Emceeing: 7/5/13 script, Barbershoppers at Marin County (CA) Fair

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(1) Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was our country’s birthday, and today we want to help you celebrate it 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 from other countries or other states? Raise your hand, then shout it out. Great! Welcome to the all of you, and to our California neighbors too.

Paradoxically, our director today, Dr. Paul Wren, is from Oxford, England, an island from whom our independence was surprisingly wrenched a long time back. So is our treasure, Mike Vaughn, a transplant from The Olde Sod. Despite that, they are great singers. You’ll hear in our opening number, at this Marin County Fair, that we’re all red-white-and-blue all the way through today:

* America the Beautiful *

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(2) George III was the King of England when we broke away. He described us as ants, because he said we lived in colonies.

And when we won the War of Independence, one of his subjects asked him what he thought of the new American colonists. He said we were revolting!

Another subject asked him if he had heard of the Liberty Bell, and he said, “Liberty Bell? That cracks me up!”

How about two songs to help you forget that revolutionary Tory wit?

The first is “I Don’t Know Why…”, and the second, one of our favorites, “Today…”

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(3) You folks have heard of Ben Franklin, right. He was real smart, and very rich. In fact his face appears on the $100 bill, I’m told.

But I bet you don’t know what happens when you take those bills and weave them into a wreath. You know what you get? Aretha Franklin!

If you know of Ben Franklin, I bet you’ve heard about the next lass too. Her name is Mary Lou.

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(4) You probably wouldn’t believe it to look at us, but we’re almost all married, so we want to sing a sweet love song to our long-suffering wives, who let us loose every Monday night to practice—and, of course, for all of you women here today…

* When There’s Love at Home *

(5) I was talking about practicing on Monday nights from 7:30-10 at the First Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo. I see a lot of you guys out there humming and moving your lips. We’d like to have you up here on stage with us next year. There will be information fliers on the stage when we finish. Come and join us. If you do, you too can have your own stunning red shirt!

Would you like to hear a quartet? Let me introduce the “Bits and Pieces,” composed of Paul Wren, lead; Glenn Langdon, bass; Dr. Jon Goerke, baritone, and Norm Reynolds, tenor.

They will sing, “Turn Your Radio On…” and “Darkness on the Delta”
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(6) Have you folks had a chance to look into the water in the lagoon a couple of hundred yards that way?

If you pay close attention you can hear the ducks talking away.

The ducks have to survive four huge fireworks displays every year, so the breed is quite different. When they talk to each other their most common word is “bang.” You know why? Because they’ve become firequackers.

You know the difference between a duck and George Washington? One has a bill on his face and the other has his face on a bill!

How about two more songs, one about getting old, the other about being in love?
“When I’m 64” and “Nevertheless.”

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(7) Our group has been haunting these hills for 60 years. Yesterday we had the honor of singing the July 4 anthem at the Pacifics baseball game, and a couple more songs during the 7th inning stretch. And on November 3 we will present our annual show in the Showcase Theater, right there for the first 320 people who show up! That’s a Sunday afternoon, and, again, there’s information about that too here on the stage.

Here’s a song from that show. Hoagy Carmichael’s “Up a Lazy River…”

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(8) Have you tried the fair food? That’s about right: the food is fair—but I didn’t know how much of it is patriotic.

They sell patriotic pickles. They are red, white, blue, and green.

You can get the same tea the colonists drank. Liber-tea.

And Thomas Jefferson’s favorite desert: Monti-jello.

You know the best food here was also the patriot’s favorite food in the Revolutionary War: Chicken Catch–a-Tory.

Would you ladies mind if we called you sweetheart? Paul…

Sing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”
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(9) Imagine that! You see this young lad here? He’s wearing the very same thing the colonists wore at the Boston Tea Party… a t-shirt.

I mentioned last year that three famous Amerians died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. For them, a day late, and for those who have died on battlefields for us ever since, and those 19 forest firemen in Arizona a few days back—and for all of you who lost a loved one recently, here’s a beautiful song that conveys our condolences.

* I Believe *

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(10) In response to your clamor for more side-splitting patriotic jokes, one encore.

If you were going to have your choir sing in the jungle on the Fourth, do you know a march you should include? Tarzan stripes forever!

I know, there’s never enough time for guffawing. But we must leave you, so let’s sing two songs we all know.

Before closing, let’s give a parting hand to today’s quartet—you singers want to raise your hands? And our gratitude to today’s director, Paul Wren. And, finally, to the Marin Golden Gate Barbershop Chorus…

You’ve been a grand audience. We hope we’ve helped you have a fun fair.

How about * God Bless America,* then join us in our final tribute to the Fifth of July, a song that always brings our listeners to their feet! * The Star Spangled Banner *

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