Gone For A Soldier: Journeys of Irish American Music & Patriotism

Emerging Civil War

Johnny Is Gone for a Soldier. (1862) Sep. Winner, Philadelphia. [Notated Music] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200001462. Johnny Is Gone for a Soldier. (1862) Sep. Winner, Philadelphia. [Notated Music] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200001462. The journey of Irish songs now woven into the collections of traditional American music represents the journeys of the Irish people and how music and a war intertwined to bring the Irish immigrants into a more positive light in 19th Century America.

The war-song Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier is a hallmark of folk music, and, though usually associated with the American War for Independence, it was also known and sung during the Civil War. The song is closely related the Irish song Shule Agra which is believed to have been created during the 1600’s. At some point in the next century, the English and Americans begged, borrowed, or stole the tune and foundational lyrics to create Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier. On both sides of the…

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