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Glorious 69th

Glorious 69th

Publisher: J. Wrigley, New York

Medium: Print On Paper

Shelfmark: RB 23 b 7019 (0174)

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Printed Music

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Glorious 69th is one of several tunes praising the 69th Infantry Regiment that appear in the Library’s Civil War songster. Originally from New York, the regiment was part of the Irish Brigade and under the leadership of Irish–American General Michael Corcoran.

The song harks back to the long tradition of Irishmen battling tyranny, referencing Waterloo to invoke fighting spirit as soldiers march to the South. The lyrics also praise America and Ireland simultaneously, alongside the Union’s aim to end secession.

The repeated refrain 'faugh-a-balla!' is a corruption of the Gallic for ‘clear the way’, used by Irish soldiers as a war cry in battle. Present from the start of military engagement at Bull Run in July 1861, the 69th Infantry Regiment remains part of the U.S. Army and still use insignia that originated during the Civil War.

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