The Lincoln Penny

The Lincoln Penny is the final song from Elie Siegmeister's song cycle American legends: six songs for voice and piano and sets Alfred Kreymborg's poem "Down in Kentucky" to music.

Date: 1947Composer: Elie SiegmeisterSong Collection: American legends: six songs for voice and piano

Print vitals & song text


“Down in Kentucky”

by Alfred Kreymborg


Down in Kentucky, 

Once a lad was born.

Grew like all the tall grass

And outgrew the corn;

Grew among his people

Near a common stream

That led him on to Springfield

Where he had a dream.

Saw a cloud of troubles

With his steady eye;

Felt the land of brotherhood

Warring bye and bye

No one heard the thunder;

When the storm began

Lincoln rose as tall as

Heav’n and saw the hope of man.


Lincoln loved the plain things,

Lincoln shunned all fame,

Was the one we turned to,

Put aboard a train;

Old silk hat and and shiny suit,

Looming in the sun

Took the seat, the humble seat,

Bound for Washington.

When the mighty fellow

Had to run the fight,

Torn between the North and South

To set the Union right,

He was called to Gettysburg;

The dead could hear him say

Something ‘bout “the people” that’s good down to this day!


Now when you see a penny,

Look at Lincoln’s face!

See how round and round again,

Lincoln saved the race!

Look at that small penny,

Hold it close to you

And if you ever lose your way,

Abe will lead you through, 


Abe will come along with you.

Sheet Music

The Lincoln Penny

Composer(s): Siegmeister

Voice Type: Medium Voice

View via Lincoln Collection

Support us and help us grow

Dear friends, Thank you for helping us build a comprehensive online archive of American song. Your gift is greatly appreciated.