Educator's Guide: The Arts: Singing Soldiers: "The Bonnie Blue Flag"

"The Bonnie Blue Flag"

Words: Harry Macarthy

Music: ''The Irish Jaunting Car"

Excluding "Dixie, " the most popular song in the South and with the Confederate army was "The Bonnie Blue Flag." It was first presented by Marion Macarthy, sister of the author and "Arkansas comedian," at the Varieties Theatre in New Orleans for one of Harry's Personation Acts. " Troops en route to Virginia sang it at the New Orleans Academy of Music in September, 1861. The flag was displayed at the Mississippi Convention of January 9, 1861 which passed the act of secession, and the delegates chanted the new air. The words tell the story of secession and reveal the "temperament of the states at war" and invite other states to join in. The tune is an old Hibernian melody. Brander Matthews tells us when General Butler was in command of New Orleans, he "made it very profitable by fining every man, woman or child who sang, whistled or played it on any instrument $25.00, besides arresting the publisher, destroying the sheet music and fining him $500."

 
"The Bonnie Blue Flag" Page 1
 
"The Bonnie Blue Flag" Page 2
2. As long as the Union was faithful to her trust,
Like friends and brethren kind were we, and just;
But now, when Northern treachery attempts our rights to mar,
We hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

Chorus: Hurrah, hurrah, etc.

3. First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand,
Then came Alabama and took her by the hand;
Next, quickly, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida,
All raised on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

Chorus: Hurrah, hurrah, etc.

4. Ye men of valor gather round the banner of the right,
Texas and fair Louisiana join us in the fight;
With Davis, our loved President, and Stephens, statemen rare
We'll rally round the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears the single star.

Chorus: Hurrah, hurrah, etc.
5. And here's to brave Virginia, the Old Dominion State,
With the young Confederacy at length has linked her faith;
Impelled by her example, now other States prepare
To hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star,

Chorus: Hurrah, hurrah, etc.

6. Then cheer, boys, cheer, raise a joyous shout
For Arkansas and North Carolina now have both gone out,
And let another rousing cheer for Tennessee be given,
The single star of the Bonnie Blue Flag has grown to be eleven.

Chorus: Hurrah, hurrah, etc.

7. Then here's to our Confederacy, strong we are and brave,
Like patriots of old we'll fight, our heritage to save;
And rather than submit to shame, to die we would prefer,
So cheer for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

Chorus: Hurrah, hurrah, etc.
 

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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