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Spirit & Heritage In Song – ‘God Save The South’ – 1862

 

Spirit & Heritage In Song is a series highlighting Traditional American Music.

In the last half century many of these traditional songs have been forgotten in a flood of contemporary music and international cultural influences. Yet these songs, ballads, melodies and hymns reflect the events, cultural backgrounds, aspirations, land and faith that make up the soul of the American People far more than the strains of moderne music that have washed upon the nation’s shores. This series is offered as a reminder of the Spirit of America as given voice in song.


 

” God save the South, God save the South,
Her altars and firesides, God save the South!
For the great war is nigh, and we will win or die,
Chanting our battle cry, Freedom or death! ”

 
 


God Save The South


Confederate States of America National Anthem

The Confederate States of America (also referred to as “The Confederacy” or simply “The South”) had, like the United States at the time, several patriotic songs in use which could have been considered anthems, like “Dixie”, “The Bonnie Blue Flag”, and “God Save the South”, none of which were officially declared (possibly because declaring an official anthem wasn’t as important to a new nation then as it is now). “God Save the South” does have more of an anthemaic quality in the music and lyrics, and several publications of the song refer to it as a (or the) “anthem”, and was also the first song to be published in the Confederacy in at least nine editions.

“God Save the South” was written by George H. Miles under the pseudonym Earnest Halphin, soon after the war started. Miles was a Marylander, a state that did not officially secede and join the confederacy, but, being a border state, had several citizens with sympathies for the south. An interesting thing to note about the song is the reference to George Washington (the first president of the United States) in the song’s fifth verse. Apparently, the author of the song meant to tie in Washington’s stance as a rebel against the British in the American revolution with the South’s rebellion against the northern United States in the civil war.

Source National Anthems

Read more about the Confederate States of America:

  • Harper’s Weekly – Formation of the Confederacy
  • C.S.A. – Civil War Home
  • C.S.A. – Wikipedia
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    Lyrics below

     


     
     
     


     


    See other songs of the American Spirit in History and at Music

     

    Jefferson Davis

    Lyrics

    God save the South, God save the South,
    Her altars and firesides, God save the South!
    Now that the war is nigh, now that we arm to die,
    Chanting our battle cry, “Freedom or death!”
    Chanting our battle cry, “Freedom or death!”

    God be our shield, at home or afield,
    Stretch Thine arm over us, strengthen and save.
    What tho’ they’re three to one, forward each sire and son,
    Strike till the war is won, strike to the grave!
    Strike till the war is won, strike to the grave!

    God made the right stronger than might,
    Millions would trample us down in their pride.
    Lay Thou their legions low, roll back the ruthless foe,
    Let the proud spoiler know God’s on our side.
    Let the proud spoiler know God’s on our side.

    Hark honor’s call, summoning all.
    Summoning all of us unto the strife.
    Sons of the South, awake! Strike till the brand shall break,
    Strike for dear Honor’s sake, Freedom and Life!
    Strike for dear Honor’s sake, Freedom and Life!

    Robert E. Lee

    Rebels before, our fathers of yore.
    Rebel’s the righteous name Washington bore.
    Why, then, be ours the same, the name that he snatched from shame,
    Making it first in fame, foremost in war.
    Making it first in fame, foremost in war.

    War to the hilt, theirs be the guilt,
    Who fetter the free man to ransom the slave.
    Up then, and undismay’d, sheathe not the battle blade,
    Till the last foe is laid low in the grave!
    Till the last foe is laid low in the grave!

    God save the South, God save the South,
    Dry the dim eyes that now follow our path.
    Still let the light feet rove safe through the orange grove,
    Still keep the land we love safe from Thy wrath.
    Still keep the land we love safe from Thy wrath.

    God save the South, God save the South,
    Her altars and firesides, God save the South!
    For the great war is nigh, and we will win or die,
    Chanting our battle cry, “Freedom or death!”
    Chanting our battle cry, “Freedom or death!”

     
     


    ” Not for fame or reward, Not for place or for rank,
    Not lured by ambition, Or goaded by necessity,
    But in Simple Obedience to Duty
    As they understood it, These men suffered all,
    Sacrificed all, Dared all–and died. “


    Inscription on the monument to the dead of the Confederate States Army,
    Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

     
     

    America remember and honor your history – it will give direction,
    purpose and security to your future.

     
     

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