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File:Marching Through Georgia - Project Gutenberg eText 21566.png

Cover of the 1865 sheet music to Marching Through Georgia

"Marching Through Georgia" (sometimes called Marching Thru' Georgia) is a marching song written by Henry Clay Work at the end of the American Civil War in 1865. It refers to U.S. Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea late in the previous year.

Because of its lively melody, the song became widely popular with Union Army veterans after the war. Ironically, General Sherman himself came to despise "Marching Through Georgia", in part because it was played at almost every public appearance that he attended.[1] Outside of the Southern United States, it had a universal appeal: Japanese troops sang it as they entered Port Arthur, the British Army sang it in India, and an English town thought the tune was appropriate to welcome southern American troops in World War II.[citation needed]

Works inspired by the song[]

The song remains a popular with brass bands, and its tune has been adapted to other popular songs, including "The Land", "Billy Boys" and "Come In, Come In". It was also sung by a carpetbagger in Gone with the Wind.

George M. Cohan referenced the "Hurrah! Hurrah!" line in one of the verses of "You're a Grand Old Flag", juxtaposed with a line from "Dixie".

The Finnish protest song "Laiva Toivo, Oulu" (Template:Lang-en) is set to the melody of "Marching Through Georgia", but with Finnish-language lyrics criticizing the actions of the captain of the titular frigate Toivo.[2]

The song is referenced in the title of two counterfactual novels, S. M. Stirling's Marching Through Georgia references the title, whilst that of Ward Moore's Bring the Jubilee references the chorus.

In the 1967 Howard Hawks western El Dorado, the character Bull, in response to being shot at from a bell-laden church tower, proclaims, "Well, just give me another gun and I'll play "Marching Through Georgia."


Verse 1
Bring the good old bugle, boys, we'll sing another song
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along
Sing it as we used to sing it, 50,000 strong[3]
While we were marching through Georgia.

Hurrah! Hurrah! we bring the jubilee![4]
Hurrah! Hurrah! the flag that makes you free!
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea
While we were marching through Georgia.

Verse 2
How the darkeys shouted when they heard the joyful sound
How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found
How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground
While we were marching through Georgia.

Verse 3
Yes and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears,
When they saw the honored flag they had not seen for years;
Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers,
While we were marching through Georgia.

Verse 4
"Sherman's dashing Yankee boys will never reach the coast!"
So the saucy rebels said and 'twas a handsome boast
Had they not forgot, alas! to reckon with the Host
While we were marching through Georgia.

Verse 5
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.

Irish adaptation[]

One version of the chorus for Come In is as follows:

Come in, come in, I'll do the best I can
Come in, come in, bring the whole bloody clan
Take it slow and easy, and I'll shake you by the hand
Set you down, I'll treat you decent, I'm an Irishman


  1. Erbsen, p. 51; Eicher, p. 763.
  2. Kaukiainen, Yrjö (1998) (in Finnish). Laiva Toivo, Oulu. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. pp. 10–13. ISBN 951-749-026-0. 
  3. Eicher, p. 762: Sherman's armies in Georgia actually had 62,000 men.
  4. A biblical allusion to the freeing of the slaves. See Leviticus 25.


External links[]

fr:Marching Through Georgia ja:パイノパイノパイ th:Marching Through Georgia