American songwriter (1820–1895) who found particular fame during the Civil War for his patriotic songs. Uncommon lengthy autograph musical manuscript, two pages, 8.5 x 11, signed at the conclusion in ink, “Geo. F. Root.” Root pens 19 bars of music and lyrics to one of his most famous songs, writing the title at the top, “Tramp, tramp, tramp,” including three verses and the chorus. In full (transcribed as would be sung): “1. In the prison cell I sit thinking mother dear of you / And our right & happy home so far a-way, And my / eyes they fill with tears spite of all that I can do Tho' I try to cheer my / comrades and be gay.
2. In the battle front we stood when their fiercest charge they made / And they swept us off a hundred men or more, But be- / fore we readied their lives they were beaten back dismayed And we heard the cry of / victory o’er & o’er.
3. So with-in the prison cell we are waiting for the day/ That shall come to open wide the iron door, And the / hollow eye grows bright and the poor heart almost gay At the thought of seeing / home & friends once more.
Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are / marching! Cheer up comrades, they will come! And be- / neath the starry flag we shall breathe the air again, Of the / Freeland in our own beloved home!” The second page has been affixed to the first at the left edge. In fine condition, with a small tear to the left edge, a few creases, and light scattered soiling. Root wrote this song, published under the title ‘Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! (The Prisoner's Hope)’ in 1864, in an effort to bring hope to Union soldiers held captive as prisoners of war. It became one of the most popular songs of the Civil War, as the sentiment comforted both imprisoned soldiers and their families as they awaited an uncertain fate. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.