Seven Score and Ten Years Ago

Gettysburg Address

John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

This is the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and I am reminded not only of the tremendous sacrifice and courage of those who fought there, but also of one of the best-known prose pieces ever written, and that is, of course, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Scholars have remarked on the ideals of sacrifice and loyalty articulated by the sixteenth President and have noted the influence of the King James Version of the Bible on Lincoln’s style there and elsewhere.

American composer Mark Hayes has set the speech to music, and the choral group I am a part of, the Manassas Chorale, sang it as a part of our spring concert in May. Here is a link to a performance earlier this year by another group which premiered the work, the Charlotte Chorale of Port Charlotte, Florida: