SCRIPT for 7/4/12 at Marin County Fair


(1) Happy Birthday!


It’s our country’s birthday today, and we want to help celebrate by singing some festive songs the barbershop way!


We are the Marin Golden Gate Barbershoppers—and I’m Gordon Burgett.


How many of you folks are Americans? Raise your hands up high! Great! Welcome to the all of you, and to our visitors too.


Paradoxically, our director today, Mr. Paul Wren, is from Oxford, England, an island from whom our independence was surprisingly wrenched. But today, as you will hear in our opening number, Paul is red-white-and-blue all the way through:


* America the Beautiful *



(2) Before we sing a stirring favorite, do you want to hear the absolute best patriotic joke ever told?


You know the story about little Georgie Washington who took a hatchet and cut down the cherry tree, then when his father asked if he had cut it down, he said yes, father, I can not tell a lie. Well, actually that was a lie because the whole thing never really happened. And he didn’t have wooden false teeth either, but they did contain ivory. But that’s not the super joke, just some historical tidbits worth a betting a beer on in a bar.


Here’s the joke. Get ready. Do you know where George Washington bought that hatchet? At the chopping mall.


* I Want a Girl *



(3) I could sense that some of you didn’t think that hatchet joke was the best patriotic joke ever told!


So here’s an even better one. Hold on to your seats.


You remember that one of the reasons our country fought for freedom was the Stamp Act.


You know the best thing about the Stamp Act?


That’s how we licked the British!


Here’s a sweet love song we particularly direct to our long-suffering wives, the honeybuns that let us loose every Monday night, sometimes to sing…


* I Don’t Know Why *



(4) I see lots of hardy men in our audience, some of you singing along and others humming with your lips closed. (That’s fine: some of our chorus members do that too!) We’d love to have you up here on stage next year. Join us! We practice every Monday night at the First Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo from 7:30-10. Come on over, let us welcome you, and if you find it as much fun as we do, we’ll help you get started…and you’ll also get your own stunning red shirt!


Our next song suggests that you should join us TODAY! It’s also our newest performing song—we think it’s ready go. Anyway, it’s so pretty we just had to share it.…


* Today *



How about some quartet music? Let’s ask Paul, Paul, Bill, and Ben, as well as a guest soloist, Paul Wren’s wife, Robin, to delight us with sing a song from The Music Man. Here are the Robinettes!


* Lida Rose *



(5) Should we continue our string of extraordinary patriotic jokes?


Do you know what you get if you cross George Washington with cattle feed?


The fodder of our country!


Some of you are shaking your head; you don’t think even that’s true. The next song doesn’t think so either. It says…


* You Were Only Foolin’ *



(6) Let us tell you musically why we’re particularly proud to sing at this great fair and how we feel about this great country:


* God Bless America *


(7) Did you know that while July 4 is our national birthday, it’s also the day that three very famous Americans died, two of them the same year, on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after they had both signed the Declaration of Independence. They were our second and third Presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams said on his death bed, “Jefferson survives…” But Jefferson had died a few hours earlier.


Five years later, the fifth President of the United State, James Monroe, also died on the Fourth of July. So for them and for everyone who has passed, famous or family, here’s a beautiful song that conveys our condolences.


* I Believe *



(8) It seems that today I’m picking on the Mother Country, and I don’t mean to.


Still, you have to wonder if a country that pays in pounds and measures in meters also has a Fourth of July? Do you think they have a Fourth of July in England?


Of course they do. It goes between the third and the fifth!


How about a song about something that’s fun to do anywhere anytime…?


* Walking My Baby Back Home *



(9) Let’s give the chorus another breather and ask the Beachcombers, a quartet composed of Bond, Ben. Dick, and Glen, to join our holiday musical parade. Gentlemen:


*Coney Island Babe*



(10-11) During the Revolutionary War Washington’s troops caught four of King George’s soldiers, but the Yanks had too little food to drag them along as prisoners. So they gave the four a pittance of victuals, put them on a raft, and pushed them out to sea.


The foursome said their names were Paddy Scotsman, Paddy Welshman, Paddy Irishman, and Paddy Englishman.


Many hours after the shoreline had disappeared and the food was gone, Paddy Scotsman got up, looked at the sharks, threw his hands in the air, shouted “This is for Scotland!” and he lept into the sea.


A while later, Paddy Welshman did the same thing, shouting “To the Glory of Wales!”


The two left on the raft kept their eyes on each other, until finally Paddy Irishman was overtaken by a burst of patriotism, shouted “Long Live Ireland!” and he tossed Paddy Englishman overboard!


After a joke that funny, you deserve two songs. Maestro:


* Accentuate the Positive *

* San Francisco *



(12) Last year a teenager asked me how long the members of the chorus had been singing barbershop music. From a teenager’s eyes I think he thought it was about 100 years. But let me ask my singing buddies: How many of you have been in a Barbershop chorus for more than five years? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? (Ask last hand up how many years had he been in a group. Share that with the audience.)


Again, let me remind the men in the audience to join us on Monday nights. We have some fact and reminder cards here on the front table to pick up, if interested, after the show is over…


Many of you know the next song, a long-time favorite  * Nevertheless *



(13) Alas, despite the clamor for more side-splitting patriotic jokes, it’s time for our closing song. You’ve been a grand audience. We hope you’re having a fun fair.


Let’s give a parting hand to both of today’s quartets—you guys want to raise your hands? And our gratitude to today’s director, Paddy Paul Wren. And, finally, to the Marin Golden Gate Barbershop Chorus…


In closing, please sing along with us in our final tribute to the Fourth, a song that always brings our listeners to their feet! 


* Star Spangled Banner *