Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Strains of Music

Confederate Soldiers, 1861. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

I am haunted.

It is neither the fact that a “lady” of the period would feel forced to publish anonymously nor the stilted, flowery language of the song that leave my mind so troubled.

I am disturbed by the eagerness to die, the enthusiasm to send husbands and sons into battle, the vision of a war sanctioned by God.

Please note this work has been published as found, no corrections have been made.

"The Southron's Chaunt of Defiance" (1861)
Words by a Lady of Kentucky
Music by Armand Edwand Blackmar

You can never win us back;
Never! Never!
Tho' we perish in the track
Of your endeavor;
Tho' our corpses strew the earth
Smiling now on our birth,
And tho' blood polute each hearth
Now and ever!

We have risen to a man,
Stern and fearless;
Of your curses, of your ban,
We are careless.
Ev'ry hand is on its knife,
Ev'ry gun is primed for strife.
Ev'ry palm contains a Life
High and peerless.

You have no such blood as our
For the shedding;
In the veins of Cavaliers
Was its heading!
You have no such stately men
In you abolution den
Marching through foe and fen,
Nothing dreading!

We may fall before the fire
Of your legions,
Paid with gold for murderous hire,
Bought allegiance;
But for every drop you shed,
You shall have a mound of dead,
So that vultures may be fed
In our regions!

But the battle to the strong
Is not given,
While the Judge of right and wrong
Sits in Heaven
And the God of David still
Guides the pebble in His will,
There are giants yet to kill,
Wrongs unshriven!

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