The very first new song of the Civil War

Two days after the firing on Fort Sumter, prolific songwriter George F. Root penned what may be the first song ever written about the Civil War; it certainly would not be the last. The First Gun is Fired: May God Protect the Right proved to be an instant hit throughout the North. A day after he wrote the song, Root had the well known Lombard Brothers perform it for the first time in public at the Metropolitan House in Chicago, and he distributed the first new original sheet music of the Civil War that evening to eager patrons.

1.
The first gun is fired,
   May God protect the right,
Let the freeborn sons of the north arise
   In power’s avenging might;
Shall the glorious Union our fathers made,
   By ruthless hands be sundered,
And we of freedom’s sacred rights
   By trait’rous foes be plunder’d

CHORUS
Arise; Arise; Arise!
And gird ye for the fight,
And let our watchword ever be,
“May God protect the right.”

2.
The first gun is fired,
   By echoes thrill the land,
And the bounding hearts of the patriot throng,
   Now firmly take their stand;
We will bow no more to the tyrant few
   Who scorn our long forebearing,
But with Columbia’s stars and stripes,
   We’ll quenceh their trait’rous daring.


Arise; Arise; Arise!
   And gird ye for the fight,
And let our watchword ever be,
   “May God protect the right.”

3.
The first gun is fired,
   Oh! heed the signal well,
And the thunder tone as it rolls along
   Shall sound opression’s knell,
For the arm of freedom is mighty still,
   But strength shall fail us never,
The strength we’ll give to our righteous cause
   And our glorious land forever

Arise; Arise; Arise!
   And gird ye for the fight,
And let our watchword ever be,
   “May God protect the right.”

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Categories: Civil War music | Leave a comment

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