July 4, 2009

We’ll finish the temple of freedom, and make it capacious within

The song Lincoln and Liberty was recorded by American folk singer and activist Ronnie Gilbert in 1991 for the TV special and compilation album Songs of the Civil War.

"Songs are dangerous, songs are subversive and can change your life." [Ronnie Gilbert, on the effects of hearing Paul Robeson sing when she was 10.]

Lincoln and Liberty was written by New Hampshire's famous Hutchinson Family Singers, "ardent abolitionists," for the 1860 presidential election. Says Gilbert, "That song helped Lincoln win the presidency."

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

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

Come all you true friends of the nation
Attend to humanity's call
To aid in the slave's liberation
And roll on the liberty ball

We’ll finish the temple of freedom
And make it capacious within
That all who seek shelter may find it
Whatever the hue of their skin

Success to the old-fashioned doctrine
That men are created all free
And down with the power of the despot
Wherever his stronghold may be!

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