before the sun hit the paper: the story of the battle hymn of the republic

 

Cover of sheet music for "The Battle Hymn...

Image via Wikipedia

 

I’m a little late to the Fourth of July party. The fireworks are all spent and the blankets from our picnics are still dirty.

But listen to Orson Welles‘s recount of how Julia Ward Howe, during the Civil War, got up before dawn to pen “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as if some other hand passed it on to her.

She finished the hymn “before the sun hit the paper.”

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