View Full Version : Bayard Taylorís Song of the Camp

12-16-2008, 07:38 PM
The author of Christ in the Camp states, ď. . .it [The Song of the Camp] was sung in our Confederate armies more generally, perhaps, than any other except some of the old hymns.Ē Despite its stated popularity at the time, Iíve not heard it sung by any of the groups at the re-enactments Iíve attended. I havenít been able to find music for it either. Does anyone know of a source for music to Bayard Taylorís "Song of the Camp"?

"Give us a song!" the soldiers cried,
The outer trenches guarding,
When the heated guns of the camps allied
Grew weary of bombarding.

The dark Redan, in silent scoff,
Lay, grim and threatening, under;
And the tawny mound of the Malakoff
No longer belched its thunder.

There was a pause. A guardsman said,
"We storm the forts to-morrow;
Sing while we may, another day
Will bring enough of sorrow."

They lay along the battery's side,
Below the smoking cannon:
Brave hearts, from Severn and from Clyde,
And from the banks of Shannon.

They sang of love, and not of fame;
Forgot was Britain's glory:
Each heart recalled a different name,
But all sang "Annie Laurie."

Voice after voice caught up the song,
Until its tender passion
Rose like an anthem, rich and strong,--
Their battle-eve confession.

Dear girl, her name he dared not speak,
But, as the song grew louder,
Something upon the soldier's cheek
Washed off the stains of powder.

Beyond the darkening ocean burned
The bloody sunset's embers,
While the Crimean valleys learned
How English love remembers.

And once again a fire of ****
Rained on the Russian quarters,
With scream of shot, and burst of shell,
And bellowing of the mortars!

And Irish Nora's eyes are dim
For a singer, dumb and gory;
And English Mary mourns for him
Who sang of "Annie Laurie."

Ah, soldiers! To your honoured rest
Your truth and valour wearing:
The bravest are the tenderest,--
The loving are the daring.

12-17-2008, 09:25 AM
That intrigued me, because I'm kind of a fan of Bayard Taylor. He was a character! And like you, I'd not heard the poem sung, and after a quick check, couldn't find a tune that it was set to, either.

So I tried to look up the whole context of the quote from Christ in the Camp in the online copy here (http://books.google.com/books?id=UkT0xLxpfaQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22christ+in+the+camp%22&lr=&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES), by searching for various words, and couldn't find it. Any idea where it is? Not that that will help find the tune or explain whether it really was that popular, but I was just curious.

Hank Trent

12-17-2008, 10:53 AM
Sorry, Mr. Trent. Iíve never had any success with Google books. My computer runs too slow or something. In the Johnson & Co. Richmond, Virginia 1888 addition, it is in the appendix on page 615.

I think I have seen in various books a reference the ďSong of the CampĒ quoting the words:
ďThe bravest are the tenderest,--
The loving are the daring.Ē

One in particular is page 234 of J. L. Underwoodís The Women of the Confederacy. Speaking of the women of Petersburg he writes:

But this much I want to say of them--they were Ďwar womení of the most daring and devoted type. When there was need of their ministrations on the line, they were sure to be promptly there; and once, as I have recorded elsewhere in print, a bevy of them came out to the lines only to encourage us, and , under a fearful fire, sang Bayard Taylorís ĎSong of the Camp,í giving as an encore the lines:
ďAh! Soldier, to your honored rest,
Your truth and valor bearing;
The bravest are the tenderest,
The loving are the daring.Ē