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Old John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave, While weep the sons of bondage whom he ventured all to save; But though he lost his life in struggling for the slave, His truth is marching on..

 
Context
This and other verses were sung by marching Union Soldiers to the tune of what we now call the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Julia Ward Howe heard the troops singing it, and wrote additional verses which became the Battle Hymn of the Republic {604003} . Ralph Waldo Emerson had predicted that John Brown’s execution would make him a martyr to the cause {584889} and his memory and martyrdom did more for the cause of abolition than he ever did in his lifetime.
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Civil War Marching Song

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