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Gettysburg Address – Somewhat Revised

parodies of Lincoln's 1863 Gettysburg battlefield address

The Gettysburg Address – in the Modern Somatic of the Hip

[from "Lord Buckley Live: The Tales of Lord Buckley", Shambhala Lion Editions]

Milords and Miladies of the world of people
most restfully and most humbly
and with the deepest reverence
for the great and precious American Saint Abraham Lincoln.
I shall translate in the modern somatic of the hip,
this new zig-zag somatic,
his beloved Gettysburg Address.
Lincoln himself, a great lover of humor and beauty,
would understand and condone, I'm certain, this prelude to the Address.
Now let me hip you cats and kitties just how the scene went down.
Every cat that swings with the rhythm of love of life
has some certain cat that he digs more than he does the next cat.
Now, you see that cat over there by the tree?
Well he's a G.O.T. Washington cat.
He digs duckin' the flow an' stoppin' the woe.
But the cat next to him, he's a Benny Franklin cat.
He digs watchin' his cash and coolin' his stash.
And the cat right next to him with the feather in his hat,
he's an Eisenhower kiddie.
He digs Let's not play the fool an' lose the cool.
But dat pretty chick right next to him,
wid da violet eyes an' da crazy look,
she's a Sinatra chick.
She digs sweet rhythm swings the world.
But me – I'm a Lincoln cat.
I dig old sweet long lanky non-stop Abe.
Lanky Linc dey call da cat back in dem days.
Well Lanky Linc went to a speechafyin' one time
an' had a little MIS-understandin'.
Dere was an LP-type-talkin' cat named Eddy Everet,
an' dis here cat got up on de podium an' wailed away
an' beat on his chops for so long and so loud
that he shaved the place twenty-seven times,
rearranged it nine, and adjust it twice,
and da cat is still up dere beatin' on his chops,
and Lanky Linc is sittin' down in da bleachers
goofin' with his scratch pad,
tryin' to get somethin' down.
And he's gettin' somethin' down.
But, what he's gettin' down ain't movin' him.
But when dey called old Lanky Linc up to de podium
and he dug all dem cats and kiddies swingin' on the greensward,
great love look come on his Saint face,
and he put dis issue down to 'em, he say:
Four big hits an' seven licks ago,
our before-daddies swung forth upon dis sweet groovey land
a jumpin', wailin', stompin', swingin' new nation,
hip to the cool sweet groove of Liberty,
and solid sent upon the Ace lick dat all cats and kiddies,
red, white, or blue, is created level in front.
We are now hung with a king-size main-day Civil Drag,
soundin' whether dis nation, or any up there nation,
so hip and so solid sent, can stay with it all the way.
We have stomped out here to the hassle site
of some of the worst jazz blown in the entire issue:
We are here to turn on a small soil stash
of the before-mentioned hassle site
as a final sweet sod pad for those
who laid it down and left it there,
so that this jumpin' happy beat might blow forever-more.
And we all dig that this is the straightest lick.
But diggin' it harder from afar, we cannot mellow,
we cannot put down the stamp of the Lord on this sweet sod
because the strong non-stop studs,
both diggin' it and dug under it, who hassled here
have mellowed it with such a wild mad beat
that we can hear it, but we can't touch it.
Now the world cats will short dig nor long stash in their wigs
what we are beatin' our chops around here,
but it never can successively shade what they vanced here.
It is for us, the swingin', to pick up the dues
of these fine studs who cut out from here
and fly it through to Endsville.
It is hipper for us to be signifyin' to the glorious gig
that we can't miss with all these bulgin' eyes,
that from all these A-stamp studs we double our love kick, too,
that righteous line for which these hard cats sounded
the last nth bone of the beat of the bell.
That we here want it stuck up straight for all to dig
that these departed studs shall not have split in vain,
and that this nation under the great swingin' Lord
shall swing up a whopper of endless Mardi Gras,
and that the big law by you straights,
from you cats,
and for you kiddies,
shall not be scratched from the big race.
And there's why I'm a Lincoln cat.

Eisenhowerized Gettysburg Address

by Oliver Jensen [in Time Out for Good Reading VI, pp204-5, "Simple & Direct, A Rhetoric for Writers" by Jacques Barzun, Harper and Rowe]

I haven't checked these figures, but eighty-seven years ago, I think it was, a number of individuals organized a governmental set-up here in this country, I believe it covered certain Eastern areas, with this idea they were following-up, based on a sort of national independence arrangement, and the program that every individual is just as good as every other individual. Well, now, of course, we are dealing with this big difference of opinion, civil disturbance you might say, although I don't like to appear to take sides or name any individuals, and the point is naturally to check-up, by actual experience in the field, to see whether any government set-up with a basis like the one I was mentioning has any validity, and find-out whether that dedication by those early individuals will pay-off in the lasting values, and things of that kind.

Well, here we are, at the scene where one of these disturbances between different sides got going. We want to pay our tribute to those loved ones, those departed individuals who made the supreme sacrifice here on the basis of their opinions about how this thing ought to be handled. And I would say this. It is absolutely in the order to do this.

But if you look at the over-all picture of this, we can't pay any tribute we can't sanctify this area, you might say we can't hallow according to whatever individual creeds or faiths or sort of religious outlooks are involved, like I said about this particular area. It was those individuals themselves, including the enlisted men, very brave individuals, who have given this religious character to the area. The way I see it, the rest of the world will not remember any statements issued here, but will never forget how these men put their shoulders to the wheel, and carried this idea down the fairway.

Now frankly, our job, the living individuals' job here, is to pick-up the burden and sink the putt they made these big efforts here for. It is our job to get-on with the assignment and from these deceased fine individuals, to take extra inspiration, you could call it, for the same theories about the set-up for which they made such a big contribution. We have to make-up our minds right here and now, as I see it, that they didn't just make a dry-run here; and that all of us here, under God, that is, the God of our choice, shall beef-up this idea about freedom and liberty and those kinds of arrangements; and that government of all individuals, by all individuals, and for all the individuals, shall not pass-out of the world-picture.

The GettysBush Address

by Douglas G. McGrath [from The Shrub File, pp 11-12, "The New Republic" (31 August 1992)]

... he remembered that Lincoln once gave an address "that sure made him popular," so he adapted it. Sort of.

"Something like eighty-plus years ago, maybe even a splash on the upside of ninety – hey, we Bushes aren't much for dates, I mean I just, we just, history class was just before ball practice and sometimes, mind on the game, wasn't always involved in the date-retaining routine. Put it this way: a while back, our forefathers, after getting the stiff-arm, a total rebuff, from that George the Third crowd, came up with out here a totally new setup nation-and-human-rights-wise.

"You often hear me talk about – I always, I often – I often always tell Bar and the grands about – as well as everybody else and whoever and Bar, of course – about the family of nations. That's that thing we were trying to bring Saddam into by selling him advanced nuclear technology. And but back when our country here was just a little shaver – back, way back – that family of nations was a pretty rough group of – no G-7 group, I can sure – well, say it like this: you're talking about a Manson family kind of thing, if you know what I – where you, where people really had to use their elbows at that economic table if they wanted to get a piece of the new world pie. Each for his own and an eye for an eye kind of deal.

"Then we came along, not Bar and I exactly, but the whole U.S. Revolutionary War team – and so – and so we – and so this place was liberty-conceived and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal or whatever. Now we are a civil-war-wrapped-up kind of people, and we're being test – not by the Big Brown one down there in Panama and not, but not, and but not be that Butcher of Baghdad, no, but instead, and but instead, getting back to the test – we're testing whether that nation, the one I was talking about back up there a few lines up, check your transcripts, whether the nation, or for Heaven's Sake, any nation so thought-up the way we were – conceived if you want to use one of those marvelous Harvard Boutique verbs – can hang in there for the long haul without everybody heartburning around about it.

"And so now we're taking a meeting on a great battlefield of that war. Lost alot of kids. Even one kid is alot of kids and we lost alot more than one, whoever he was. Good kids, good, good young men and – not criticizing the kids, hey, no, not in a – no kid-criticizer, me. It's just alot of 'em couldn't keep their snorkels above water, war-wise. Couldn't do it. Had to die. But let's not churn around about it. Yeah, no. Let's be forward-lookers.

"Now, we have come to dedicate a chunk of this field up here over there as a place where they could hit-the-hay for the last time. It is altogether prudent that we do this. But in a larger sense – talking Big Picture now – we can't dedicate, we can't consummate, we can't – no, I mean, whoa, little doggies! No language maven am I! Meant to say can't consecrate – or even hallow this ground. Message: No ground-hallowing allowed! Let me help you with why. Those brave kids, the ones who are still living kids, and the others who took it in the neck or the heart or whatever and are thus now former kids, it's them or it's they who – well, punch it into your computers like this: it's they and them who have consummated this ground far above our poor power to add or unadd.

"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, unlike that Read My Lips thing that everybody still runs on the evening news show practically every two minutes practically. But it can never forget what those kids did before they got ripcorded. Instead, it is for us, the undead, to sign up, like a thousand points of – oh, better gun myself down on that one or that lady with the big hair from Texas will start chucking spears at me again.

"Let's flip it: What this country must do is unleash ourselves like a couple of pitbulls on the numero uno task remaining before us, and let me just, I'll just, I'll just tell you with laser-like specificity what it is: that from these previous living kids, we take increased stick-to-it-ness to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of, of, whatever you'd, you know. So, please, American people, we hear. Message received. Got it, wrote it on a little Post-It, look at it every day. And I give you the Bush word that those dead out there shall not have died in vain, and that this nation, the one I've been talking about for the last whatever it's been, that this country shall, under God, keep giving birth to that little baby named Freedom in the maternity ward that is the United States, without fear of being aborted or yanked out of its incubator.

"And – watch out! Here's where we unleash the catchy part – and that government of the people is it's – it's also traditionally in a by-the-and-for-the-people mode. And so that's, at this juncture, that's the way I visualize how to turn this deal into a real opportunity situation – end result: nobody's churning around about the aftermaths of it, so that this marvelous whatever you'd call it that we've got, shall not perish from the earth. Put in this way: I want to be the Of-the-For-the-and-By-the-People President."