Tenting Tonight: Peace Song for January 10, 2012

Tenting Tonight On The Old Campground [aka “Tenting Tonight”] is the Peace Song of the Day for January 10th. It is a song from 1863, written by Walter Kittredge. You can find lyrics, chords, and resources for this song in the Rise Up Singing songbook on page 5.

Yes, the song is about war: It was written during the Civil War and is about the lives of soldiers. Though, the song also lists the problems of war, and expresses the yearning for peace. This song was sung by both Confederate soldiers and Union soldiers.

Because the theme is a wish for the war to end, and the subject is camping out in tents, we also thought this would make a good song for occupy activists to use as is or to adapt.


Some lyrics:
Tenting Tonight

We’re tenting tonight on the old camp ground,
Give us a song to cheer
Our weary hearts, a song of home
And friends we love so dear.
*
Chorus:
Many are the hearts that are weary tonight,
Wishing for the war to cease;
Many are the hearts looking for the right
To see the dawn of peace.
Tenting tonight, tenting tonight,
Tenting on the old camp ground.
*
We are tired of war on the old camp ground,
Many are dead and gone,
Of the brave and true who’ve left their homes,
Others been wounded long.
*
We’ve been fighting today on the old camp ground,
Many are lying near;
Some are dead, and some are dying,
Many are in tears.
*
Final Chorus:
Many are the hearts that are weary tonight,
Wishing for the war to cease;
Many are the hearts looking for the right,
To see the dawn of peace.
Dying tonight, dying tonight,
Dying on the old camp ground

CDs of Civil War songs are available.  Tenting Tonight: Songs of the Civil War by Judy Cook includes the song Harriet Tubman from the prior post.  Tenting Tonight by William and Carla Coleman also contains campfire songs from the Civil War

There are several book about Civil War Songs. Time-Life book also has a book about the Civil War called Tenting Tonight: The Soldier’s Life.

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The Peace Song of the Day is a project of Duke Augustus and Duchess Susanna, The Duke and Duchess of Peace. The Duke and Duchess recognize that one of the paths to peace is to find soulful and nonviolent entertainment, and to express oneself with art and song.

A Treasury of Civil War Songs
by Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation
Powells.com

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Note: This song was actually announced/published on January 29, 2012, as part of a marathon catch-up session for the Peace Song of the Day project! Putting it back in chronological order for flow.

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