Marching Through Georgia

Words & Music by Henry Clay Work

“Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain….”

Noah Brooks

This is one of three songs by Henry Clay Work in Reunion. “Marching Through Georgia,” an upbeat tribute to General Sherman’s nightmarish 300-mile March to the Sea, is contrasted with images of the stark devastation he left behind. Ironically, it was Sherman—whose admiration of Southern culture was exceeded only by his belief in the Union—who delivered the event that saved Lincoln’s presidency, and probably the Union. The stunning finality of Atlanta’s fall rocked public opinion on both sides to a degree we find it hard to imagine today. The hard finality of Sherman’s treatment of Atlanta—and much of what was unlucky enough to lie between it and the sea–not only ended McClellan’s bright hopes to unseat Lincoln, but legitimized the strategy of “total war.”

“Marching Through Georgia” is still played throughout the world and still reviled in the south.

Lyrics

Bring the good old bugle, boys, we’ll sing another song,
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along,
Sing it like we used to sing, fifty thousand strong,
While we were marching through Georgia.

Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the jubilee!
Hurrah! Hurrah! The flag that makes you free!
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.

So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,
Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main.
Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain
While we were marching through Georgia.

Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the jubilee!
Hurrah! Hurrah! The flag that makes you free!
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.

Song Excerpt

Listen to “Marching Through Georgia” performed by the original New York company.

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Reunion original cast CD

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