Gettysburg Address
Lance Fialkoff: Musical Media for Education


This song is available on Musical Media for Education's Volume 1 and Teaching Guide.

This reading of the Gettysburg Address has appropriate background music.

       Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

       Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come together to dedicate a portion of that field as the final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do so.

       But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate--we can not consecrate--we can not hallow-this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us here to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


With each lesson, the Musical Media for Education, Volume I, CD and Teaching Guide includes:
    1) A lyric sheet, enabling students to follow the song more easily.
      2) Suggested lesson activities
      3) Lyrical Footnotes. The narrative footnotes enrich student understanding with supplemental information and supporting commentary. The footnotes also suggest additional teaching possibilities.

Suggested Activities

1) Themes of the Gettysburg Address
      Students should read the Gettysburg Address as they listen to the learning song. Ask students to identify two themes in Lincoln's speech and to explain the meaning of both themes in their own language. This serves as a nice set-up for lecture or discussion.

2) Importance of the Speech
      The Gettysburg Address is regarded as one of the most eloquent and important speeches in American history. Students should have the opportunity to assess the speech in terms of its historical significance. Why is it regarded as such a great speech? Asking whether students believe it to be "overrated" usually prompts thoughtful commentary. Play "Gettysburg Address" before their evaluation.

3) Quiet Reading First
      Some students will get more from this learning song if they quietly read the Gettysburg Address first. You may wish to provide them an opportunity to do so,perhaps as a homework assignment.


This song is available on Musical Media for Education's Volume 1 and Teaching Guide.

Many thanks to Musical Media for Education for permission to display these lyrics and lessons.
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