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.