Wilkes Booth came to Washington, an actor great was he He played at Ford's Theater, and Lincoln went to see It was early in April, not many weeks ago The people of this fair city all gathered at the show The war it is over, the people happy now And Abraham Lincoln arose to make his bow The people cheer him wildly, arising to their feet And Lincoln waving of his hand, he calmly takes his seat And while he sees the play go on, his thoughts are running deep His darling wife, close by his side, has fallen fast asleep From the box there hangs a flag, it is not the Stars and Bars The flag there holds within its folds bright gleaming Stripes and Stars J. Wilkes Booth moves down the aisle he had measured once before He passes Lincoln's bodyguard a-nodding at the door He holds a dagger in his right hand, a pistol in his left He shoots poor Lincoln in the temple, and sends his soul to rest The wife awakes from slumber, and screams all in her rage Booth jumps over the railing, and lands him on the stage He'll rue the day, he'll rue the hour, as God him life shall give When Booth stood in the center stage, crying "Tyrants shall not live!" The people all excited then, cried everyone "A hand!" And cried all the people "For God's sake, save that man!" Then Booth ran back with boot and spur across the back stage floor He mounts that trusty claybank mare all saddled at the door J. Wilkes Booth in his last play, all dressed in broadcloth deep He gallops down the alleyway, I hear those horse's feet Poor Lincoln then was heard to say, ere he has gone to rest "Of all the actors in this town, I loved Wilkes Booth the best"
recording: Bascom Lamar Lunsford [Library of Congress]
liner notes: Assassination of Presidents [Library of Congress]
notes: details of Lincoln's assassination [The Weekly View]
notes: photo of John Wilkes Booth as Mark Antony with his brothers as Brutus and Cassius [Wikipedia]