The Valiant Soldiers

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For other versions of this work, see Marching Song of the First Arkansas Colored Regiment.
The Valiant Soldiers
by Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth claimed to have written this song during the American Civil War for the 1st Michigan Colored Regiment, and it was sung by her in Detroit and Washington. It is nearly identical to the Song of the First of Arkansas attributed to Lindley Miller. It is sung to the tune of "John Brown" or "Battle Hymn of the Republic".

      WE are the valiant soldiers who've 'listed for the war;
      We are fighting for the Union, we are fighting for the law;
      We can shoot a rebel farther than a white man ever saw,
      As we go marching on.

      Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah!
      Glory, glory, hallelujah, as we go marching on.

      Look there above the center, where the flag is waving bright;
      We are going out of slavery, we are bound for freedom's light;
      We mean to show Jeff Davis how the Africans can fight,
      As we go marching on.--Chorus.

      We are done with hoeing cotton, we are done with hoeing corn;
      We are colored Yankee soldiers as sure as you are born.
      When massa hears us shouting, he will think 'tis Gabriel's horn,
      As we go marching on.--Chorus.

      They will have to pay us wages, the wages of their sin;
      They will have to bow their foreheads to their colored kith and kin;
      They will have to give us house-room, or the roof will tumble in,
      As we go marching on.--Chorus.

      We hear the proclamation, massa, hush it as you will;
      The birds will sing it to us, hopping on the cotton hill;
      The possum up the gum tree couldn't keep it still,
      As he went climbing on.--Chorus.

      Father Abraham has spoken, and the message has been sent;
      The prison doors have opened, and out the prisoners went
      To join the sable army of African descent,
      As we go marching on.--Chorus.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.