My Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Burning of the School

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Song Video

Information About My Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Burning of the School

'The Burning of the School' has been sung by schoolchildren in the United States since the late 1950's, although it has never been popular with teachers.

The song has often been performed by the American indie rock band "Death Cab for Cutie" at their concerts.

This song is an affectionate parody of 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' which is why the song is sometimes known as "The Battle Hymn of the Children". The most famous lines of the Battle Hymn are "Glory, Glory Hallelujah" and "His truth is marching on".

Given that the Battle Hymn was originally used as a marching cadence by Northern Soldiers in the Civil War, "The Burning of the School's" themes of violence and rebellion are both appropriate and ironic.

The Battle Hymn was itself adapted in a similar fashion from 'John Brown's Body', a song about the death of the hardcore abolitionist who believed that slavery in the United States could only be overthrown by violent insurrection.

Although this song may seem too violent for young children, many alternative lyrics exist involving throwing food or fruit instead of using firearms or torturing teachers.

The song has understandably become less acceptable in recent years because of the increase in violent incidents in schools, but it has an enduring popularity with children who are dissatisfied with their educational experience.

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

Alternate lyrics from 1960

My eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school
We have tortured every teacher
We have broken every rule
The fire bell's been rung and the principal's been hung
Us brats keep marching on!

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,
Teacher hit me with a ruler
I blew her out the door
with a rusty 44
And my teacher ain't my teacher no more.

Another version that is no less gruesome

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school
We have tortured all the teachers, we have disobeyed the rules.
We are going to hang the principal tomorrow afternoon,
As we go marching on!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
My teacher hit me with a ruler.
I bopped her over the bean
With a rotten tangerine.
Her teeth came marching out!

We are running out of teachers thanks to this version

Glory, glory Hallelujah,
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
Hid behind the door,
with a loaded. 44.
There ain't no teacher no more.

Listen to this song's music


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joel peters, british colombia canada

9 November 2014 at 2:32am

this is how i heard it on a kids song record from the library ages ago my eyes have seen the glory of the burring of the school we have tortured all the teachers we have broken all the rules we broke into his office and we TICKLED the principal and truth goes marching (singing down the trail) Glory glory how peculiar teacher hit me with a ruler i met her in the bank with a brand new Sherman tank and she ain't gonna teach no more

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June Ellie, Singapore

28 September 2014 at 2:22am

I've been looking for this for AGES! My schoolmates and I used to sing this on bus trips during school excursions, and it never failed to drive the teachers nuts, but I couldn't remember the exact lyrics. Our version was a bit different from this though. Rejoice in the glory of the burning of the school We terrorised the teachers and we've broken all the rules We march into the office and we hang the principal And we go marching on Halle halle hallelujah Teacher hit me with a cane *piak* I met her in the hall with a .44 And the teacher was no more *Ka Boom* I wonder why the teachers didn't like it :p

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Jeanne, United States

1 April 2014 at 4:28am

I remember singing this in the early 60's,though it had a different ending... shot her in the seater with a ??? ... have no idea how it ended, I'm embarrassed to say that as the mother of 3 adult children, and 8 grandchildren it never once occurred to me to teach any of the kids these crazy songs. I will rectify that terrible lapse in judgement as soon as I can. Not a single schoolmate of my generation ever did the kind of damage that youngsters are consumed with now. I believe that the political correctness we ourselves began hammering everyone with is directly to blame for the massive troubles we are seeing now. We have zero tolerance for everything, and we are no longer allowed to discipline our children for fear we will be arrested for child abuse. We have created our own mess, and it's time we turned around, and began teaching our children and grandchildren the simple values we learned from our parents.

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Katrina, Germany

10 April 2013 at 5:09am

My grandfather taught my mom this song who taught me. We are horrible people. Oh well.

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Mike, United States

13 November 2012 at 3:31am

My God, I am sure we mere dumb-dumbs in 1956 did not make this song up, the first time I heard it was on the bus to day camp at the tender age of 6. It is a song of folklore crosses the boundaries the world apparently. It was my most favorite bus song that we sang on the buses as children. The Politically Correct crowd might consider that in 1956 the only shooting we had were in Korea, Hungary and the "RED" Army of those trying to escape East Germany. Which says a lot to the idea of Freedom of Expression. Its a good thing that these twits haven't found "Great Green Globs of Grimy Gopher Guts" probably won't think much of that that either. Just fun by kids on a bus is all

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Anon, Dominican Republic

18 October 2012 at 7:53pm

Kill Joy! Grow up ! its a parody ! what the hell ! im a teen mother and my 4year old son sing it cuz i know it not a serious thing i know he wont do anything violent ! Kids are kids they learn things from the world out there ! he will learn from his mistakes ! if he does do a violent thing he knows hes going to be taken away from me and will go to jail ! my kid is smart,stubborn & sarcastic but hes my son and i always sing to him every damn song ! thats why his teachers say im the coolest and most epic mom ! i own my life to my son so much i have major depressive disorder and anxiety sindorme ! and i always get judged cuz i have a kid and i still go to school and i get bullied and i attempted against my life 5 times already ! the fifth time my son found me bearly breathing laying in the floor he inmediately call 911 ! i own him everything to him ! without him i would be death

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Frazgo, United States

27 September 2012 at 1:54am

My son came home after school today humming the original song, not the parody I learned in High School. I sang him the lyrics I could remember from High School myself in the 70's. I explained the historical significance of the era and how the song fit. I doubt it will give him cause to burn his own school or commit other acts of violence. The song exists and is self propagating from generation to generation. I think its better to understand this is about venting against authority and not get all panty notted about it. Teaching violence is not the answer is the job of a parent, and if the song pops up in schools maybe the administration needs to look at what they are doing to that makes kids want to propagate it to the next generation.

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Bethan, United Kingdom

2 July 2012 at 9:19pm

In my opinion this is quite an interesting song, but it is still violence and I'm 11.

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Fells Like A Sir, United States

5 April 2012 at 2:40am

This is the version i have heard: Celebrate the glory of the burning of the school, We've tortured evry teacher and we've broken evry rule, marched on to the office and we shot the principal, the kids go marching on. glory glory hallelujah! my teacher hit me with the ruler, stood by the dorr with my loaded .44 and she aint teachin' no more ADDED SECOND VERSE: i shot her with pleasure, i shot her with pride, how could i have missed her? she's 40 feet wide, i went to her funeral i went to her grave, some people threw flowers, i threw a grenade some people were injured, some people were dead, my poor little teacher had holes in her head i looked in the paper, she STILL wasnt dead, so i got my bazooka, and BLEW OFF HER HEAD!

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Kallie, United States

19 March 2012 at 12:33am

This song is epic ^^ my dad told me about this song. I am gonna show this to all my friends. We are allowed to have a bit of fun with are music. Hence freedom of speech.

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Some Dude, Afghanistan

18 March 2012 at 4:02am

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the rambling at the zoo, we've washed ourselves in niggers blood and all the mongrels too, we're taking down the zog machine Jew by Jew by Jew, and the white man marches on!

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Anna, United Kingdom

11 March 2012 at 4:58am

Jamie said: "You want to know what the scariest thing I've seen in these posts? The amazing number of "TEACHERS" that CAN"T SPELL!" I noticed that too! Worrying, isn't it?

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Anna, United Kingdom

11 March 2012 at 4:57am

Teacher, leave those kids alone All in all you're just another brick in the wall (What's with the American inability to understand black humour? Stop taking yourselves so fricking seriously. Joking about violence won't make anyone violent - and pretending there's no such thing as violence won't make the world perfect either. Do you want kids to grow up in a sanitised bubble?)

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My Verson, United States

3 March 2012 at 4:50am

Mine Eyes have seen the burning of the school we have tortured all the teachers, we have broken all the rules we are hanging the princepal tomorow after school as we go marching on Glory, glory Hallelujah, Teacher hit me with a ruler. Hid behind the door, with a loaded .44. There ain't no teacher no more.

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Stan, United States

5 February 2012 at 7:33pm

We have a lot more to fear from those who don't see and can't appreciate the intended humor in such songs, than from generations of irreverent school children. Then there is the rape song from "The Fantastics", if anyone is up for an argument.

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George, United States

3 February 2012 at 9:41pm

Teaching about violence both virtual and real begins at home. The problem is not with the world at large, it's with a chosen few who have not been raised or given sufficient role models to mold them. As for the song, I grew up with it and sung it many a time... So will my children I'm sure. I too am a teacher from 9-12th grades...let's not ruin the world and rid it of fun.

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Jamie, United States

10 January 2012 at 3:01am

This is the version I learned in grade school in the 70's. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school, we have tortured every teacher, we have broken every rule. We have crucified the principal and bar-b-qued the books and we all go marching on. Glory, glory hallelujah, teacher hit me with a ruler, met her at the door with a loaded 44, and she ain't my teacher no more. Some people always have to look for trouble. I remember a lot of songs from grade school that were "inappropriate", but that didn't stop us. Your kids will sing these behind your back when all their friends are singing them too. You want to know what the scariest thing I've seen in these posts? The amazing number of "TEACHERS" that CAN"T SPELL!

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Anonamouse, United Kingdom

8 January 2012 at 4:18pm

Cool song awesome

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Bob, United States

12 November 2011 at 4:15pm

I grew up singing this song out of elementary school along with my friends and classmates. It was all fun. It was the late 50's, in Baltimore, MD and by HS the Viet Nam war was getting underway. Many of us, who sang this parody, served our Country, got out went to college and continue to serve as proud Americas. This song was just a reflection of childrens relief that school was over, at least for a while. I don't know of anyone of my generation who became a sociopath as a result of singing "Burning of the School." Get a life for heaven's sake.

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Ass, United States

11 November 2011 at 5:12am

My dad taught me this and a few other songs like it. And I will teach them to my little girl when she gets older.

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