Sheet Music from May. 1, 1865

Lincoln's requiem

  • Full Title

    Lincoln's requiem

  • Description

    Lincoln's requiem was composed for chorus (mixed voices, 4 parts) and piano. Associated with the Union side, the song mourns President Lincoln's death and praises his legacy as an advocate for freedom and liberty. The lyrics consist of five verses and a refrain. Part of the Library of Congress Civil War Sheet Music Collection.

  • Transcription

    Verse:
    Dead! dead! how swift the dire news flies,
    And wakes a nation's agonies!
    From town to town, from mouth to mouth
    Swift spreads the dreaded message forth;
    In lowly cot, in lordly hall,
    This grief enshrouds and covers all.
    And on the breast drops ev'ry head,
    In sorrow for the noble dead.

    Chorus:
    Oh, weep for fallen greatness! weep!
    Let tears express our woes;
    But while our Lincoln's soul doth sleep,
    Brave men strike down his foes!

    Verse:
    Dead! dead! but not as warriors die,
    He fell not shouting battle cry--
    Not in the open light of heavn'--
    Not in his home his soul was risen--
    Not on the plain where hand to hand
    The brave cross blade with foemen's brand,
    But where the waves of pleasure flow,
    Death aim'd his shaft thro' secret foe. [Chorus]

    Verse:
    Dead! dead! and now when hopes were high,
    And wars dread curse was passing by,
    When traitors had their madness stay'd,
    And hero hands sheathed vegeful blade,
    When homes and hearthstones gleamd afar,
    To manly hearts grown tired of war,
    And long wooed peace had left the sky,
    It was no time for him to die. [Chorus]

    Verse:
    Dead! dead! and when the millions free
    Sent up their shouts of liberty,
    When from the depths of bondage wrung,
    Sweet freedoms song, by freedmen sung,
    When million hearts their thanks out pour'd
    And angel ears in pleasure heard,
    When words his hand has trac'd live on
    It is not meet to mourn him gone. [Chorus]

    Verse:
    Dead! dead! and has he died in vain?
    Shall we in lethargy remain?
    His years of patriot toil forget
    Shall unavenged his life sun set?
    No! for this blow in treach'ry given,
    The smoke of strife shall rise to heav'n,
    And 'till our flag in triumph waves
    His foes and ours find bloody graves! [Chorus]

  • Source

    Library of Congress Classification M1640.B

  • Rights

    Public Domain. Suggested credit: Civil War Sheet Music Collection, Library of Congress, Music Division.

  • Tags

  • Cite this Item

    Butterfield, J. A. (composer); Boynton, Irene (lyricist). "Lincoln's requiem". Chicago: H. M. Higgins, 1865. Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed March 23, 2019. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/1021