Primary Source: We are Loyal Klansman Song Sheet

Note: This resource was selected for educators to use to teach about the relationship between the Ku Klux Klan’s white supremacist ideas on immigration and the 1924 immigration and naturalization act. To use these resources responsibly, please view our teaching ideas, some of which are included in our teaching suggestions for this resource.

It was culled from the collection of the Indiana State Historical Archives and was selected by Historian Jill Weiss Simins.

Learning Goal: 

The resources on this website can be used to:

  • Build an understanding of public messages about migration through U.S. history.
  • Inquire about the way public messages about migration influence how people think and act.
  • Identify patterns of prejudice and prepares students to assess whether available public stories about migration are reliable and representative.

Introduction

Klan members formed bands and recorded albums. The Gennett Records studio in Richmond, Indiana, hosted interracial jazz bands and recorded some of the first Louis Armstrong records, but also gave studio time to Klan bands like the 100% American Orchestra.

For more information read the introductory essay to this site or listen to the Indianapolis Times podcast(Begins with Klan music): https://blog.history.in.gov/the-kkk-and-the-indianapolis-times/

Primary Source:

Cover of the sheet music to the song, We are all Loyal Klansman. Image source:
“We Are All Loyal Klansman,” (sheet music), 1923, DeVincent Collection, Indiana University Lilly Library, accessed Indiana Memory.

The song “We Are All Loyal Klansman” was published in 1923. The lyrics are below

Verse 1

Long ago when our forefathers

In the cause of freedom spoke.

First they pleaded then demanded

Freedom from a tyrants [sic] yoke,

Finally the scales of justice,

Hung to rule the rights of man,

Proving not for self but others

Was the motto of their Klan

Chorus

We are all loyal klansmen,

And klanish as can be

We love our home, this country,

And its flag of liberty,

Its constitution handed down,

Approved by Uncle Sam,

Will always be defended

By the Ku Klux Klan

Verse 2

Selfish thoughts with idle visions

Klansmen set aside as naught

Knowing well t’wass [sic] not for these

That there [sic] fathers bravely fought,

Inspired by a kindred thought,

Each played a noble part

And left to us this native land

Dear to a klansman [sic] heart.

Chorus

We are all loyal klansmen . . .

Verse 3

When the fiery cross was burning

Sending forth its ray of light,

We pledged our life and honot

To maintain the cause of right,

And while the radicals may tremble.

At the gath’ring of the klan,

Undivided we’ll continue

One and all with Uncle Sam

Chorus

We are all loyal klansmen . . .

Reflection Questions and Teaching Suggestions

The questions and activities below are intended to build an understanding of the role the Klan played in the 1920s in shaping attitudes about immigration, encourage reflection on the way that Klan sought to promote their ideas as well as consider why so many people found their racist ideas appealing.

Consider using the following thinking routines to frame a close read of the document itself:

Consider using the following thinking routines to encourage reflection and communication about the resource including the perspectives and insights that students bring to the document and take away from their close read. Recognizing that not all of us bring the same perspective and experiences to a study of anti-immigrant racism and its influence on policy, it is extremely important to encourage thoughtful communication across differences. You might begin by either reinforcing any contract you have set up for communication or creating one now. The following routines might be helpful for creating respectful dialogue and reflection:

Lyrics source:

Danny O. Crew, Ku Klux Klan Sheet Music: An Illustrated Catalogue of Published Music, 1867-2002 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2003), 53, Indiana Collection, Indiana State Library.

Words by: Wm. Davis, Wm. M. Hart and Chas E. Downey. Music by E.M. McMahon. Published by: Chas. E. Downey, Wyano, Pennsylvania. Copyright: 1923. Key: B-Flat.