A side note to provide a bit of added explanation – in case needed – as to why all the Hamilton lyrics post.
Love the musical. A
Saw it in San Francisco a couple years ago with my wife; she was so excited she saw it a second time the next weekend.
The music has played in our house since then. Our kids know some of the songs. I find myself listening over and over again. The songs are like a salve for my soul.
It seemed appropriate to capture some of the lyrics that are most meaningful to me in this blog, to further enshrine them.
And when better to do so than on 4th July weekend, as we celebrate 244 years of America; as our nation sits in a pandemic; as our immunities, our society take fresh aim at changing fundamental inequities within, injustice, police violence, systemic racism.
The great American Experiment continues. And “Hamilton” is high on the playlist.
[HAMILTON] A-After the war I went back to New York
[BURR] I finished up my studies and I practiced law
[HAMILTON] I practiced law, Burr worked next door [BURR] Even though we started at the very same time Alexander Hamilton began to climb How to account for his rise to the top? Maaaaan, the man is Non-stop!
[HAMILTON] Gentlemen of the jury, I’m curious, bear with me Are you aware that we’re making hist’ry? This is the first murder trial of our brand-new nation [HAMILTON] The liberty behind Deliberation-
[HAMILTON] I intend to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt With my assistant counsel-
[BURR] Co-counsel Hamilton, sit down Our client Levi Weeks is innocent. Call your first witness That’s all you had to say!
[HAMILTON] Okay! One more thing-
[BURR] Why do you assume you’re the smartest in the room? Why do you assume you’re the smartest in the room? Why do you assume you’re the smartest in the room? Soon that attitude may be your doom!
[ENSEMBLE] Awwww! [BURR] Why do you write like you’re running out of time? Write day and night like you’re running out of time? Ev’ry day you fight, like you’re running out of time
Keep on fighting. In the meantime- [ENSEMBLE] Why do you write like you’re running out of time?
Ev’ry day you fight, like you’re running out of time
[HAMILTON] Corruption’s such an old song that we can sing along in harmony And nowhere is it stronger than in Albany This colony’s economy’s increasingly stalling and [HAMILTON] Honestly, that’s why public service Seems to be calling me.
[BURR AND ENSEMBLE] He’s just Non-stop!
[HAMILTON] I practiced the law, I practic’ly perfected it I’ve seen injustice in the world and I’ve corrected it Now for a strong central democracy If not, then I’ll be Socrates [HAMILTON] Throwing verbal rocks At these mediocrities.
[BURR] Hamilton, at the Constitutional Convention:
[HAMILTON] I was chosen for the Constitutional Convention
[BURR] There as a New York junior delegate: [HAMILTON] Now what I’m going to say may sound indelicate…
[BURR] Goes and proposes his own form of government!
His own plan for a new form of government!
[BURR] Talks for six hours! The convention is listless!
[ENSEMBLE MAN] Bright young man…
[ANOTHER ENSEMBLE MAN] Yo, who the f is this? [BURR] Why do you always say what you believe? Why do you always say what you believe? Ev’ry proclamation guarantees free ammunition for your enemies!
[BURR AND MEN] Why do you write like it’s Going out of style? Write day and night like it’s Going out of style?
[COMPANY] Why do you always say what you believe?
[ALL WOMEN] Going out of style, hey!
Going out of style, hey!
[BURR AND COMPANY] Ev’ry day you fight like it’s Going out of style Do what you do
[HAMILTON] Aaron Burr, sir
[BURR] It’s the middle of the night
[HAMILTON] Can we confer, sir?
[BURR] Is this a legal matter?
HAMILTON Yes, and it’s important to me
[BURR] What do you need?
[HAMILTON] Burr, you’re a better lawyer than me
[HAMILTON] I know I talk too much, I’m abrasive You’re incredible in court. You’re succinct, persuasive My client needs a strong defense. You’re the solution
[BURR] Who’s your client?
[HAMILTON] The new U.S. Constitution?
[HAMILTON] Hear me out
[BURR] No way!
[HAMILTON] A series of essays, anonymously published Defending the document to the public
[BURR] No one will read it
[HAMILTON] I disagree
[BURR] And if it fails?
[HAMILTON] Burr, that’s why we need it
[BURR] The constitution’s a mess
[HAMILTON] So it needs amendments
[BURR] It’s full of contradictions
[HAMILTON] So is independence We have to start somewhere
[BURR] No. No way
[HAMILTON] You’re making a mistake
[BURR] Good night
[HAMILTON] Hey What are you waiting for? What do you stall for?
[HAMILTON] We won the war What was it all for? Do you support this constitution?
[BURR] Of course
[HAMILTON] Then defend it
[BURR] And what if you’re backing the wrong horse?
[HAMILTON] Burr, we studied and we fought and we killed For the notion of a nation we now get to build For once in your life, take a stand with pride I don’t understand how you stand to the side [BURR] I’ll keep all my plans Close to my chest
I’ll wait here and see Which way the wind Will blow I’m taking my time Watching the Afterbirth of a nation Watching the tension grow.
[ENSEMBLE] Wait for it, wait for It, wait…
Which way the wind Will blow I’m taking my time Watching the Afterbirth of a nation Watching the tension grow.
[ANGELICA] I am sailing off to London. I’m accompanied by someone Who always pays I have found a wealthy husband who will keep Me in comfort for all my days He is not a lot of fun, but there’s no one who Can match you for turn of phrase My Alexander
[ANGELICA] Don’t forget to write
[ELIZA] Look at where you are Look at where you started The fact that you’re alive is a miracle Just stay alive, that would be enough And if your wife could share a fraction of your time If I could grant you peace of mind Would that be enough?
[BURR] Alexander joins forces with James Madison and John Jay to write a series of essays defending the new United States Constitution, entitled The Federalist Papers. The plan was to write a total of twenty-five essays, the work divided evenly among the three men. In the end, they wrote eighty-five essays, in the span of six months. John Jay got sick after writing five. James Madison wrote twenty-nine. Hamilton wrote the other fifty-one! [BURR] How do you write like you’re Running out of time? Write day and night like you’re Running out of time?
[BURR AND MEN] Ev’ry day you fight Like you’re Running out of time Like you’re Running out of time Are you Running out of time? [ALL WOMEN] Running out of time?
Running out of time?
Running out of time
Running out of time
[FULL COMPANY (EXCEPT HAMILTON)] How do you write like tomorrow won’t arrive? How do you write like you need it to survive? How do you write ev’ry second you’re alive? Ev’ry second you’re alive? Ev’ry second you’re alive?
[WASHINGTON] They are asking me to lead I am doing the best I can To get the people that I need I’m asking you to be my right hand man
[HAMILTON] Treasury or State?
[WASHINGTON] I know it’s a lot to ask
[HAMILTON] Treasury or State?
[WASHINGTON] To leave behind the world you know…
[HAMILTON] Sir, do you want me to run the Treasury or State department?
[HAMILTON] Let’s go
[HAMILTON] I have to leave
[HAMILTON] Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now
[HAMILTON] They are asking me to lead
[ELIZA] Look around, isn’t this enough? [ANGELICA] He will never be satisfied He will never be satisfied
He will never be satisfied
Why do you fight like History has its eyes on you…
[HAMILTON] I am not throwin’ away my shot!
I am not throwin’ away my shot! I am Alexander Hamilton!
Hamilton’s bravery and leadership got General Washington’s attention; thus he became the general’s Right Hand Man. And then his charisma at a Winter’s Ball caught the eye of a certain Schuyler, and she was Helpless.
[WASHINGTON] Don’t get me wrong, you’re a young man, of great renown I know you stole British cannons when we were still downtown Nathaniel Green and Henry Knox wanted to hire you…
[HAMILTON] To be their Secretary? I don’t think so
[WASHINGTON] Why’re you upset?
[HAMILTON] I’m not-
[WASHINGTON] It’s alright, you want to fight, you’ve got a hunger I was just like you when I was younger Head full of fantasies of dyin’ like a martyr?
[WASHINGTON] Dying is easy, young man. Living is harder
[HAMILTON] Why are you telling me this?
[WASHINGTON] I’m being honest I’m working with a third of what our Congress has promised We are a powder keg about to explode I need someone like you to lighten the load. So?
[COMPANY (EXCEPT HAMILTON)] I am not throwin’ away my shot! I am not throwin’ away my shot! Ayo, I’m just like my country, I’m young Scrappy and hungry!
[HAMILTON] I am not throwing away my shot!
[WASHINGON AND COMPANY] We are outgunned, outmanned!
[HAMILTON] You need all the help you can get I have some friends. Laurens, Mulligan Marquis de Lafayette, okay, what else?
[WASHINGTON AND COMPANY] Outnumbered, outplanned!
[HAMILTON] We’ll need some spies on the inside Some King’s men who might let some things slide [HAMILTON] I’ll write to Congress and tell ‘em we need supplies, you rally the guys, master the element of surprise
I’ll rise above my station, organize your information, ‘til we rise to the occasion of our new nation. Sir!
[ENSEMBLE] Here comes the General!
[HAMILTON] Rise up!
[HAMILTON] Rise up!
[ENSEMBLE] Here comes the General!
[HAMILTON] Rise up! [COMPANY] Boom!
[ENSEMBLE] Here comes the General!
[SCHUYLER SISTERS] Rise up!
[SCHUYLER SISTERS AND WOMEN] Rise up! [ELIZA/ANGELICA/PEGGY] Whoa, whoa, whoa…
Whoa, whoa, whoa…
[ELIZA/ANGELICA/PEGGY AND WOMEN] Whoa, whoa, whoa…
[BURR] How does the bastard, orphan, son of a whore Go on and on Grow into more of a phenomenon? Watch this obnoxious, arrogant, loudmouth bother Be seated at the right hand of the father Washington hires Hamilton right on sight But Hamilton still wants to fight, not write Now Hamilton’s skill with a quill is undeniable But what do we have in common? We’re Reliable with the
[ALL MEN] Ladies!
[BURR] There are so many to deflower!
[ALL MEN] Ladies!
[BURR] Looks! Proximity to power
[ALL MEN] Ladies!
[BURR] They delighted and distracted him Martha Washington named her feral tomcat after him!
[HAMILTON] That’s true
[FULL COMPANY] 1780
[BURR] A winter’s ball And the Schuyler sisters are the envy of all Yo, if you can marry a sister, you’re rich, son
[HAMILTON] Is it a question of if, Burr, or which one?
[HAMILTON/BURR/LAURENS/ALL WOMEN (EXCEPT ELIZA)] Hey hey hey hey [ELIZA] Ohh, I do I do I do I Dooo! Hey! Ohh, I do I do I do I Dooo! Boy you got me [ALL WOMEN] Hey hey hey hey Hey hey hey hey Hey hey hey hey Hey hey hey
[ELIZA AND WOMEN] Helpless! Look into your eyes, and the sky’s the limit I’m helpless! Down for the count, and I’m drownin’ in ‘em
[ELIZA] I have never been the type to try and grab the spotlight We were at a revel with some rebels on a hot night Laughin’ at my sister as she’s dazzling the room Then you walked in and my heart went “Boom!” Tryin’ to catch your eye from the side of the ballroom Everybody’s dancin’ and the band’s top volume
[ELIZA AND WOMEN] Grind to the rhythm as we wine and dine [ELIZA] Grab my sister, and Whisper, “Yo, this One’s mine.”
My sister made her way across the room to you And I got nervous, thinking “What’s she gonna do?” She grabbed you by the arm, I’m thinkin’ “I’m through” Then you look back at me and suddenly I’m Helpless!
Oh, look at those eyes
Oh! Yeah, I’m Helpless, I know
I’m so into you I am so into you
I know I’m down for the count And I’m drownin’ in ‘em.
[ALL WOMEN] Oooh
Look into your eyes And the sky’s the limit I’m Helpless! Down for the count And I’m drownin’ in ‘em
Look into your eyes And the sky’s the limit I’m helpless!
Down for the count And I’m drownin’ in ‘em.
[HAMILTON] Where are you taking me?
[ANGELICA] I’m about to change your life
[HAMILTON] Then by all means, lead the way
[ELIZA] Elizabeth Schuyler. It’s a pleasure to meet you
[ANGELICA] My sister
[ELIZA] Thank you for all your service
[HAMILTON] If it takes fighting a war for us to meet, it will have been worth it
[ANGELICA] I’ll leave you to it
[ELIZA AND WOMEN] One week later
[ELIZA] I’m writin’ a letter nightly Now my life gets better, every letter that you write me Laughin’ at my sister, cuz she wants to form a harem
[ANGELICA] I’m just sayin’, if you really loved me, you would share him [ELIZA] Ha! Two weeks later In the living room stressin’ My father’s stone-faced While you’re asking for his blessin’ I’m dying inside, as You wine And dine And I’m tryin’ not to cry ‘cause there’s nothing that your mind can’t do My father makes his way across the room To you I panic for a second, thinking “we’re through” But then he shakes your hand and says “Be true” And you turn back to me, smiling, and I’m Helpless!
That boy is mine That boy is mine!
Helpless! Helpless! Down for the count And I’m drownin’ in em
[ALL WOMEN] Stressin’
Helpless! Look into your eyes And the sky’s the Limit I’m Helpless! Down for the count And I’m drownin’ in ‘em I’m Helpless!
Look into your eyes And the sky’s the Limit I’m Helpless! Down for the count And I’m drownin’ in em
[HAMILTON] Eliza, I don’t have a dollar to my name An acre of land, a troop to command, a dollop of fame All I have’s my honor, a tolerance for pain A couple of college credits and my top-notch brain Insane, your family brings out a different side of me Peggy confides in me, Angelica tried to take a bite of me No stress, my love for you is never in doubt We’ll get a little place in Harlem and we’ll figure it out I’ve been livin’ without a family since I was a child My father left, my mother died, I grew up buckwild But I’ll never forget my mother’s face, that was real And long as I’m alive, Eliza, swear to God You’ll never feel so…
I’ve never felt so-
My life is gon’ be fine cuz Eliza’s in it. [ELIZA] I do I do I do I do!
I do I do I do I do!
Hey, yeah, yeah!
I’m down for the count I’m-
I look into your eyes, and the sky’s the limit I’m
…drownin’ in ‘em. [ALL WOMEN] Helpless!
Down for the count And I’m drownin’ in ‘em
Down for the count And I’m drownin’ in ‘em.
Wedding march plays
[ALL WOMEN] In New York, you can be a new man… In New York, you can be a new man… In New York, you can be a new man…
[WASHINGTON] I was younger than you are now When I was given my first command I led my men straight into a massacre I witnessed their deaths firsthand I made every mistake I felt the shame rise in me And even now I lie awake [WASHINGTON] Knowing history has its eyes on me
[HAMILTON/WASHINGTON] History has its eyes on me. [LAURENS/MULLIGAN] Whoa… Whoa… Whoa… Yeah
[COMPANY] Whoa… Whoa… Whoa… Yeah
[WASHINGTON] Let me tell you what I wish I’d known When I was young and dreamed of glory: You have no control:
[WASHINGTON AND COMPANY] Who lives, who dies, who tells your story
[WASHINGTON] I know that we can win I know that greatness lies in you But remember from here on in [WASHINGTON/HAMILTON AND MEN] History has its Eyes on you.
[HAMILTON] How you say, no sweat We’re finally on the field. We’ve had quite a run
[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE] We get the job done
[HAMILTON] So what happens if we win?
[LAFAYETTE] I go back to France I bring freedom to my people if I’m given the chance
[HAMILTON] We’ll be with you when you do
[LAFAYETTE] Go lead your men
[HAMILTON] See you on the other side
[LAFAYETTE] ‘Til we meet again, let’s go!
[ENSEMBLE] I am not throwin’ away my shot! I am not throwin’ away my shot! Hey yo, I’m just like my country, I’m young Scrappy and hungry And I’m not throwin’ away my shot! I am not throwin’ away my shot!
[HAMILTON] ‘Til the world turns upside down…
[ENSEMBLE] ‘Til the world turns upside down!
[HAMILTON] I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory This is where it gets me: on my feet The enemy ahead of me If this is the end of me, at least I have a friend with me Weapon in my hand, a command, and my men with me Then I remember my Eliza’s expecting me… Not only that, my Eliza’s expecting We gotta go, gotta get the job done Gotta start a new nation, gotta meet my son! Take the bullets out your gun!
[HAMILTON] The bullets out your gun!
[HAMILTON] We move under cover and we move as one Through the night, we have one shot to live another day We cannot let a stray gunshot give us away We will fight up close, seize the moment and stay in it It’s either that or meet the business end of a bayonet The code word is ‘Rochambeau,’ dig me?
[HAMILTON] You have your orders now, go, man, go! And so the American experiment begins With my friends all scattered to the winds Laurens is in South Carolina, redefining brav’ry
[HAMILTON/LAURENS] We’ll never be free until we end slavery!
[HAMILTON] When we finally drive the British away Lafayette is there waiting-
[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE] In Chesapeake Bay!
[HAMILTON] How did we know that this plan would work? We had a spy on the inside. That’s right
[HAMILTON/COMPANY] Hercules Mulligan!
[MULLIGAN] A tailor spyin’ on the British government! I take their measurements, information and then I smuggle it
[MULLIGAN] To my brother’s revolutionary covenant I’m runnin’ with the Sons of Liberty and I am lovin’ it! See, that’s what happens when you up against the ruffians We in the shit now, somebody gotta shovel it! Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction When you knock me down I get the fuck back up again!
[HAMILTON] After a week of fighting, a young man in a red coat stands on a parapet
[LAFAYETTE] We lower our guns as he frantically waves a white handkerchief
[MULLIGAN] And just like that, it’s over. We tend to our wounded, we count our dead
[LAURENS] Black and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedom
[WASHINGTON] Not. Yet
[HAMILTON] We negotiate the terms of surrender I see George Washington smile We escort their men out of Yorktown They stagger home single file Tens of thousands of people flood the streets There are screams and church bells ringing And as our fallen foes retreat I hear the drinking song they’re singing…
[ALL MEN] The world turned upside down
[FULL COMPANY] The world turned upside down The world turned upside down The world turned upside down Down Down, down, down
[LAFAYETTE] Freedom for America, freedom for France!
[COMPANY] Down, down, down
[HAMILTON] Gotta start a new nation Gotta meet my son
[COMPANY] Down, down, down
[MULLIGAN] We won!
[LAFAYETTE] We won!
[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS] We won!
[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS/HAMILTON/WASHINGTON] We won!
I am not throwing away my shot!
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot!
I’m ‘a get a scholarship to King’s College
I prob’ly shouldn’t brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish
The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish
I gotta holler just to be heard
With every word, I drop knowledge!
I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal
Tryin’ to reach my goal. My power of speech: unimpeachable
Only nineteen but my mind is older
These New York City streets get colder, I shoulder
Ev’ry burden, ev’ry disadvantage
I have learned to manage, I don’t have a gun to brandish
I walk these streets famished
The plan is to fan this spark into a flame…
I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory When’s it gonna get me? In my sleep? Seven feet ahead of me? If I see it comin’, do I run or do I let it be? Is it like a beat without a melody? See, I never thought I’d live past twenty Where I come from some get half as many
Ask anybody why we livin’ fast and we laugh, reach for a flask We have to make this moment last, that’s plenty
Scratch that This is not a moment, it’s the movement Where all the hungriest brothers with Something to prove went? Foes oppose us, we take an honest stand We roll like Moses, claimin’ our promised land
And? If we win our independence? ‘Zat a guarantee of freedom for our descendants? Or will the blood we shed begin an endless Cycle of vengeance and death with no defendants? I know the action in the street is excitin’ But Jesus, between all the bleedin’ ‘n fightin’ I’ve been readin’ ‘n writin’
We need to handle our financial situation Are we a nation of states? What’s the state of our nation?
I’m past patiently waitin’. I’m passionately Smashin’ every expectation Every action’s an act of creation! I’m laughin’ in the face of casualties and sorrow For the first time, I’m thinkin’ past tomorrow
As we get ready for the Fourth of July tomorrow, we’re remembering a remarkable speech about Independence Day. In July of 1852 in Rochester, N.Y., a crowd of about 600 people gathered together in a hall. They’d been brought together by the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. Their guest speaker was Frederick Douglass. Douglass had been born enslaved. He’d secretly taught himself to read and write. He was a genius who became one of the best-known abolitionists and thinkers in the world. This speech that Douglass gave before that crowd in Rochester was called “What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?” Yale historian David Blight says it was one of the most riveting and compelling speeches Douglass ever gave.
DAVID BLIGHT: This speech is a symphony with three movements. First movement, he sets them at ease by honoring the Founding Fathers. He calls the Declaration of Independence the ring-bolt of American liberty. He calls the Fourth of July the American Passover. He sets them all at ease, but then he takes them through a litany of all the horrors of the slave trade, of the slave ships, of slave auction blocks. He takes that audience to the dark heart of what slavery really is.
And then that middle movement – he says, oh, be warned. Be warned. There is a horrible reptile coiled up at your nation’s heart. And then he ends. And the last movement of the speech, he says, your nation is still young. It is still malleable, changeable. It’s not quite too late. You might yet have a chance to save yourselves.
This speech is a rhetorical masterpiece. And its great theme is American secular and religious hypocrisy for the practice of slavery. And it is a great warning that if the country doesn’t find a way to face this problem, it will face tremendous disruption, tremendous violence. Today, it will remind people so much of the current crisis we’re in and this ever-lasting problem that we never quite are able to solve – the question of race.
KING: As you said, he doesn’t start this speech with a condemnation. He starts with a compliment. The Founding Fathers, he says, were great men. They were statesmen, patriots, heroes. Why does he begin that way?
BLIGHT: Well, he’s setting his audience in a safe place. Also, he meant what he said. He called the principles of the Declaration saving principles – equality, the natural rights tradition, popular sovereignty, which means a republican form of government, and the right of revolution. And he says, look, these were geniuses who created this republic out of the 18th century.
But then, of course, the rhetoric begins to shift. And in that middle of that speech, it is almost like a hailstorm. It’s like he’s raining down thunder and hail on his audience. And I have to believe some of them were squirming. And where you see it is how often he uses the pronouns you and your. It’s your nation. Your founders, your Declaration of Independence. You, your and you and your.
He’s separating himself already and says – I quote – “The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. The Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice. I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand, illuminated temple of liberty and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony.”
KING: Was this speech a gutsy move? Or because he was in front of a friendly audience, was it extraordinary but not particularly brave?
BLIGHT: It was a gutsy move. Even if you’re speaking to a crowd, essentially, of your like-minded friends, this is still a very poignant attack on anyone who considered themselves a patriotic American. What Douglass is really doing here is pointing to America’s creeds, its first principles. They are right there in the Declaration of Independence. He says, you know, you’ve got the document. The principles are terrific. It’s the practice that violates it all.
KING: Have you ever thought, having spent so much time thinking about Frederick Douglass, if he were alive today, what he’d be doing and what he might say in his speeches, in a speech like this one?
BLIGHT: (Laughter) This much we know about his character. He would never miss using a crisis when something shocking happened. He was a creature of words. He was a genius with language. Douglass would go to words and try first to explain to himself what he thought about it. Then he would go take it out to the public. As for the kind of crisis we’re having now, who knows what he would say?
But after 130-some years, he’d say, you know, I died in the late 19th century, and you all are still at this? For God’s sake. But he also – I think he tried to harness young people. He’d be out there trying to harness this energy. And he would be harnessing it and devoting. He always believed that, somehow, the right to vote was at the core of liberty. And he would be out there right now, trying to harness them into voting.
But what he would be seeing is what we’re all seeing, possibly the third great reckoning about this in our history. The first was the Civil War and Reconstruction. The second was the civil rights movement of the ’50s and ’60s. And now we’re probably having a third one – whatever we’re going to end up calling this. But he would be saying harness this now and try to get it right this time. And he’d warn us that the whole world is watching to see whether this thing called an American republic can really survive.
KING: Professor David Blight, author of the award-winning book “Frederick Douglass: Prophet Of Freedom.” Thank you so much for taking the time today.
BLIGHT: Thank you, Noel. It’s an honor.
KING: And on npr.org right you, you can watch an amazing short film featuring five young descendants of Frederick Douglass as they read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.
Burr: “How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten Spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?”