Written by Aaron Copland (in his more accessible style), a fifteen minute, three-section work which embodies the great president's great spirit and philosophy.
The opening focuses on the austerity and grandeur of the myth that has grown up around this great president. The second theme follows, humanizing, connoting his upbringing in the midwest.
The last section features a narrator who quotes Lincoln and describes him. This is to be read simply, allowing the words speak for themselves. I place here the full text:
"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history" That is what he said - that is what Abraham Lincoln said.
"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance will spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility."
He was born in Kentucky, raised in Indiana, and lived in Illinois. And this is what he said - this is what Abe Lincoln said: " the dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we can save our country."
Standing erect, he was six feet, four inches tall. And this is what he said - he said "It is the eternal struggle between two principles - right and wrong, throughout the world. It is the same spirit which says, ’You toil and work and earn bread, and I'll eat it‘ no matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation, and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men, as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrranical principle."
Lincoln was a quiet man. Abe Lincoln was a quiet and a melancholy man. But when he spoke of democracy, this is what he said. He said: "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."
Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of these united states, is everlasting in the memory of his countrymen. For, on the battleground at Gettysburg, this is what he said. He said, "...that from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain --and that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."