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Lyr Req: Booth Shot Lincoln / Booth Killed Lincoln

voyager 28 Oct 01 - 07:48 AM
masato sakurai 28 Oct 01 - 09:35 AM
masato sakurai 29 Oct 01 - 07:12 AM
tremodt 29 Oct 01 - 06:21 PM
Lin in Kansas 29 Oct 01 - 11:02 PM
GUEST 02 Apr 19 - 09:51 PM
Bruce from Bathurst 02 Apr 19 - 10:13 PM
meself 03 Apr 19 - 01:02 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 03 Apr 19 - 10:24 AM
voyager 03 Apr 19 - 02:10 PM
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Subject: Booth Shot Lincoln
From: voyager
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 07:48 AM

At a concert last night I was browsing Irwin Silber's anthology of Civil War tunes. I was surprised to see the lyrics printed to the tune "Booth Shot Lincoln". This has tune has been a flatpicking favorite of mine for some time.

Anyone seen the lyrics on-line? Thanks.

voyager FSGW Ghetto Silver Spring, MD.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOOTH KILLED LINCOLN (Bascom L. Lunsford)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 09:35 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index has an entry:

Booth Killed Lincoln

DESCRIPTION: "Wiles Booth came to Washington, An actor great was he, He played at Ford's Theater And Lincoln went to see." Booth sneaks up on Lincoln and shoots him, then flees. The dying Lincoln says "'Of all the actors in this town, I loved Wilkes Booth the best'"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1958 (Burt)
KEYWORDS: death Civilwar homicide
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Apr 14, 1865 - John Wilkes Booth shoots Abraham Lincoln.
Apr 15, 1865 - Lincoln dies
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Burt, pp. 224-225, "(Booth Killed Lincoln)" (1 text)
Silber-CivWarFull, pp. 111-112, "Booth Killed Lincoln" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-CivWarAbbr, pp. 90-91, "Booth Killed Lincoln" (1 text, 1 tune)n

ALTERNATE TITLES:
Booth Shot Lincoln
NOTES [67 words]: Five days after Lee's surrender, John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865) entered Abraham Lincoln's box at Ford's Theatre and shot the President. Booth fled across the stage and, despite breaking his leg, escaped. Eventually he and his fellow conspirators were caught; Booth died when the barn in which he was hiding took fire. Most of the other conspirators were sentenced to death or long imprisonment. - RBW, (PJS)
Last updated in version 3.2
File: SCW90

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Recordings listed in Folk Music Index are:

Booth Shot Lincoln
1. Boiled Buzzards. Fine Dining, Marimac 9043, Cas (1991), cut#A.06
2. Falderal String Band. Step Right Up... Free Show Tonight!, Hen House, Cas (1996), cut#A.08
3. Gellert, Dan; and Shoofly. Forked Deer, Marimac 9000, Cas (1986), cut#A.04a
4. Skirtlifters. Somewhere in Dixie, Skirtlifters, Cas (1987), cut#B.04

The song, however, was recorded earlier than Silber (1962). Olive Woolley Burt, American Murder Ballads and Their Stories (Oxford UP, 1958, pp. 224-225) gives the following comment and the lyrics (without tune):

Although it would seem that the assassination of President Lincoln would have been a popular subject for the ballad makers, I have never come across a person who knew such a song. The Library of Congress, however, has one, recorded in the Music Division's Archive of Folk Song. It was sung by Bascom Lamar Lunsford of South Turkey Creek, Leicester, Buncomb County, North Carolina. Mr. Lunsford, who described the air as an old fiddle tune, as a small boy heard his father hum it and sing a few stanzas. He said the title was 'Booth' or 'Booth Killed Lincoln.'

Wilkes Booth came to Washington, an actor great was he,
He played at Ford's Theater, and Lincoln went to see;
It was in early April, not many weeks ago,
The people of this fair city all gathered at the show.

The war it is all over, the people happy now,
And Abraham Lincoln arose to make his bow;
The people cheer him wildly, arising to their feet,
And Lincoln waving of his hand, he calmly takes his seat.

And while he sees the play go on, his thoughts are running deep,
His darling wife, close by his side, has fallen fast asleep;
From the box there hangs a flag, it is not the Stars and Bars,
The flag that holds within its folds bright gleaming Stripes and Stars.

J. Wilkes Booth he moves down the aisle, he had measured once before,
He passes Lincoln's bodyguard a-nodding at the door;
He holds a dagger in his right hand, a pistol in his left,
He shoots poor Lincoln in the temple, and sends his soul to rest.

The wife awakes from slumber, and screams in her rage,
Booth jumps over the railing, and lands him on the stage;
He'll rue the day, he'll rue the hour, as God him life shall give,
When Booth stood in the center stage, crying, 'Tyrants shall not live!'

The people all excited then, cried everyone, 'A hand!'
Cried all the people near, 'For God's sake, save that man!'
Then Booth ran back with boot and spur across the back stage floor,
He mounts that trusty claybank mare, all saddled at the door.

J. Wilkes Booth, in his last play, all dressed in broadcloth deep,
He gallops down the alleyway, I hear those horses feet;
Poor Lincoln then was heard to say, and all has gone to rest,
'Of all the actors in this town, I loved Wilkes Booth the best.'

The Lunsford version (without accompaniment) of "Booth Killed Lincoln", recorded in 1949, is now available, with the fiddle tune version also played by Lunsford separately, from Various Artists, Songs and Ballads of American History and of the Assassination of Presidents (Rounder CD 1509).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Booth Shot Lincoln
From: masato sakurai
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 07:12 AM

This has been discussed in the previous thread with info from The Fiddler's Companion.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Booth Shot Lincoln
From: tremodt
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 06:21 PM

history has prooved that Lincoln was a woman he was shot in the box, wasn't he?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Booth Shot Lincoln
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 11:02 PM

There are quite a few at the Library of Congress Special Collection "We'll Sing to Abe Our Song: Sheet Music about Lincoln, Emancipation, and the Civil War."

Lin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Booth Shot Lincoln
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 19 - 09:51 PM

I play the tune Booth Shot Lincoln on the mandolin. From my perspective, the lyrics by Uncle Earl do not convey the mood of the tune. I would say that the tune is joyous, and that wherever it came from (probably in the South somewhere) people were rejoicing that Booth Shot Lincoln. The tune is upbeat and joyous, and the lyrics are sad. When where these lyrics written, and who is Uncle Earl, please?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Booth Shot Lincoln
From: Bruce from Bathurst
Date: 02 Apr 19 - 10:13 PM

Here's the Uncle Earl website.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Booth Shot Lincoln
From: meself
Date: 03 Apr 19 - 01:02 AM

"It was sung by Bascom Lamar Lunsford of South Turkey Creek, Leicester, Buncomb County, North Carolina. Mr. Lunsford, who described the air as an old fiddle tune, as a small boy heard his father hum it and sing a few stanzas."

It is surprising, then, to be presented with what seems a complete set of lyrics, in seven stanzas. Were these Luford's lyrics, and if so, is it likely that he himself completed the song from the 'few stanzas' his father sung?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Booth Shot Lincoln
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 03 Apr 19 - 10:24 AM

'All the people in this town,
They did weep and they did frown;
When they heard the news come down
That Booth shot Lincoln dead.'

Fragment from Dan Tate, Fancy Gap, VA. Dan's tune was similar to that played by Marcus Martin of Swannanoa, NC, which can be heard on the Field Recorder's Collective CD 'Marcus Martin: Recordings from the Collection of Peter Hoover'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Booth Shot Lincoln
From: voyager
Date: 03 Apr 19 - 02:10 PM

The Irony of History (Edwin Booth and Robert Todd Lincoln)


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