After President Trump’s slightly soggy Fourth of July “Salute to America” speech Thursday on the Washington Mall, a Facebook friend writes, “THE GREATEST SPEECH EVER MADE BY A SITTING PRESIDENT!!!” (Capitalization and exclamation points not added.)
So, I guess for some “The Gettysburg Address” will ring a little flat from now on. And you know what that means, don’t you? It means that Aaron Copland’s masterful “A Lincoln Portrait” soon will be forgotten and some day symphony orchestras around the country will be performing a new work that will take its place.
I foresee work starting soon on a new composition, perhaps with the working title of “All Wet.” Maybe even something better.
Imagine the president’s words Thursday resonating throughout concert halls from coast to cast. “In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces … Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports …”
Now imagine those words recited over a new musical setting by Ted Nugent. (Orchestras would have to pick up at least one electric guitar for the piece.)
I envision the narrator, someone like Kanye West, center stage, encased in bullet-proof glass, rapping — I mean —reciting the president’s words. In local productions, that stuff they use in shower stalls could be repurposed.
And in the foreground, in front of everyone, Dancing Waters would perform. (If you’re under 50, Google Dancing Waters.) In some productions — depending on budgets — toy drones disguised as military aircraft would fly high above the audience’s heads.
It will be the show of a lifetime. I just hope I live long enough to experience it.