Song - Artist - Album
Hot Milk - Jackie Mittoo & The Soul Vendors - Evening Time
This “updated” version of the Battle Hymn of the Republic was written in the context of the Spanish-American war, a period in which the U.S. first began to stretch beyond its own borders and bring its societal features abroad, including more democratic governments. Sound familiar? I thought the satire was worth looking at 110 years later..
Battle Hymn of the Republic (Brought Down to Date) – published 1901
Author: Mark Twain (birth name: Samuel Clemens)
Mine have seen the orgy of the 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 builded him an alter 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!”
We have legalized the strumpet and are guarding her retreat; **
Greed is seeking out commercial souls before his judgment seat;
O, be swift, ye colds, 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.
** The American administrators in the Philippine islands at this time were often criticized for toleration of soldiers frequenting prostitutes. They went so far as to provide protection for the brothels, as the women were obviously unpopular with the insurgent Filipinos trying to drive out the American military.