Since we’ve received many requests for completed Barbershop scripts, as formats or models for similar club or organization presentations, here is the July 4, 2014, program at the Marin County (California) Fair.
(The live rendition is on You Tube, though the sound capture is fairly poor, being an outside show [in a tent] and surrounded by other live activities, including a giant, musical Ferris Wheel about 150 feet away.)
4th of JULY SCRIPT (2014)
To start the program the group sang “AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL.”
Welcome to our country’s birthday party, Marin County style!
We are the Marin Golden Gate Barbershop Chorus, our director today is Mr. Paul Wren, and I’m Gordon Burgett.
It’s an honor to be invited back, for many years now, to the Ben and Jerry’s Stage on the festive Fourth. We are delighted to see so many of you here today. We’re going to offer a wide selection of American music this sunny Friday, much of it patriotic, plus folk songs and Broadway classics.
Let’s start with a 1957 song by Ricky Nelson: “HELLO, MARY LOU”:
Since we’re on a love-song roll, how about two more songs that have survived the ages.? The first is “I’M GONNA SIT RIGHT DOWN AND WRITE MYSELF A LETTER,” followed by “I DON’T KNOW WHY I LOVE YOU LIKE I DO…”
If you don’t mind, let me point out something sort of odd. (Point at a kid in the audience.) Would you do me a favor? Your name? Would you stand up and look at the audience. Can it be a coincidence that, in our audience today, ____ is wearing the very same thing that the colonists wore at the Boston Tea Party… a t-shirt. Thank you, _____.
Let’s hear a patriotic favorite written three or four times by Irving Berlin, who died a short while ago at the age of 101. He wrote the first version of this song in 1918 when he was serving in WWI, and he rewrote it again in 1938. Here’s the rendition sung for years by Kate Smith: “GOD BLESS AMERICA!”
Our next song was made popular by Nat King Cole, the Mills Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, and maybe a dozen more. It’s called “NEVERTHELESS.”
You’re a great audience. Would you like to know how barbershopping differs from other chorale or group singing? Let’s ask Paul, who flew in all the way from England to make us sing, how that works. Then Paul will show how the 4-part melodic blend sounds in another favorite oldie, “CONEY ISLAND BABE….”
[The demonstration, involving four soloists and the chorus, used the song “MY WILD IRISH ROSE.”]
There’s also the less frolicksome side of the Fourth of July. Of course we remember and hail our country’s independence, but also we can’t forget, sadly, the many lives lost to win and preserve a more just and a better way of life. It’s somewhat paradoxical that three famous Americans who symbolize and helped define that freedom actually died on the Fourth of July: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (on the same day) and James Monroe. For them, and for the thousands more lost on battlefields and at home protecting our liberty, and for all of you too who have also lost a loved one recently, here’s a beautiful, heart-felt song that conveys our condolences: “I BELIEVE.”
The singers are going to take a short glottal break. It’s my privilege to present Paul Wren again. Paul’s going to share a funny story. If you listen carefully you might detect a slight Oxford accent!
Thank you, Paul.
It’d be hard to find two songs more American than our next offerings: first, “TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME”—baseball buffs are invited to sing along!—followed by the song “TODAY.”
I see a lot of you guys out there humming and moving your lips. If you’ve enjoyed our musical foray and wish you were up here singing, come and join us on Monday nights from 7:30-10 at the First Presbyterian Church at Ross and Kensington in San Anselmo. We’d like to have you on stage with us next year. And if you hurry, we’d love to have you with us on November 2, always the first Sunday in November, in our annual Fall Show at 2 p.m. in the last building back there. That’s the Showcase Theater. There will be information fliers on the stage when we finish. And yes, it’s true: if you join us you too can have your own stunning red shirt!
Three more songs!
You probably can’t believe it to look at us, but we’re almost all married (some of us often), 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 other sweethearts here today…
Here’s “WHEN THERE’S LOVE AT HOME,” followed by a national home song we all share: “HOME ON THE RANGE.”
We’re about sung out, and we want to come down and shake your hands, so our favorite closer is next. First, let’s give a hand to a merciless, imported taskmaster, Paul Wren. And also to the singers of the Marin Golden Gate Barbershop Chorus…
You’ve been a fun audience. We hope we have helped you have a fun fair.
Our closing song always brings our listeners to their feet! Please join us in singing the well known closing stanzas of “THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER!”