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William Steffe

born in 1830 in South Carolina, United States

died in 1890

William Steffe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

William Steffe (1830–1890) collected and edited a camp-meeting song with the traditional "Glory Hallelujah" refrain, in about 1856.[1] It opened with "Say, brothers, will you meet us / on Canaan's happy shore?" The tune became widely known.

Early in the American Civil War, this tune was used to create the Union army marching song "John Brown's Body", which begins with the lyrics "John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave, but his soul goes marching on."

In November 1861, Julia Ward Howe, having heard this version, used the tune as the basis of her new verse, later known as "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".


  1. Annie J. Randall, "A Censorship of Forgetting: Origins and Origin Myths of 'Battle Hymn of the Republic'", in Music, Power, and Politics, edited by Annie J. Randall, Routledge, 2004, p. 12, 15, 16.
  • C. A. Brown (revised by Willard A. Heaps), The Story of Our National Ballads, 1960, pages 174178
  • William A. Ward (ed.), The American Bicentennial Songbook, Vol. 1 (1770-1870s), 1975, page 236

External links

This page was last modified 16.05.2013 09:46:54

This article uses material from the article William Steffe from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.