A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 22, 2014
“The Burning of the School” ("Battle Hymn of the Republic” parody)

Various versions of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” change the lyrics into an anti-school anthem, often called “The Burning of the School.” The following was cited in February 1959:

Glory, glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
I hit her on the bean
With a rotten tangerine
And we ain’t gonna see her no more.


The following was cited in 1961:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school;
We have tortured every teacher, we have broken every rule;
We have poisoned every principal and secretary, too;
The kids are marching on.


The latter verses are sometimes linked with the former verses to form a longer parody.


Wikipedia: The Burning of the School
“The Burning of the School” (not an official title) is a parody of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, known and sung by schoolchildren throughout the United States and in some locations in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Like the Battle Hymn itself, the parody is sung to the tune of “John Brown’s Body”. In versions known to have appeared in print, the opening line always changes the original ‘Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord’ to ‘Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school.’ Also, the first line of the refrain, ‘Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!’, seems always to be followed in the parody by the line ‘Teacher hit me with a ruler.’ (A few versions have been collected that change ‘Hallelujah’ to ‘What’s it to ya?’, but most leave the first line intact.)
(...)
Sample lyrics
Typical lines are

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school
We have tortured all the teachers - we have broken all the rules
We ramrocked the offices and hung the principal
March on, third grade, march on!

Glory, glory, hallelujah
My teacher hit me with a ruler
I hid behind her door with a loaded .44
And the teacher don’t teach no more!


Wikipedia: The Battle Hymn of the Republic
“The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, also known as “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory” outside of the United States, is a song by American writer Julia Ward Howe using the music from the song “John Brown’s Body”. Howe’s more famous lyrics were written in November 1861 and first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862. The song links the judgment of the wicked at the end of time (New Testament, Rev. 19) with the American Civil War. Since that time, it has become an extremely popular and well-known American patriotic song.

5 February 1959, Arlington Heights (IL) Herald, Suburbia Today, pg. 14, col. 3:
Their vocal selections aren’t exactly highbrow; for instance:

“Glory, glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
I hit her on the bean
With a rotten tangerine
And we ain’t gonna see her no more.”

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
10 February 1959, The Daily Record (Rochester, NY), “Off the Record,” pg. 1, col. 1:
LEAD THE SINGING --
“Glory, glory hallelujah.
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
I hit her on the bean
With a rotten tangerine
And we ain’t gonna see her no more.”

Google Books
Saturday Review
Volume 43, Part 1
1960 (The Google Books date may be incorrect.—ed.)
Pg. 9:
My eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school,
We have tortured every teacher.
We have broken every rule.
We have ransacked the office and we killed the principule.
The brats are marching home.

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
I hit her on the bean with a rotten tangerine
And the juice came trickling down.

30 November 1961, Camden (AR) News, “Life in Arkansas” by John R. Starr (Associated Press Staff Writer), pg. 11, col. 6:
Now the kids have a battle song in their continuing war against school.

A Little Rock first grader was overheard singing, to the tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic:”

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school;
“We have tortured every teacher, we have broken every rule;
“We have poisoned every principal and secretary, too;
The kids are marching on.”

Has school got that hard to take?

4 November 1963, Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA), “Bob Wells’ Nightcap,” pg. C-7, col. 2:
The other day, for instance, I overheard my oldest boy, Geoffrey, singing these words to the tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school
They have terrorized tlie teachers; they have broken every rule
They have carried out the Principal and dumped him in the pool,
The kids go marching on.


Google Books
30 Ways to Get Ahead at College
By Joseph Luke Lennon
Staten Island, NY: Alba House
1964
Pg. 186:
It was only last year that I heard some boys singing these lines to the tune of “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah:”

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the
Burning of the school;
We have tortured every teacher and
We have broken every rule;
We have smacked the lousy principal and
Called him a big fool;
As we go marching on.


Google News Archive
26 November 1964, The Morning Record (Meriden, CT), “Helen Help Us!” by Helen Bottel, pg. 37, cols. 6-7:
Or Suzie marches in the door singing at the top of her voice, “Mine eyes have see nthe glory of the burning of the school. We’ve tortured every teacher and we’ve broken every rule...”

24 November 1967, Springfield (MA) Union, “More Effective School Program Focuses on New York Ghetto,” pg. 70, cols. 7-8:
At P.S. 168, a teacher gasped when a boy began singing a parody of ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic” with words beginning “Mine eyes have see nthe glory of the burning of the school.”

26 August 1968, Florence (SC) Morning News, “The Swinging Set” by Sylvie Reice, pg. 5, col. 6:
He tells of overhearing (with horror) this little poem that students recite: “Glory, Glory, Halleluja-Teacher hit me with a ruler-I shot her in the door-With a forty-four-And teacher doesn’t teach here anymore.”

2 December 1976, Mobile (AL) Press Register, “Study focuses on childlore” by Susan Fadem, North Mobile sec., pg. 4, col. 4:
Professionals dangling microphones are tape recordning such schoolyard gems as:

“Glory, glory hallelujah,
“Teacher hit me with a ruler
“I hit her on the beam
“And she ain’t no teacher any more.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Tuesday, July 22, 2014 • Permalink