The Tabernacle Choir Blog

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Reached #13 On Billboard’s Top 40 With Its Recording Of The Battle Hymn Of The Republic

Julia Ward Howe wrote the patriotic lyrics to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” during the Civil War when she was visiting Union troops near Washington, D.C. Mrs. Howe wrote the lyrics to the tune of another song, “John Brown’s Body,” which was also a popular song in the American Civil War era.

Since the song made its public debut, it has become a mainstream patriotic song. It has been performed at political conventions, presidential inaugurations, funerals of heads of state, religious gatherings and more. Recently, the song was performed at Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 21, 2013.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has achieved great success with its renditions of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” In 1959 the Choir’s performance of the song reached #13 on The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. The following year, the Choir won the GRAMMY Award® for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus for its recording of the song.

In the video above, the Choir sings the patriotic song during an episode of Music and the Spoken Word. It was one of the Choir’s most popular YouTube videos of 2013.