The Tabernacle Choir Blog

The Battle of Jericho History Involves Elvis Presley

The actual Battle of Jericho dates back to biblical times, when Joshua’s Israelite army caused the walls of Jericho to fall. In the biblical account, God speaks to Joshua and tells him to march around the city with his army once every day for six days. On the seventh day, God tells him to march around the city seven times as the priests blow their ram’s horn trumpets. At the sound of the trumpets, Joshua told the people to shout. When they shouted “with a great shout,” as the Bible tells, the wall fell down and Joshua’s army took the city.

You might be asking just what this has to do with Elvis. In 1961, Elvis Presley recorded his own version of “The Battle of Jericho.” The first known recording of the song was by Harrod’s Jubilee Singers, and the song was later recorded by others, including Paul Robeson and Mahalia Jackson. The song’s origin predates the Civil War and is an African-American spiritual composed by slaves in the early 1800s.

In the video below, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir energetically performs “The Battle of Jericho,” which is included on their album Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing: American Folk Hymns and Spirituals.