they think of the absent, and waft me
          A whispered "good-night" while they weep,
          A whispered "good-night" while they weep?

          Do they miss me at home-do they miss me
          At morning, at noon, or at night?
          And lingers one gloomy shad round them
          That only my presence can light?
          Are joys less invitingly welcome,
          And pleasures less hale than before,
          Because one is missed from the circle,
          Because I am with them no more,
          Because I am with them no more.

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          Good-Bye Old Arm

          They bore him gently from the field;
          His bleeding wounds they dressed;
          And kindly gave soothing draught
          To lull his pain to rest.
          He knew the worst, that shattered arm
          No skill could ere restore;
          He heard its doom, sleep came at last,
          He felt and heard no more.

            Good-bye, old arm, my strong right arm,
            'Twas once my pride to wield;
            'Twill never bear the sword again,
            My country's flag to shield.

          Oh! native land, oh! hallowed soil,
          the birthplace of the free
          Had I a dozen arms like this
          I'd give them all to thee!
          I long to wave my glittering sword,
          to meet the rebel foe,
          But I've no arm to do it now-
          Alas, why is it so?

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          Meek and lowly, pure and holy,
          Chief among the "blessed three,"
          Turning sadness into gladness,
          Heaven-born art thou, Charity?
          Pity dwelleth in thy bosom,
          Kindness reigneth o'er thy hear,
          Gentle thoughts alone can sway thee,
          Judgment hath in thee no part.
          Meek and lowly, pure and holy,
          Chief among the "blessed three,"
          Turning sadness into gladness,
          Heaven-born art thou, Charity.

          Hoping ever, failing never,
          Tho' deceived, believing still;
          Long abiding, all confiding.
          To they heavenly Father's will.
          Never weary of well-doing,
          Never fearful of the end;
          Claiming all mankind as brothers,
          Thou dost all alike befriend.
          Meek and lowly, pure and holy,
          Chief among the "blessed three,"
          Turning sadness into gladness,
          Heaven-born art thou, Charity.

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(a) Peters, S.S. 1882. Odes, Hymns and Song Book of the Grand Army of the Republic. Ohio Department, Grand Army of the Republic.

Submitted by:
Jerome Orton, PDC
New York Department
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Lorraine Orton, PDP
New York Department
Woman's Relief Corps
January 2001

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