Ballad of America Volume 3: Songs in the Life of Abraham Lincoln

by Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band

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Songs in the Life of Abraham Lincoln celebrates the 16th president of the United States through the music he cherished. Abraham Lincoln was a man of remarkable determination, compassion, honesty, humor, and melancholy. Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band's traditional acoustic arrangements of his favorite folk and popular songs enable 21st century listeners to better understand the man himself and the times in which he lived.

This is the soundtrack to Abraham Lincoln's life.

Extensive liner notes tell his story while highlighting his personal relationship to each song:

•His mother's favorite Old World ballad
•A minstrel song that amused him as a young man
•A campaign song that helped him win the presidency
•A slave spiritual that fueled his compassion
•A Civil War song that was played on a piano in the White House by a general
•Sentimental songs that appealed to his melancholy nature

Songs in the Life of Abraham Lincoln is the third compact disc in Matthew Sabatella's acclaimed Ballad of America series. With vocals, guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass fiddle, mountain dulcimer, and a wealth of traditional folk songs, Ballad of America brings the story of the United States vividly to life. Through recordings, live performances, videos, blogs, and an extensive website that ties it all together, Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band inspire people and create connections between them and the people who came before.

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released February 12, 2009

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Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band Florida

With vocals, guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and bass fiddle, Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band bring to life music that is woven into the fabric of the United States: traditional folk songs, fiddle tunes, old-time country, bluegrass, Appalachian music, ragtime, blues, spirituals, railroad and cowboy songs, work songs, sea shanties, reels, breakdowns, ballads, and more. ... more

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Track Name: Barbara Allen
Was in the merry month of May
When flowers were a-bloomin'
Sweet William on his deathbed lay
For the love of Barbara Allen

Slowly, slowly she got up
And slowly she went nigh him
And all she said when she got there
"Young man, I think you're dying"

"O yes I'm sick and very low
And death is on me dwellin'
No better shall I ever be
If I don't get Barbara Allen"

"Don't you remember the other day
When you were in the tavern
You toasted all the ladies there
And slighted Barbara Allen"

"O yes, I remember the other day
When we were in the tavern
I toasted all the ladies there
Gave my love to Barbara Allen"

He turned his pale face to the wall
And death was on him dwellin'
" Adieu, adieu, my kind friends all
Be kind to Barbara Allen"

As she was walkin' through the fields
She heard the deathbells knelling
And every toll they seemed to say
"Hardhearted Barbara Allen"

"O mother, mother, make my bed
O make it long and narrow
Sweet William died for me today
I'll die for him tomorrow"

They buried Willie in the old churchyard
And Barbara there anigh him
And out of his grave grew a red, red rose
And out of hers a briar

They grew and grew in the old churchyard
Till they couldn't grow no higher
They lapped and tied in a true love's knot
The rose ran around the briar
Track Name: Old Sister Phoebe
Old Sister Phoebe, how happy were we
The day we sat under the juniper tree
The juniper tree, hi ho, hi ho!
The juniper tree, hi ho!

Place this had on your head, it will keep your head
And take a sweet kiss, it will do you no harm
But a great deal of good, I know, I know
A great deal of good, I know

Old Sister Phoebe, how happy were we
The day we sat under the juniper tree
Now around and around we go, we go
Around and around we go
Track Name: Old Dan Tucker
chorus:
So get out the way!
Get out the way!
Get out the way Old Dan Tucker
You're too late to come to supper

verses:
I came to town the other night
I heard the noise and saw the fight
The watchman was a-runnin' round
Cryin' Old Dan Tucker's come to town

Tucker is a nice old man
He used to ride our darby ram
He sent him whizzin' down the hill
If he hadn't got up he'd lay there still

Here's my razor in good order
Magnum bonum - I just bought her
Sheep shell oats, Tucker shell corn
I'll shave you soon as the water gets warm

Old Dan Tucker and I got drunk
He fell in the fire and kicked up a chunk
The charcoal got inside his shoe
Lord bless you honey how the ashes flew
Down the road foremost the stump
Master made me work the pump
I pumped so hard I broke the sucker
There was work for Old Dan Tucker

I went to town to buy some goods
I lost myself in a piece of woods
The night was dark I had to suffer
It froze the heel of Daniel Tucker

Tucker was a hardened sinner
He never said his grace at dinner
The old sow squealed, the pigs did squall
He hole hog with the tail and all
Track Name: Lincoln and Liberty
Hurrah for the choice of the nation
Our chieftain so brave and so true
We'll go for the great reformation
For Lincoln and liberty, too

We'll go for the son of Kentucky
The hero of Hoosierdom through
The pride of the Suckers, so lucky
For Lincoln and liberty, too

They'll find what by felling and mauling
Our rail-maker statesman can do
For the people are everywhere calling
For Lincoln and liberty, too

Then up with the banner so glorious
The star-spangled red, white and blue
We'll fight 'til our banner's victorious
For Lincoln and liberty, too

Our David's good sling is unerring
The Slavocrat's giant he slew
Then shout for the freedom preferring
For Lincoln and liberty, too

We'll go for the son of Kentucky
The hero of Hoosierdom through
The pride of the Suckers, so lucky
For Lincoln and liberty, too
Track Name: Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
chorus:

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory hallelujah!

verses:

Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down
Oh yes, Lord
Sometimes I'm almost to the ground
Oh yes, Lord

Now you may think that I don't know
Oh yes, Lord
But I've had my troubles here below
Oh yes, Lord

One day when I was walkin' along
Oh yes, Lord
The sky opened up and love come down
Oh yes, Lord

I never shall forget that day
Oh yes, Lord
When Jesus washed my sins away
Oh yes, Lord
Track Name: The Battle Cry of Freedom
chorus:

The Union forever
Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor
Up with the star
While we rally round the flag, boys
Rally once again
Shouting the battle cry of freedom

verses:

Oh, we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again
Shouting the battle cry of freedom
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain
Shouting the battle cry of freedom

We are springing to the call of our brothers gone before
Shouting the battle cry of freedom
And we'll fill the vacant ranks with a million freemen more
Shouting the battle cry of freedom

We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true, and brave
Shouting the battle cry of freedom
And although they may be poor not a man shall be a slave
Shouting the battle cry of freedom

So we're springing to the call from the East and from the West
Shouting the battle cry of freedom
And we'll hurl the Rebel crew from the land we love the best
Shouting the battle cry of freedom
Track Name: Tenting on the Old Camp Ground
chorus:

Many are the hearts that are weary tonight
Wishing for the war to cease
Many are the hearts that are looking for the right
To see the dawn of peace
Tenting tonight, tenting tonight, tenting on the old camp ground

verses:

We're tenting tonight on the old camp ground
Give us a song to cheer
Our weary hearts, a song of home
And friends we love so dear

We've been tenting tonight on the old camp ground
Thinking of days gone by
Of the loved ones at home that gave us the hand
And the tear that said "Goodbye"

We are tired of war on the old camp ground
Many are dead and gone
Of the brave and true who've left their homes
Others been wounded long

We've been fighting today on the old camp ground
Many are lying near
Some are dead and some are dying
Many are in tears
Track Name: Home Sweet Home
chorus:

Home! Home!
Sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home
There's no place like home

verses:

'Mid pleasures and palaces
Though I may roam
Be it ever so humble
There's no place like home

A charm from the sky
Seems to hallow us there
Which seek thro' the world
Is ne'er met with elsewhere

To thee, I'll return
O verburdened with care
The heart's dearest solace
W ill smile on me there

No more from that cottage
A gain I will roam
Be it ever so humble
There's no place like home
Track Name: Dixie's Land
chorus:

Oh, I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie land I'll take my stand
To live and die in Dixie
Away, away, away down south in Dixie
Away, away, away down south in Dixie

verses:

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton
Old times there are not forgotten
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

In Dixie land where I was born in
Early on one frosty mornin'
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

Old Missus marry Will, the weaver
William was a gay deceiver
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

But when he put his arm around her
He smiled as fierce as a forty pounder
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

His face was sharp as a butcher's cleaver
But that did not seem to grieve her
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

Old Missus acted the foolish part
And died for a man that broke her heart
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

Now here's a health to the next old Missus
And all the gals that want to kiss us
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

But if you want to drive away sorrow
Come and hear this song tomorrow
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land
Track Name: Twenty Years Ago
I've wandered to the village, Tom
I've sat beneath the tree
Upon the schoolhouse playing ground
Which sheltered you and me
But none were there to greet me, Tom
And few were left to know
That played with us upon the grass
Some twenty years ago

The grass is just as green, dear Tom
Barefooted boys at play
Were sporting just as we did then
With spirits just as gay
But the Master sleeps upon the hill
Which coated, o'er with snow
Afforded us a sliding place
Just twenty years ago

The river's running just as still
The willows on its side
Are larger than they were, dear Tom
The stream appears less wide
The grapevine swing is ruined now
Where once we played the beau
And swung our sweethearts "pretty girls"
Just twenty years ago

The spring that bubbled 'neath the hill
Close by the spreading beech
Is very low; 'twas once so high
That we could almost reach
And kneeling down to get a drink
Dear Tom, I started so
To see how much that I was changed
Since twenty years ago

Near by the spring, upon an elm
You know I cut your name
Your sweetheart's just beneath it, Tom
And you did mine the same
Some heartless wretch had peeled the bark
'Twas dying sure but slow
Just as that one, whose name was cut
Died twenty years ago

My lids have long been dry, dear Tom
But tears came in my eyes
I thought of her I loved so well
Those early-broken ties
I visited the old churchyard
And took some flowers to strew
Upon the graves of those we loved
Some twenty years ago

Some now are in the churchyard laid
Some sleep beneath the sea
But few are left of our old class
Excepting you and me
And when our time shall come, dear Tom
And we are called to go
I hope they'll lay us where we played
Just twenty years ago