Abraham Lincoln couldn't carry a tune himself, but he deeply loved music. His mother, in that lonely backwoods log cabin, would have sung beautiful lyrical ballads to him like Annie Laurie.
Lincoln had never attended an opera before coming to the White House, but soon became a great fan, attending the opera over thirty times during his term. He was criticized for doing so, but responded, "The truth is I must have a change of some sort or die."
One of his favorite operas was Gounod's Faust, which he watched four times. He especially loved the rousing Soldier's Chorus.
Certain songs would "mist his eyes and throw him into a fit of deep melancholy."
Lincoln's music friend from the Shenandoah Valley, Ward Lamon, once recalled: "Many a time, in the old days on the Illinois circuit, and often at the White House when he and I were alone, have I seen him in tears while I was rendering in my poor way that homely melody ['Twenty Years Ago']."
hEART OF lINCOLN
Lincoln's friend would often get Lincoln laughing by playing one of his favorite banjo songs, Blue Tail Fly.
The Faith of Lincoln
Lincoln's favorite hymn was How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours written by John Newton, the former slave ship captain who composed Amazing Grace.
Out of Africa
The Drinking Gourd referred to the Big Dipper in the sky, which gave directions to safe havens in the North.
Elijah P. Lovejoy Part I
Elijah P. Lovejoy Part II
William Lloyd Garrison
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Robert Gould Shaw
Song of the Slaves
Joel Chandler Harris
There has been much controversy surrounding Disney's Song of the South which is based on Joel Chandler Harris' folktales. Splash Mountain in Disneyland, built around the characters, will carry a new theme and the movie has been locked up in the Disney vaults for decades. Learning about why the movie was made and the different reactions to it can be a valuable learning experience if you are open to it. I am linking the final scene with the song Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah, which won the Academy Award for best song. Uncle Remus was portrayed as a warm-hearted storyteller, but some see his portrayal as racially offensive. It could spark a discussion with older children as to why the movie is seen as so controversial. I leave it to your discretion. Do keep in mind the movie takes place after the slaves have been emancipated. There is no slavery depicted in the movie.