JUST BEFORE THE BATTLE, MOTHER

(GEORGE F. ROOT) (1860s)

PLAY MIDI FILE (16 KB, sequenced by Werner Tomaschewski) IN BACKGROUND

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Lyrics as performed by Jerry Silverman and The Harvesters, reprinted in liner notes for "Chants de la Guerre de Secession," Folkways/Le Chant du Monde (French edition) (FWX-55717, 1960s).

Just before the battle, mother,
I am thinking most of you,
While upon the field we're watching
With the enemy in view.
Comrades brave are 'round me lying,
Filled with thoughts of home and God
For well they know that on the morrow,
Some will sleep beneath the sod.
CHORUS:
Farewell, mother, you may never
Press me to your breast again,
But, oh, you'll not forget me, mother,
If I'm numbered with the slain.
Oh, I long to see you, mother,
And the loving ones at home,
But I'll never leave our banner,
Till in honor I can come.
Tell the traitors all around you
That their cruel words we know,
In every battle kill our soldiers
By the help they give the foe.

Hark! I hear the bugles sounding,
'Tis the signal for the fight,
Now, may God protect us, mother,
As He ever does the right.
Hear the "Battle-Cry of Freedom,"
How it swells upon the air,
Oh, yes, we'll rally 'round the standard,
Or we'll perish nobly there.

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