Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Our Abe Lincoln (A Singable Book)

Posted on: January 1, 2010

I’m trying to stay calm, but serendipitously finding a Singable Book is very exciting!  My son and I went to see “A Christmas Carol” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC this afternoon (with Mrs. Fezziwig and Scrooge’s Irish accented housekeeper wonderfully played by my dear friend Judy Simmons…the whole production was absolutely fantastic!).

In the Ford’s Theatre gift shop was this:


Our Abe Lincoln
Traditional Tune, Sing to the tune of “The Old Gray Mare
Words Adapted by Jim Aylesworth
Illustrated by Barbara McClintock

The book is laid out as if a group of kids were  putting on a school play about Abe Lincoln (with children playing most the parts).  Each page/verse (sung to the tune of “The Old Gray Mare”) depicts a chapter or scene from Abe Lincoln’s life.

An educator could use the book as inspiration for a school pageant to mark President’s Day or a section on the life and times of Lincoln.

An overachiever, “Our Abe Lincoln” also includes an index of terms (printed in the back) printed music (on the inside bindings), and a recipe for vanilla almond cake that was made by Mary Todd Lincoln (printed on the back).

The author has adapted a song, also sung to the tune of “The Old Grey Mare,” that was sung during Abe Lincoln’s presidential campaign.  I found the original words to the song “Old Abe Lincoln Came Out of the Wilderness” on a few sites online (this found on http://mariah.stonemarche.org/livhis/oldabelincoln.htm):

Old Abe Lincoln came out of the wilderness,
Out of the wilderness,
Out of the wilderness,
Old Abe Lincoln came out of the wilderness,
Many long years ago.

chorus:
Many long years ago,
Many long years ago,
Old Abe Lincoln came out of the wilderness,
Many long years ago.

Old Jeff Davis tore down the government,
Tore down the government,
Tore down the government,
Old Jeff Davis tore down the government,
Many long years ago.

chorus:

But old Abe Lincoln built up a better one,
Built up a better one,
Built up a better one,
Old Abe Lincoln built up a better one,
Many long years ago.

chorus:

The song “Old Abe Lincoln Came Out of the Wilderness” can be found in the book:
Mel Bay Presents Ballads and Songs of the Civil War

By Jerry Silverman

**********************
OUR ABE LINCOLN
Words Adapted by Jim Aylesworth from a genuine/original campaign song for Abraham Lincoln
Sing to the tune of “Old Gray Mare”

Babe Abe Lincoln was born in the wilderness
Born in the wilderness
Born in the wilderness
Babe Abe Lincoln was born in the wilderness
Many long years ago.

Boy Abe Lincoln lived rough with his family
Rough with his family
Rough with his family
Boy Abe Lincoln lived rough with his family
Many cold snows ago.

Smart Abe Lincoln read late by the firelight
Late by the firelight
Late by the firelight
Smart Abe Lincoln read late by the firelight
Many dark nights ago.

Strong Abe Lincoln fell oaks with a mighty axe
Oaks with a mighty axe
Oaks with a mighty axe
Strong Abe Lincoln fell oaks with a mighty axe
Many split rails ago.

True Abe Lincoln was praised for his honesty
Praised for his honesty
Praised for his honesty
True Abe Lincoln was praised for his honesty
Many good deeds ago.

Tall Abe Lincoln made friends there in Illinois
Friends there in Illinois
Friends there in Illinois
Tall Abe Lincoln made friends there in Illinois
Many glad times ago.

Friend Abe Lincoln got sent off to Washington
Sent off to Washington
Sent off to Washington
Friend Abe Lincoln got sent off to Washington
Many campaigns ago.

Kind Abe Lincoln then led as the president
Led as the president
Led as the president
Kind Abe Lincoln then led as the president
Many cruel days ago.

Wise Abe Lincoln said, “No More!” to slavery
“No More!” to slavery
“No More!” to slavery
Wise Abe Lincoln said, “No More!” to slavery
Many brave days ago.

Sad Abe Lincoln spoke grand words at Gettysburg
Grand words at Gettysburg
Grand words at Gettysburg
Sad Abe Lincoln spoke grand words at Gettysburg
Many lost souls ago.

Great Abe Lincoln died hard for his noble deeds
Hard for his noble deeds
Hard for his noble deeds
Great Abe Lincoln died hard for his noble deeds
Many sad tears ago.

Our Abe Lincoln came out of the wilderness
Out of the wilderness
Out of the wilderness
Our Abe Lincoln came out of the wilderness
many proud years ago.

**********************

“Our Abe Lincoln” is a delightful, useful and educational book and I can’t wait to share it with a gathering of kids.  A fun way to introduce the subject, life, and work of our great 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.

**********************
Addendum, 3/10/2014

NPRs Weekend Edition’s (02/07/2007) tribute to The Great Emancipator, that includes an audio clip of this song:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100377337

**********************
Related Posts

*
ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Abraham Lincoln in Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/abraham-lincoln-in-singable-picture-books/

*
The Gettysburg Address, a Great Speech and a Singable Picture Book

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/the-gettysburg-address-a-great-speech-and-a-singable-picture-book/

*
A study of the song “The Old Gray Mare,” here:

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/%e2%80%9cread-sing-play-abc-sing-along%e2%80%9d-a-singable-book-letter-n-tune-of-%e2%80%9cthe-old-gray-mare%e2%80%9d/

*
FOURTH OF JULY AND OTHER HOLIDAYS CELEBRATING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND HER CITIZENS AND HISTORY
A list of Patriotic Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/a-patriotic-list-of-singable-books-for-july-4th/

*
NATIONAL PARKS (and PRAISE for National Park Rangers)
Singable Picture Books that illustrate songs with origins in locations of United States history which are in the care of the National Park Service
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/in-praise-of-national-park-rangers/

*
Girl Scouts Songs for Troop 2740 Songbook Resources Page
http://brownietroop2740.wordpress.com/girl-scouts-songs-troop-2740/

*
SINGABLE SITES IN WASHINGTON DC – HISTORY
A list of song titles with links to posts of songs that will enrich your experience, or are directly related to, historical locations in (or near) Washington, DC
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/singable-sites-in-washington-dc-history/

*
MUSICIAN BADGE with Mrs. G, Meeting Activities, for Girl Scout Juniors Troop 2740: HOW TO SING A SONG FOR PERFORMANCE OR JUST FOR FUN
http://brownietroop2740.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/musician-badge-with-mrs-g/

*
MUSICIAN BADGE with Mrs. G for Girl Scout Juniors Troop 2740, the Singable Hike in Washington, DC
http://brownietroop2740.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/musician-badge-with-mrs-g-the-singable-hike-in-washington-dc/

*
THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, a Patriotic Girl Scout Song for Troop 2740
http://brownietroop2740.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/the-gettysburg-address-a-patriotic-girl-scout-song-for-troop-2740/

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