Monday, June 01, 2009

Lincoln Had a High, Thin, Shrill, "Reedy" Voice


Here's a bit of trivia for ya (I found it interesting): Abraham Lincoln, who would have been 200 years old on February 12th, possessed a voice much different from the usual stereotypical image that Americans usually hold, as we are told by "earwitnesses":
He had a thin tenor, or rather falsetto voice, almost as high-pitched as a boatswain's whistle.

. . . a frequent tendency to dwindle into a shrill and unpleasant sound.

His voice was not melodious; rather shrill and piercing, especially when it rose to its high treble in moments of great animation.

Lincoln's voice was not sonorous, and at times it rose to a high somewhat shrill key. In ordinary conversation his tones were agreeable, and his enunciation clear.

Lincoln's voice was, when he first began speaking, shrill, piping, squeaking, unpleasant . . . As Mr. Lincoln proceeded further along with his oration . . . he gently and gradually warmed up -- his . . . voice became harmonious, melodious -- musical, if you please.

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