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Sing Some History: Stories of Songs from the Civil War Era

Sing Some History- Stories of Songs From the Civil War Era

[Today we have a guest post from Amy Puetz Fox, creator of Sing Some History.]

God is the creator of music! He made the birds to sing. He created the
winds and water to have melodious sounds. He also put music in the
hearts of mankind.

Music has also had a profound impact on history. Sometimes songs were
written to remind people of important historical events, but other
times a song shaped the events that happened. Below are two songs that
inspired the people during the terrible Civil War.


This song became a favorite in the South during the war. It is
interesting that it was originally a Northern song. Daniel Decatur
Emmett wrote the song in 1859 while in New York City. He wished he was
in the South, or Dixie. When the song was performed the first time in
New Orleans, it became a hit. During the war, Emmett was shunned in
the North for having written such a Southern song. Dixie became the
unofficial song of the South. Even President Lincoln loved the tune
and was often criticized for enjoying a song that inspired the
Southern troops and civilians.

“When Johnny Comes Marching Home”

This song was popular in both the North and South. The words told of a
grand reunion between the soldiers and their families. It was written
in 1863 by Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore under the pen name Louis Lambert.
Gilmore led a band called the Patrick Gilmore’s Band that enlisted
in the Union Army. These men served in the military band and as
stretcher bearers.

Gilmore was made the Grand Master of the Union Army and was
responsible for organizing the military bands. He is sometimes called
the Father of the American Band. While Gilmore was stationed in New
Orleans, Louisiana, he wrote the song “When Johnny Comes
Marching Home.” He said it was an adaptation of a black spiritual
song. The song became an instant success.

Learning about historical songs is a great way to give children a
connection with the past. Having children listen to the songs allows
them to use another sense while they are learning, which insures a
better chance of retaining the knowledge.

Both of these songs are available on the Sing Some History CD from Golden Prairie Press.

Amy Puetz Fox, a homeschool graduate and servant of Jesus Christ,
loves history. She is the author of Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of
Ancient History and Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History.
In these elementary history books, history comes to life by using all
five senses. To see a sample, visit her website. Amy lives in Wyoming with her loving
husband, Carl.

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  1. I love sharing period era music with my children. When I was teaching high school history, I would always include music – even if it was just during seat work, quizzes, or tests. A great way to incorporate more than one subject. (And a personal favorite has always been the American Civil War.)

  2. "State Songs of the 50 U.S. States" online course from Music in Our Homeschool is the perfect way to combine geography and music education in your homeschool, classroom, or homeschool co-op. Click through to see a free preview lesson. #musiccourse #elementarymusic #musiceducation #musiclessonsforkids #musicinourhomeschool

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