Protest Song Lyrics (logo)
Protest Song Lyrics Song lyrics categories Social Justice songs by Year Top 10 songs Musical Links About Protest Songs website

Hymn Of The Freedman, song lyrics

Song: Hymn of the Freedman
Lyrics: George H. Boker(2)

Music: "by A Contraband"(3)
Year: 1864
Country: USA

Surely God himself has risen
Over all the wakened world;
Burst the darkness of the prison,
Into Hell the shackels hurled:
For we hear a mighty rattle
Fill the valleys and the hills,
As the freedmen march to battle
As the God for freedom wills.

Then rally, rally rally
'Round the flag of liberty;
We are men at last and soldiers,
We are free, are free are free.

God has put the word and the rifle
Into labor-hardened hands,
And we dare not stop or trifle
When our God Himself commands.
We have cut our bonds asunder,
As the mower cuts the grain,
And the land shall fill with wonder
Ere they find them on again.
This song was originally posted on

God has said make free your brother,
As you now yourselves are free;
Strike for wife and sire and mother,
And for children on the knee.
We are worse than Pagan scoffer
If we fail to do the deed
That God's grace so freely offers
To our people's trampled seed.


In the name of God, who heeds us,
We will crush the tyrant's power,
And we trust to Him who leads us
In the battle's bloody hour.
He will take us safely over,
He will heal our wounds with balm,
And the blessed dead He'll cover
In the hollow of his palm.



1 - "By the Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Regiments, 1201 Chestnut St., Philadelphia." and under the title on the cover it says "Repectfully dedicated to Mr. Col. Chas. W. Fribley

2 - George Henry Boker (1823 - 1890) was an American author and diplomat.

3 - During the American Civil War, the term "a contraband" was used to mean a Black person who had escaped slavery from a Confederacy state to the Union, and would not be returned to their southern "owners".

4 - More educational links about the American Civil War (1861 - 1865), A Brief Overview of the American Civil War, and from the History Channel.