Michael Daugherty:
Song Texts & Translations

Michael Daugherty

Among Grammy Award winning composer Michael Daugherty’s vocal works are his Letters From Lincoln (for baritone and orchestra) and his opera Jackie O.

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By Individual Song

Letter to Mrs. Bixby (Lincoln)

Music: Michael Daugherty (b. 1954)
Text: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
German Translation by Kathrin Brunner

I have been shown in the files of the War Department that you are the mother of five sons who have
died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a
loss so overwhelming.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only
the cherished memory of the loved and lost,
and the solemn pride
that must be yours to have laid so
costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln
Aus den Akten des Kriegsdepartements entnehme ich, dass Sie die Mutter von fünf Söhnen sind, die
auf dem Schlachtfeld starben.

Ich ahne, wie schwach jedes meiner Worte sein würde, wenn ich versuchte, Sie von Ihrem Kummer über diesen überwältigenden Verlust abzubringen.

Ich bete, dass unser Himmlischer Vater
den Schmerz Ihres Verlusts lindern möge und Ihnen nur die ehrenvolle Erinnerung an die geliebten und verlorenen Söhne übrig lasse, und den feierlichen Stolz,
den Sie empfinden müssen, wenn Sie ein so kostbares Opfer auf den Altar der Freiheit legen.

Hochachtungsvoll und mit Respekt,
Abraham Lincoln

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