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Battle HymnsThe Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War$
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Christian McWhirter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835500

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807882627_mcwhirter

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Veterans, Memorialists, and the King

Veterans, Memorialists, and the King

The Revival And Legacy of Civil War Music

(p.183) Chapter 8 Veterans, Memorialists, and the King
Battle Hymns

Christian McWhirter

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the revival and legacy of Civil War music in the twentieth century. “An American Trilogy” is a song originally written and performed by country musician Mickey Newbury, and made popular by Elvis Presley. Presley's set-lists featured covers of gospel, blues, and country songs, but he began including the song to his repertoire—one that would become a permanent fixture in his stage shows until his death in 1977. This piece is a medley of “Dixie”, the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy during the Civil War; “All My Trials”, a black spiritual; and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, one of the cherished songs of the Union Army and African Americans during the Civil War. Presley's performance of “An American Trilogy” not only demonstrated the continued resonance of some Civil War songs, but also introduced new ways of using them.

Keywords:   Civil War music, An American Trilogy, Dixie, Confederacy, All My Trials, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Union Army, African Americans

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