Miles Coverdale (manos74) wrote,
Miles Coverdale
manos74

Assassins

It is President's Day, and as such, I have the day off. Rawk.

So, I thought I'd fill up everyone's flist with the lyrics to what is becoming my favorite musical these days, Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. It's a musical about various people who have tried and/or succeeded to kill Presidents of the United States. (When I describe it to people, this is usually the part that makes others look at me askance.)

Here's the cast, the lyrics to the songs, and few bits of dialogue. Enjoy.



The Cast:

John Wilkes Booth: Assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater, Washington D.C., on April 14th, 1865, during a performance of Our American Cousin; broke his leg as he escaped. Finally run to earth in a Virginia tobacco barn, where he either was killed or killed himself to avoid capture. Sent a letter to the newspapers the day of the asassination explaining his motives; the letter was never published. Played by Victor Garber in the original version; by Michael Cerveris in the Broadway revival.

Charles Guiteau: Shot President James A. Garfield twice in the back at the Baltimore and Potomac railroad station, Washington D.C., on July 2nd, 1881. Composed an unsolicited and barely coherent campaign speech for Garfield, which Guiteau felt was responsible for Garfield's election; expected as a reward to be appointed ambassador to France. On the morning of his execution, he composed a poem, "I Am Going To The Lordy," which he recited from the gallows immediately before he was hanged. Played by Jonathan Hadary in the original; by Denis O’Hare on Broadway.

Leon Czolgosz: Assassinated President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, on September 6th, 1901. He said, "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people--the good working people. I done my duty." Played by Terrence Mann in the original; by James Barbour on Broadway.

Guiseppe Zangara: Attempted to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Bayfront Park, Miami, Florida, on February 15, 1933. Suffered burning pains in his stomach, which he blamed on the capitalist system that forced his father to put him to work at age 6. Too small to see over the crowd, he stood on a chair, which wobbled, causing him to miss Roosevelt, and instead kill Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago. Played by Eddie Korbich in the original; by Jeffrey Kuhn on Broadway.

Lee Harvey Oswald: Assassinated President John F. Kennedy from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas, Texas, on November 22nd, 1963. Played by Jace Alexander in the original; by Neil Patrick Harris on Broadway.

Samuel Byck: Attempted to assassinate President Richard Nixon on February 22nd, 1974, by hijacking a commercial jetliner that he intended to crash into the White House at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Sent long, rambling tape recordings to various celebrities, among them Jonas Salk and Leonard Bernstein. Picketed the White House on Christmas Eve 1973 dressed in a Santa Claus suit. Killed two people before being killed himself. Played by Lee Wilkof in the original; by Mario Cantone on Broadway.

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme: Attempted to assassinate President Gerald R. Ford at the Senator Hotel in Sacramento, California, on September 5, 1975. One of Charles Manson's disciples, she believed that Manson was the Messiah whose teachings could save mankind. Intended to commit a crime for which she would be arrested and put on trial; Manson would appear as a witness at the trial and preach to the world. Played by Annie Goldman in the original; by Mary Catherine Garrison on Broadway.

Sara Jane Moore: Attempted to assassinate President Gerald R. Ford at the St. Francis Hotel in Sacramento, California, on September 22, 1975. At age 42, she abandonded her marriage and career to immerse herself in the counter-cultural lifestyle and revolutionary politics of the day; attempted to assassinate Ford in an effort to re-establish her radical credentials. Played by Debra Monk in the original; by Becky Ann Baker on Broadway.

John W. Hinkley, Jr.: Attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan at the Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1981. Developed an obsessive infatuation with movie actress Jodie Foster; after several failed attempts to make contact with her, he determined to attract her attention by killing a prominent public figure. His assassination attempt seriously wounded four people, including the President. Played by Gerg Germann in the original; by Alexander Gemignani on Broadway.

The Balladeer: A Woody Guthrie / Pete Seeger-esque folk singer. Played by Patrick Cassidy in the original; by Neil Patrick Harris on Broadway.




EVERYBODY’S GOT THE RIGHT

PROPRIETOR:
(as Czolgosz enters)
Hey, pal -- feelin' blue?
Don't know what to do?
Hey, pal --
I mean you --
Yeah.
C'mere and kill a president.

No job? Cupboard bare?
One room, no one there?
Hey, pal, don't despair --
You wanna shoot a president?
C'mon and shoot a president...

Some guys
Think they can't be winners.
First prize
Often goes to rank beginners.

CZOLGOSZ:
How much?

PROPRIETOR:
Four-fifty. Ivor-Johnson. .32. Rubber Handle. Owls stamped on the sides.

CZOLGOSZ:
All right, give me.

PROPRIETOR:
(to Hinckley, as he enters)
Hey kid, failed your test?
Dream girl unimpressed?
Show her you’re the best.

If you can shoot a president --
You can get the prize
With the big blue eyes,
Skinny little thighs
And those big blue eyes...

Everybody's
Got the right
To be happy.
Don't stay mad,
life's not as bad
As it seems.

If you keep your
Goal in sight,
You can climb to
Any height.
Everybody's
Got the right
To their dreams...

HINCKLEY:
Deal.

CZOLGOSZ:
Mister --

HINCKLEY:
I said "deal."

CZOLGOSZ:
You. Wait your turn.

HINCKLEY:
It is my turn.

CZOLGOSZ:
I was here first --

PROPRIETOR:
Watch it now, no violence!

(to Guiteau as he enters)
Hey, fella,
Feel like you're a failure?
Bailiff on your tail? Your
Wife run off for good?
Hey, fella,
Feel misunderstood?
C'mere and kill a president...

GUITEAU:
Okay!

ZANGARA (entering):
Marron...

PROPRIETOR:
What's-a wrong, boy?
Boss-a treat you crummy?
Trouble with you tummy?
This-a bring you some relief.
Here, give some
Hail-a to da chief –
Yeah!

ZANGARA:
You gimme prize--

PROPRIETOR:
Anything you want.

ZANGARA:
I want prize. You gimme prize!

PROPRIETOR:
Only eight bucks. Cheap for "anything you want."

Everybody's
Got the right
To be different,

(Samuel Byck enters, dressed in a Santa Claus suit, carrying a sign which reads: SANTA SAYS, ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT [OVER].)

Even though
At times they go
To extremes.
Aim for what you
Want a lot --
Everybody
Gets a shot.

(Byck turns around, revealing the other side of his sign: TO PEACABLY PETITION MY GOVERNMENT FOR THE REDRESS OF ALL MY GRIEVANCES.)

Everybody's
Got the right
To their dreams --

(to Fromme, as she enters)
Yo baby!
Looking for a thrill?
The Ferris wheel is that way.
No, baby,
This requires skill --
Okay, you want to give it a try...

(To Moore, as she enters and spills keys, credit cards, lipstick, etc. over the counter.)
Jeez, lady--!
Give the guy some room!
The bumper cars are that way...

Please, lady --
Don't forget that guns can go boom...

(Booth enters.)

PROPRIETOR:
Hey, gang,
Look who's here.
There's our
Pioneer.
Hey, chief.
Loud and clear:

BOOTH:
Everybody's
Got the right
To be happy.
Say, "Enough!"
It's not as tough
As it seems.

Don't be scared
You won't prevail
Everybody's
Free to fail,
No one can get put in jail
For their dreams.

Free country--!

PROPRIETOR:
-- Means your dreams can come true:

BOOTH:
Be a scholar --

PROPRIETOR:
Make a dollar --

BOOTH and PROPRIETOR:
Free country--!

BOOTH:
-- Means they listen to you:

PROPRIETOR:
Scream and holler --

BOOTH:
Grab 'em by the collar!

BOOTH and PROPRIETOR:
Free country--!

BOOTH:
-- Means you don't have to sit --

PROPRIETOR:
That's it!

BOOTH:
-- And put up with the shit.

ASSASSINS:
Everybody's
Got the right
To some sunshine --

BOOTH:
Everybody...

ASSASSINS:
Not the sun
But maybe one
Of its beams.
One of its beams…

ALL:
Rich man, poor man,
Black or white,
Pick your apple,
Take a bite,
Everybody
Just hold tight
To your dreams.
Everybody's
Got the right…
To their dreams...



THE BALLAD OF BOOTH

(“Hail to the Chief” plays)

OFFSTAGE VOICE:
Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln!

(Booth looks up at an imaginary theater box, then leaves. A gunshot offstage.)

BOOTH'S VOICE:
Sic semper tyrannis! (echoing)

(Balladeer enters, playing a guitar)

BALLADEER:
Someone tell the story,
Someone sing the song.
Every now and then
The country
Goes a little wrong.
Every now and then
A madman's
Bound to come along.
Doesn't stop the story --
Story's pretty strong.
Doesn't change the song...

Johnny Booth was a handsome devil,
Got up in his rings and fancy silks.
Had him a temper but kept it level.
Everybody called him Wilkes.

Why did you do it, Johnny?
Nobody agrees.
You who had everything,
What made you bring
A nation to its knees?
Some say it was your voice had gone,
Some say it was booze.
Some say you killed a country, John,
Because of bad reviews.

Johnny lived with a grace and glitter,
Kinda like the lives he lived on stage.
Died in a barn in pain and bitter,
Twenty-seven years of age.
Why did you do it, Johnny,
Throw it all away?
Why did you do it, boy,
Not just destroy
The pride and joy
Of Illinois,
But all the U.S.A.?

You brother made you jealous, John,
You couldn't fill his shoes.
Was that the reason, tell us, John --
Along with bad reviews?

(The inside of a tobacco barn in rural Virginia. Booth sits on the floor, a pair of crutches
nearby. He reads feverishly through a pile of newspapers.)

BOOTH:
Damn!

(The door opens, and David Herold rushes in.)

HEROLD:
They're coming! They'll be here any minute --

BOOTH:
I need your help. I've got to write this and I can't hold the pen!

HEROLD:
Johnny, they've found us! We've got to get out of here!

BOOTH:
Not till I finish this.

HEROLD:
Johnny --

BOOTH:
No! Have you seen these papers? Do you know what they're calling me?! A common cutthroat! A hired assassin! This one says I'm mad!

HEROLD:
We must have been mad to think we could kill the President and get away with it!

BOOTH:
We did get away with it! He was a bloody tyrant and we brought him down! And I will not have history think I did it for a bag of gold or in some kind of rabid fit!

HEROLD:
Johnny, we have to go --

BOOTH:
No! I have to make my case! And I need you to take it down!

HEROLD:
We don't have time!

BOOTH:
Take it down.

An indictment. Of the former President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who is herein charged with the following High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

BALLADEER:
They say your ship was sinkin', John...

BOOTH:
One: That you did ruthlessly provoke a war between the States which cost some six hundred thousand of my countrymen their
lives. Two --

BALLADEER:
You'd started missing cues...

BOOTH
Two: That you did silence your critics in the North by hurling them into prison without benefit of charge or trial. Three --

BALLADEER:
They say it wasn't Lincoln, John.

BOOTH:
(to Balladeer)
Shut up! Three --

BALLADEER:
You'd merely had
A slew of bad
Reviews --

BOOTH:
I said shut up!

VOICE:
(from outside barn)
Booth! I have fifty soldiers out here, Booth! Give yourselves up or we'll set fire to the barn!

HEROLD:
Don't shoot! I'm coming out!

BOOTH:
No!

(Herold rushes out. Booth lunges for him and collapses; to the Balladeer)

I have given up my life for one act, you understand? Do not let history rob me of its meaning. Pass on the truth! You're the only one who can. Please...

BALLADEER:
He said,
"Damn you, Lincoln,
You had your way --

BOOTH:
Tell 'em, boy!

BALLADEER:
With blood you drew out
Of Blue and Gray!"

BOOTH:
Tell it all!
Tell them till they listen!

BALLADEER:
He said,
"Damn you, Lincoln,
And damn the day
You threw the 'U' out
Of U.S.A.!"

He said:

BOOTH:
Hunt me down, smear my name,
Say I did it for the fame,
What I did was kill the man who killed my country.
Now the Southland will mend,
Now this bloody war can end,
Because someone slew the tyrant
Just as Brutus slew the tyrant --

BALLADEER:
He said:

BALLADEER and BOOTH:
Damn you, Lincoln,
You righteous whore!

BOOTH:
Tell 'em!
Tell 'em what he did!

BALLADEER and BOOTH:
You turned your spite into civil war!

BOOTH:
Tell 'em!
Tell 'em the truth!

BALLADEER:
And more...

BOOTH:
Tell 'em, boy!
Tell them how it happened,
How the end doesn't mean that it's over,
How surrender is not the end!
Tell them:

How the country is not what it was,
Where there's blood in the clover,
How the nation can never again
Be the hope that it was.

How the bruises may never be healed,
How the wounds are forever,
How we gave up the field
But we still wouldn't yield,

How the Union can never recover
From that vulgar,
High and mighty
Niggerlover,
Never--!

Never. Never. Never.
No, the country is not what it was...

(The barn begins to burn. Booth prays silently for a moment.)

Damn my soul if you must,
Let my body turn to dust,
Let it mingle with the ashes of the country.

Let them curse me to hell,
Leave it to history to tell:
What I did, I did well,
And I did it for my country.

Let them cry, "Dirty traitor!"
They will understand it later --
The country is not what it was...

(Blackout on Booth. The sound of a gunshot.)

BALLADEER:
Johnny Booth was a headstrong fellow,
Even he believed the things he said.
Some called him noble, some said yellow.
What he was was off his head.

How could you do it, Johnny,
Calling it a cause?
You left a legacy
Of butchery
And treason we
Took eagerly,
And thought you'd get applause.

But traitors just get jeers and boos,
Not visits to their graves,
While Lincoln, who got mixed reviews,
Because of you, John, now gets only raves.

Damn you, Johnny,
You paved the way
For other madmen
To make us pay.
Lots of madmen
Have had their say --
But only for a day.

Listen to the stories.
Hear it in the songs.
Angry men
Don't write the rules
And guns don't right the wrongs.

Hurts a while,
But soon the country's
Back where it belongs,
And that's the truth.

Still and all,
Damn you, Booth!



(A bar, somewhere, somewhen. All the Assassins are gathered.)

GUITEAU (raising a glass of whiskey):
Ladies and gentlemen, a toast! To the Presidency of the United States. An office which by its mere existence reassures us that the possibilities of life are limitless. An office the mere idea of which reproaches us when we fall short of being all that we can be. A grand and glorious office to which at least one among us may one day aspire. Ladies and gentlemen, what can I say? Hail to the Chief!

(He downs the drink. Zangara groans in pain, clutching his stomach.)

BOOTH:
You know, you really ought to do something about that stomach.

ZANGARA:
I do everything about this stomach!

BOOTH:
Oh, yes?

ZANGARA:
I give up wine! No good! I give up smokes! No good! I quit my work! No good! I take appendix out! No good! I move Miami! No good! Nothing, no good! Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!

BOOTH:
Have you considered shooting Franklin Roosevelt?

ZANGARA:
You think that help?

BOOTH:
It couldn’t hurt.





HOW I SAVED ROOSEVELT

(spotlight on a radio from the 1930s)

RADIO ANNOUNCER:
(as a band plays “El Capitan”)
That was President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, ladies and gentlemen, speaking to a crowd of supporters here in Miami's beautiful Bayfront Park. A group of notables are pressing in around the President-elect's car. There's Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago, and --
(Gunshots, then screams.)
There's been a shot! I can't see -- wait! Mr. Roosevelt is waving! He's all right! But Mayor Cermak has been hit! The police have somebody in custody. An immigrant. Giuseppe Zangara. We take you now to a group of eyewitnesses who will tell us what they saw!

(Five bystanders are revealed clustered around a microphone.)

BYSTANDER #1:
We're crowded up close,
And I see this guy,
He's squeezing by,
I catch his eye,
I say to him, "Where do you
Think you're trying to go, boy?
Whoa, boy!"
I say, "Listen, you runt,
You're not pulling that stunt,
No gentleman pushes their way to the front."
I say, “Move to the back!”, which he does with a grunt --
Which is how I saved Roosevelt!

BYSTANDER #2 (pushing #1 away from the microphone):
Then --
Well, I'm in my seat,
I get up to clap,
I feel this tap,
I turn -- this sap,
He says he can't see,
I say, "Find a lap
And go sit
On it!"
|Which is how I saved --
|
|BYSTANDER #3:
|Then --
He started to swear
And he climbed on a chair,
He was aiming a gun -- I was standing right there --
So I pushed it as hard as I could in the air,
Which is how I saved Roosevelt!

ALL THREE (to the tune of “El Capitan”):
Lucky I was there --

BYSTANDER #1:
That's why he was standing back so far--!

BYSTANDER #3:
That's why when he aimed, he missed the car--!

ALL THREE:
Just lucky I was there,
Or we'd have been left
Bereft
Of F.D.R.!

ZANGARA (strapped into electric chair):
You think that I scare?
No scare.
You think that I care?
No care.
I look at the world --
No good. No fair. Nowhere.

(Music becomes a tarantella)
When I am a boy,
No school.
I work in a ditch.
No chance.
The smart and the rich
Ride by,
Don't give no glance.

Ever since then, because of them,
I have the sickness in the stomach,
Which is the way I make my idea
To go out and kill Roosevelt.

First I was figure I kill Hoover,
I get even for the stomach.
Only Hoover up in Washington.
Is wintertime in Washington,
Too cold for the stomach in Washington --
I go down to Miami, kill Roosevelt.

No laugh!
No funny!
Men with the money,
They control everything.

Roosevelt, Hoover --
No make no difference.
You think I care who I kill?
I no care who I kill,
Long as it's king!

BYSTNADER #4 (MAN):
The crowd's breaking up
When I hear these shots,
And I mean lots --

BYSTANDER #5 (HIS WIFE):
I thought I'd plotz --

MAN:
I spotted --

WIFE:
My stomach was tied in knots --

MAN:
So I barrelled --

WIFE:
Harold--!
No, what happened was this:
He was blowing a kiss --

MAN:
|She means Roosevelt --
|
|WIFE:
|I was saying to Harold, "This weather is bliss!"

MAN:
When you think that we might have missed seeing him miss--!

BOTH:
Lucky we were there!

WIFE:
It was a historical event--!

MAN:
-- Worth every penny that we spent!

BYSTANDERS:
Just lucky we were there!

BYSTANDER #1 (to the tune of “The Washington Post March”):
To think, if I'd let him get up closer--!

BYSTANDER #3:
I saw right away he was insane --
Oh, this is my husband, we're from Maine --

BYSTANDER #2:
He told me to sit, but I said, "No sir!"

BYSTANDER #4:
This makes our vacation a real success!

BYSTANDER #5 (to approaching photographer):
Are you with the press?

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Yes.

BYSTANDER #5:
Oh God, I'm a mess...

BYSTANDER #1:
Some left wing foreigner, that's my guess --

ZANGARA:
No!

BYSTANDERS:
And wasn't the band just fantastic?

ZANGARA:
No left!
You think I am left?
No left, no right,
No anything!
Only American!

Zangara have nothing,
No luck, no girl,
Zangara no smart, no school,
But Zangara no foreign tool,
Zangara American!
American nothing!

And why there no photographers?
For Zangara no photographers!
Only capitalists get photographers!

No right!

BYSTANDERS:
Lucky I was there!

BYSTANDER #1:
I’m on the front page – is that bizarre?

BYSTANDER #3:
And all of those pictures, like a star!

BYSTANDERS:
Just lucky I was there!
We might have been left
Bereft of F.--

ZANGARA (simultaneously):
No fair!
Nowhere!
So what?
No sorry!
And soon
No Zangara!

Who care?
Pull switch!
No care
No more,
No -- !

BYSTANDERS:
--D. –
R!

(Zangara is electrocuted.)





EMMA GOLDMAN (speaking offstage as Czolgosz listens in rapt attention):
What does a man do when before his eyes he sees a vision of a new hope dawning for his toiling, agonizing brothers? What does a man do when at last he realizes his suffering is caused not by the cruelty of fate, but by the injustice of his fellow human beings? What does a man do when he sees those dear to him starving, when he himself is starved? What does he do? What does he do? What does he do…?!




GUN SONG

CZOLGOSZ:
It takes a lot of men to make a gun,
Hundreds,
Many men to make a gun:

Men in the mines
To dig the iron,
Men in the mills
To forge the steel,
Men at machines
To turn the barrel,
Mold the trigger
Shape the wheel --
It takes a lot of men to make a gun...
One gun...

BOOTH (entering):
And all you have to do
Is move your little finger,
Move your little finger and --

(Czolgosz clicks the trigger)

You can change the world.

Why should you be blue
When you've your little finger?
Prove how just a little finger
|Can change the world.
|
|CZOLGOSZ:
|I hate this gun...

GUITEAU (enters):
What a wonder is a gun!
What a versatile invention!
First of all, when you've a gun --

(Points it at the audience. Pause.)

Everybody pays attention.

When you think what must be done,
Think of all that it can do:
Remove a scoundrel,
Unite a party,
Preserve the Union,
Promote the sales of my book,
Insure my future,
My niche in history,
And then the world will see
That I am not a man to overlook!
Ha-ha!

ALL THREE:
And all you have to do
Is squeeze your little finger.
Ease your little finger back --

(They click the triggers.)

You can change the world.
Whatever else is true,
You trust your little finger.
Just a single little finger
Can change the world.

MOORE (enters, fishing through her purse):
I got this really great gun --
Shit, where is it?
No, it's really great --
Wait --
Shit, where is it?
Anyway -
It's just a .38 --
But --
It's a gun.
You can make a statement --
Wrong --
With a gun --
Even if you fail.

It tells 'em who you are,
Where you stand.
This one was on sale.
It -- no, not the shoe --
Well, actually the shoe was, too.
No, that's not it --
Shit, I had it here --
Got it!
Yeah! There it is! And --

ALL FOUR:
All you have to do
Is crook your little finger,
Hook your little finger 'round --

(They pull their triggers; the men's guns click; Moore's goes off.)

MOORE:
Shit, I shot it...

OTHERS:
-- You can change the world.

ALL FOUR:
Simply follow through,
And look, your little finger
Can
Slow them down
To a crawl,
Show them all,
Big and small,
It took a little finger
No time
To change the world.

CZOLGOSZ:
A gun kills many men before it's done,
Hundreds,
Long before you shoot the gun:

Men in the mines
And in the steel mills,
Men at machines,
Who died for what?

Something to buy --
A watch, a shoe, a gun,
A thing to make the bosses richer,
But
A gun claims many men before it's done...

Just
One
More...





THE BALLAD OF CZOLGOSZ

(The Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo, New York.)

BALLADEER:
Czolgosz,
Working man,
Born in the middle of Michigan,
Woke with a thought
And away he ran
To the Pan-American Exposition
In Buffalo,
In Buffalo.

Saw of a sudden
How things were run,
Said, "Time's a-wasting,
It's nineteen-one.
Some men have everything
And some have none,
So rise and shine --
In the U.S.A.
You can work your way
To the head of the line!"

ATTENDANT:
Single line, ladies and gentlemen. Line forms here to meet the President of the United States. Single line to shake hands with President William McKinley!

BALLADEER:
Czolgosz,
Quiet man,
Worked out a quiet
And simple plan,
Strolled of a morning
All spick and span,
To the Temple of Music
By the Tower of Light
At the Pan-American Exposition
In Buffalo,
In Buffalo.

Saw Bill McKinley there
In the sun.
Heard Bill McKinley say,
"Folks, have fun!
Some men have everything
And some have none,
But that's just fine:
In the U.S.A.
You can work your way
To the head of the line!"

CROWD:
Big Bill--!

BALLADEER:
-- Gave 'em a thrill.

CROWD:
Big Bill--!

BALLADEER:
-- Sold 'em a bill.

CROWD:
Big Bill--!

BALLADEER:
-- Who'd want to kill
A man of good will
Like--?

ALL:
Big Bill!

FAIRGOER #1:
Doesn't the President look marvelous? So round and prosperous!

FAIRGOER #2:
Do you know what his favorite dish is? It was in the paper. Beef.

FAIRGOER #3:
I'm told that in his spare time he enjoys collecting coins!

(Czolgosz joins the end of the line.)

BALLADEER:
Czolgosz,
Angry man,
Said, "I will do what
A poor man can.
Yes, and there's nowhere
More fitting than
In the Temple of Music
By the Tower of Light
Between the Fountain of Abundance
And the Court of Lilies
At the great Pan-American Exposition
In Buffalo,
In Buffalo."

Wrapped him a handkerchief
'Round his gun,
Said, "Nothin' wrong about
What I done.
Some men have everything
And some have none --
That's by his design
The idea wasn't mine alone,
But mine,
And that's the sign:

In the U.S.A.
You can have your say,
You can set your goals
And seize the day,
You've been given the freedom
To work your way
To the head of the line --

(Czolgosz reaches McKinley -- and fires.)

To the head of the line!"







(Moore is doing target practice, aiming at a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Guiteau enters behind her, smiling lasciviously. He puts his hands over her eyes.)

GUITEAU:
Guess who?

(Moore screams and fires wildly. Guiteau grins.)

Did I surprise you?

MOORE:
You scared me half to death!

GUITEAU:
I am a terrifying and imposing figure! You know, you are a very handsome woman.

MOORE:
Thank you.

GUITEAU:
How would you like to be the wife of the Ambassador to France?

MOORE:
That would be nice.

GUITEAU:
Come, let me steal a kiss.

MOORE:
I don’t think so.

GUITEAU:
One little kiss.

MOORE:
Stop.

GUITEAU:
Ah! A coquette, eh?!

MOORE:
Let go of me!

GUITEAU:
I want a kiss!

(Struggle. Moore’s gun goes off; Guiteau jumps back, holding his ear)

MOORE:
Are you all right?

GUITEAU:
I am more than all right! I am extraordinary! I am to be reckoned with! I am the next Ambassador to France!

(President James Garfield and Secretary of State James Blaine enter.)

BLAINE:
Your train is on Track Six, Mr. President.

GUITEAU:
President Garfield!

GARFIELD:
Yes?

GUITEAU:
I want to be Ambassador to France!

GARFIELD:
I’m sorry?

GUITEAU:
I want to be Ambassador to France!!

BLAINE:
Mad as a hatter.

(Garfield and Blaine chuckle. Guiteau draws his gun and shoots Garfield.)




THE BALLAD OF GUITEAU

GUITEAU:
I am going to the Lordy,
I am so glad.
I am going to the Lordy,
I am so glad.
I am going to the Lordy,
Glory hallelujah!
Glory hallelujah!
I am going to the Lordy...

BALLADEER (entering):
Come all ye Christians,
And learn from a sinner:
Charlie Guiteau.
Bound and determined
He'd wind up a winner,
Charlie had dreams
That he wouldn't let go.
Said, "Nothing to it,
I want it, I'll do it,
I'm Charles J. Guiteau."

Charlie Guiteau
Never said "Never"
Or heard the word "No."
Face with disaster,
His heart would beat faster,
His smile would just grow,
And he'd say:

GUITEAU (cakewalking up and down the gallows steps):
Look on the bright side!
Look on the bright side!
Sit on the right side
Of the Lord!
This is the land of
Opportunity,
He is your lightning,
You His Sword.

Wait till you see tomorrow,
Tomorrow you'll get your reward!
You can be sad
Or you can be president --
Look on the bright side...

(Finishes a step or two higher than before. Pause.)

I am going to the Lordy...

BALLADEER:
Charlie Guiteau
Drew a crowd to his trial,
Led them in prayer,
Said, "I killed Garfield,
I'll make no denial.
I was just acting
For Someone up there.
The Lord's my employer,
And now he's my lawyer,
So do what you dare."

Charlie said, "Hell,
If I am guilty,
Then God is as well."
But God was acquitted
And Charlie committed
Until he should hang.
Still, he sang:

GUITEAU (cakewalking):
Look on the bright side,
Not on the black side!
Get off your backside,
Shine those shoes!
This is your golden
Opportunity:
You are the lightning
And you're news!

Wait till you see tomorrow,
Tomorrow you won't be ignored!
You could be pardoned,
You could be president --
Look on the bright side...

(Finishes a step or two higher. Pause.)

I am going to the Lordy...

BALLADEER:
Charlie Guiteau
Had a crowd at the scaffold --

GUITEAU:
I am so glad...

BALLADEER:
-- Filled up the square,
So many people
That tickets were raffled.
Shine on his shoes,
Charlie mounted the stair,
Said, "Never Sorrow,
Just wait till tomorrow,
Today isn't fair.
Don't despair..."

GUITEAU (cakewalking, half-tempo):
Look on the bright side,
Look on the bright side,
Sit on the right side...

(Reaches the hangman. Pause.)

Of the...

(steps backwards to the bottom, then starts up again)

I am going to the Lordy,
I am so glad!
I am going to the Lordy,
I am so glad!
I have unified my party,
I have saved my country.
I shall be remembered!

I am going to the Lordy…

(Hangman adjusts noose)

BALLADEER:
Look on the bright side,
Not on the sad side,
Inside the bad side
Something's good!
This is your golden
Opportunity:
You've been a preacher --

GUITEAU:
Yes, I have!

BALLADEER:
You've been an author --

GUITEAU:
Yes, I have!

BALLADEER:
You've been a killer --

GUITEAU:
Yes, I have!

BALLADEER:
You could be an angel --

GUITEAU:
Yes, I could!

BALLADEER:
Just wait until tomorrow,
Tomorrow they'll all climb aboard!
What if you never
Got to be president?
You'll be remembered --
Look on the bright side --
Trust in tomorrow –

GUITEAU and BALLADEER:
And the Lord!

(Hangman pulls the trapdoor lever.)





(Byck, bleary-eyed and strung out, driving down a highway late at night with a portable tape recorder. He reaches into a Burger King bag next to him and takes a bite of hamburger as he sings to himself.)

“Have It Your Way, Have It Your Way…” You know what my way is? Hot. How about a hamburger that’s fucking hot?!

(Throws the bag out the window; a car horn blares.)
Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusetts!

(Into tape recorder)
Dick, you still there, babe? Sorry about that. Ten miles from the airport, I’m starting to lose it here. Stay with me, baby. Talk me down --! You know, Dick, in this, the waning hours of your administration, it seems appropriate to look back at your long years of public service and to conclude that, as our President, you really bit the big one. Wazoo city, babe. What can I say? And you know what? This cracks me up. I voted for you. Yes! I gave you my vote, my sacred democratic trust, and you know what you did? You pissed all over it!… Well, what the hell. Guys like you, you piss all over everything. You piss all over the country. You piss all over yourselves. You piss all over me… Yeah, yeah, I know. “Sam, don’t say it! You’re my main man! Guys like you, you’re the backbone of the nation! Sammy --!” Shut up, Dick! I’m talking now, all right?! I’m talking and you’re listening! Here – you seen a paper lately?! “Grandma Lives In Packing Crate!” “Sewage Closes Jersey Beaches!” “Saudi Prince Buys Howard Johnson’s!” What the hell is going on here, Dick?! It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It wasn’t but it is. And schmucks like you, you’re telling us it isn’t. Everything is fine! It’s great! It’s Miller Time! What Miller Time?! The woods are burning, Dick. What can we do? We want to make things better. How? Let’s hold an election! Great. The Democrat says he’ll fix everything, the Republicans fucked up. The Republican says he’ll fix everything, the Democrats fucked up. Who’s telling us the truth? Who’s lying? Someone’s lying. Who? We read, we guess, we argue, but deep down we know that we don’t know. How can we? Oil embargoes, megatons, holes in the ozone. Who can understand this crap? We need to believe, to trust like little kids, that someone wants what’s best for us, that someone’s looking out for us. That someone loves us. Do they? No. They lie about what’s right, they lie about what’s wrong, they lie about the fuckin’ hamburgers! And when we realize they’re lying, really realize it in our gut, then we get scared. Then we get terrified. Like children waking in the dark, we don’t know where we are. “I had a bad dream! Mommy! Daddy! Sammy had a nightmare!” And Daddy comes and takes me in his arms and says, “It’s O.K., Sammy. Daddy’s here. I love you kid. Your mommy doesn’t, but I do.” And Mommy comes and holds me tight and says, “I’ve got you, Bubala. I’m here for you. Your daddy isn’t but I am.”… And then were are we? Who do we believe? Who do we trust? What do we do?!

(Pause.)

We do the only thing we can do. We kill the President.




ANOTHER NATIONAL ANTHEM

CZOLGOSZ:
I did it because it is wrong for one man to have so much service when other men have none...

BOOTH:
I did it do bring down the government of Abraham Lincoln and avenge the ravaged South...

HINCKLEY:
I did it to prove to her my everlasting love...

FROMME:
I did it to make them listen to Charlie...

ZANGARA:
I did it 'cause my belly was on fire...

GUITEAU:
I did it to preserve the Union and promote the sale of my book...

MOORE:
I did it so my friends would know where I was coming from...

BYCK:
Where's my prize?

CZOLGOSZ:
I did it because no one cared about the poor man's pain...

MOORE:
I did it so I'd know where I was coming from...

BYCK:
I want my prize...

ZANGARA:
I did it 'cause the bosses made my belly burn...

HINCKLEY:
I did it so she'd pay attention...

MOORE:
So I'd have someplace to come from, and someplace to go...

BYCK:
Don't I get a prize?...

GUITEAU:
I did it 'cause they said I'd be Ambassador to France...

BOOTH:
I did it so they'd suffer in the North the way we'd suffered in the South...

BYCK:
I deserve a fucking prize!...

FROMME:
I did it so there'd be a trial, and Charlie would get to be a witness, and he'd be on TV, and he'd save the world!...

GUITEAU:
Where's my prize?

BYCK:
I did it to make people listen.

CZOLGOSZ and FROMME:
They promised me a prize...

HINCKLEY:
Because she wouldn't take my phone calls --

ALL EXCEPT ZANGARA:
What about my prize?...

ZANGARA:
Because nothing stopped the fire--!

ALL EXCEPT BYCK:
I want my prize!...

BYCK:
Nobody would listen!

BALLADEER (entering):
And it didn't mean a nickel,
You just shed a little blood,
And a lot of people shed a lot of tears.
Yes, you made a little moment
And you stirred a little mud --

But it didn't fix the stomach
And you've drunk your final Bud,
And it didn't help the workers
And it didn't heal the country
And it didn't make them listen
And they never said, "We're sorry"--

BYCK:
Yeah, it's never gonna happen,
Is it?
No, sir --

CZOLGOSZ:
Never.

BYCK:
No, we're never gonna get the prize --

FROMME:
No one listens...

BYCK:
-- Are we?

ZANGARA:
Never.

BYCK:
No, it doesn't make a bit of difference,
Does it?

OTHERS:
Didn't.
Ever.

BYCK:
Fuck it!

OTHERS:
Spread the word...

ALL:
Where's my prize?...

BALLADEER:
I just heard
On the news
Where the mailman won the lottery.
Goes to show:
When you lose, what you do is try again.

You can be
What you choose,
From a mailman to a president.
There are prizes all around you,
If you're wise enough to see:
The delivery boy's on Wall Street,
And the usherette's a rock star --

BYCK:
Right, it's never gonna happen, is it?
Is it!

HINCKLEY and FROMME:
No, man!

BYCK and CZOLGOSZ:
No, we'll never see the day arrive --

ASSASSINS:
Spread the word...
Will we?
No, sir --
Never!

No one's ever gonna even care if we're alive,
Are they?...
Never...
Spread the word...
We're alive...
Someone's gonna listen...
Listen!

BYCK:
Listen...

There's another national anthem playing,
Not the one you cheer
At the ball park.

MOORE:
Where's my prize?...

BYCK:
It's the other national anthem, saying,
If you want to hear --
It says, "Bullshit!"...

CZOLGOSZ:
It says, "Never!" --

GUITEAU:
It says, "Sorry!" --

OTHERS:
Loud and clear --

ASSASSINS:
It says: Listen
To the tune that keeps sounding
In the distance, on the outside,
Coming through the ground,
To the hearts that go on pounding
To the sound
Getting louder every year --

Listen to the sound...
Take a look around...

We're the other national anthem, folks,
The ones that can't get in-
To the ball park.

Spread the word...

There's another national anthem, folks,
For those who never win,
For the suckers, for the pikers,
For the ones who might have been...

BALLADEER:
There are those who love regretting,
There are those who like extremes,
There are those who thrive on chaos
And despair.
There are those who keep forgetting
How the country's built on dreams --

ASSASSINS:
People listen...

BALLADEER:
-- And the mailman won the lottery --

ASSASSINS:
They may not want to hear it,
But they listen,
Once they think it's gonna stop the game...

BALLADEER:
-- And the usherette's a rock star.

ASSASSINS:
No, they may not understand
All the words,
All the same
They hear the music...
They hear the screams...

BALLADEER:
I've got news --

ASSASSINS:
They hear the sobs,
They hear the drums...

BALLADEER:
-- You forgot about the country --

ASSASSINS:
The muffled drums,
The muffled dreams...

BALLADEER:
-- So it's now forgotten you --

ASSASSINS:
And they rise...

BYCK:
You know why I did it? Because there isn't any Santa Claus!

ASSASSINS:
Where's my prize?

BALLADEER:
And you forgot --

ASSASSINS:
Where's my prize?

BALLADEER:
-- How quick it heals --

ASSASSINS:
Promises and lies...

BALLADEER:
-- That it's a place
Where you can make the lies come true --

ASSASSINS:
Spread the word...

BALLADEER:
-- If you try --

ASSASSINS:
Gotta spread the word...

BALLADEER:
-- That's all you have to do --

ASSASSINS:
Right,
All you have to do...

(Forcing the Balladeer off the stage.)

Well, there's another national anthem,
And I think it just begun
In the ball park.
Listen hard...

Like the other national anthem
Says to each and every fan:
If you can't do what you want to,
Then you do the things you can.

You've got to try again!

Like they say,
You've got to keep on trying
Every day
Until you get a prize...
Until you get a prize ...

(One by one, they start to leave the stage.)

Until you're heard...
Mustn't get discouraged...
Spread the word...
Mustn't give up hope...

Up to you --
Don't say --
-- What you choose...
-- It's never gonna happen...
Spread the word...

ALL:
You can always get a prize...

BOOTH:
You can always get your dream...

BYCK:
Sure, the mailman won the lottery...





(Sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. A radio is playing. Oswald is writing a note.)

RADIO ANNOUNCER:
That was the Blue Ridge Boys and Heartache Serenade. And now we take you live to KTEX --

(Oswald turns off the radio, re-reads the note, opens his lunch pail and pulls out a pistol. As he puts it to his head, he hears whistling. Booth appears.)

BOOTH:
Oh! I'm sorry. I was just browsing. Please carry on with whatever you were --

(He notices the pistol; Oswald flushes and shoves it back in the pail. Booth indicates the clock.)

Is that the right time? Yes? I don't know what's the matter with this watch. Excuse me for a moment --

(He turns the radio on.)

RADIO ANNOUNCER:
-- speaking to you from Love Field, where the President's plane has just touched down and is taxiing toward us across the tarmac. We understand the President plans to speak briefly --

(Oswald stalks over and snaps the radio off. Booth picks up the note.)

BOOTH:
Dearest Marina. Today I end my life so that your life can begin. Last night --

(Oswald snatches the note.)

I'm sorry, was that your note?

OSWALD:
Fuck you.

BOOTH:
We seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot here. It's my fault. I shouldn't -- You're not going are you? Come on, I didn't mean to -- Alik.

OSWALD:
What did you call me?

BOOTH:
Alik. You used to like that nickname. Back in Minsk. Marina said Lee sounded Chinese, so she called you Alik. Of course I don't have to call you Alik. I just thought --

OSWALD:
How do you know what Marina called me?

BOOTH:
I know lots about you, Lee. Let's see...Born, New Orleans, October 18, 1939. Father, Robert, died before your birth. Crazy mother, Marguerite. Dropped out of school at 17. Joined the Marines. Court-martialled twice. Defected to the Soviet Union, October 1959. Defected back, June 1962. Married, Marina Nikolaevna. Two children, June and Rachel. Current employment, stock boy, Texas School Book Depository, Dallas, Texas...Oh. And this morning, depressed over your estrangement from a wife who views you as a dismal and pathetic figure, you rose before dawn, kissed your sleeping children, put your last hundred dollars and your wedding ring into a demi-tasse cup which Marina's mother gave you for a wedding present, and came here to kill yourself...

OSWALD:
Who are you?

BOOTH:
I'm your friend, Lee.

OSWALD:
I don't have any friends.

BOOTH:
Yes, you do. You just haven't met them yet.

OSWALD:
Show me your badge.

BOOTH:
My what?

OSWALD:
You bastards think you’re so smart. I know my rights. You try to interrogate me in my place of business, I can sue you for harassment.

BOOTH:
Ah! You think I'm with the F.B.I.!

OSWALD:
I have a right to see your badge.

BOOTH:
Search me, Lee. You think I've got a badge. Come on, search me. The F.B.I. You really love those morons, don't you? Hell, why wouldn't you? No one else cares if you live or die. Those guys can't get enough of you. "How was your day, Lee? Sell any secrets to the Soviets? Sabotage any defense plants? Kick off your shoes and tell us all about it!"

OSWALD:
Fuck you, whoever you are!

BOOTH:
Lee. I'm sorry, Lee. It's just so sad. I mean, it's all you ever wanted, isn't it? Someone who won't leave you alone. Someone who wants to hear about your day. Someone, anyone -- your mother. Mother Russia. The Marines. Your wife Marina...Attention must be paid.

OSWALD:
What's that mean?

BOOTH:
It's from a play, Lee. About a salesman. A man very much like you, Lee. Independent, proud, a decent man who tries and tries but never gets a break. So he does something really dumb. When things go really sour, when he realizes that his whole life has been a failure built on lies, he kills himself. And when he's dead, his wife stands at his grave and says attention must be paid. She has to beg the world to pay attention to this poor, misguided nobody. I'll tell you something. I'm an actor, Lee. And I'm a good one. But Willy Loman is a part that I could never play. And I don't think that you should play it either.

OSWALD:
I don't know what you're talking about.

BOOTH:
What do you want, Lee?

OSWALD:
You know so much, why don't you tell me?

BOOTH:
You want what everybody wants. To be appreciated. To be valued. To be in other people's thoughts. For them to think of you and smile. You want someone to love you, Lee. Right?...Isn't that it?...Lee?

OSWALD:
Yes.

BOOTH:
Forget it.

OSWALD:
What?

BOOTH:
It's never gonna happen. It's a fantasy. You've got to give it up.

OSWALD:
I'm going to kill myself! Don't you think I've given up?!

BOOTH:
No, I think you're going to kill yourself because you think that's how to get it. "When I'm dead, then they'll be sorry! When I'm dead, they'll know how much they loved me!" When you close your eyes you probably see the funeral, don't you, Lee? A gentle rain is falling. Everybody has umbrellas --

OSWALD:
Shut up!

BOOTH:
There's Marina, weeping quietly. Your sobbing children clutching at her skirt. Your mom, your dad. Every boss who ever fired you --

OSWALD:
Shut the fuck up!!

BOOTH:
Sorry, Lee. It's just so childish. It's so dumb --

OSWALD:
You think it's dumb?! If I shouldn't kill myself what should I do?! Go home?! Beg her to take me back?! Plead with her?! Beat her up?!

BOOTH:
You tried all that. It doesn't work.

OSWALD:
I know it doesn't work! So tell me what I should do!

BOOTH:
You should kill the President of the United States.

OSWALD:
What?

BOOTH:
His plane landed at the airport fifteen minutes ago. He's coming into town to make a speech. His motorcade is going to go right past this window. When it does, you shoot him.

OSWALD:
You're nuts.

BOOTH:
Maybe I am, so what?

OSWALD:
I didn't come here to shoot the president.

BOOTH:
He didn't come here to get shot. All your life you've been a victim, Lee. A victim of indifference and neglect. Of your mother's scorn, you're wife's contempt, of Soviet stupidity, American injustice. You've finally had enough, so how're you planning to get even? By becoming your own victim.

OSWALD:
I am not a murderer.

BOOTH:
Who said you were?

OSWALD:
You just said I should kill the President.

BOOTH:
Lee, when you kill a president, it isn't murder. Murder is a tawdry little crime; it's born of greed, or lust, or liquor. Adulterers and shopkeepers get murdered. But when a president gets killed, when Julius Caesar got killed -- he was assassinated. And the man who did it...

OSWALD:
Brutus.

BOOTH:
Ah! You know his name. Brutus assassinated Caesar -- what? -- two thousand years ago, and here's a high school drop-out with a dollar twenty-five an hour job in Dallas, Texas, who knows who he was. And they say fame is fleeting...

OSWALD:
This is stupid. Up here on the sixth floor, what would I do? Throw school books at him?

BOOTH:
What's in the package?

OSWALD:
What package?

BOOTH:
The package that you brought to work. What's in it?

OSWALD:
Curtain rods.

BOOTH:
You sure?

OSWALD:
Sure I'm sure. Marina wanted me to take them to the --

(Booth opens the package.)

BOOTH:
That's a Mannlicher-Carcano. 6.5 millimer. Stopping range 900 yards. The sight's already been adjusted.

OSWALD:
Who are you?

BOOTH:
My name is John Wilkes Booth, Lee.

OSWALD:
John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln.

BOOTH:
Attention has been paid. All your life you've wanted to be part of something, Lee. You're finally going to get your wish.

(The Assassins appear.)

OSWALD:
What is this?

BOOTH:
The past you never had, the future you'd abandoned -- it's called history, Lee.

GUITEAU:
My name is Charles Guiteau. I assassinated President James Garfield.

CZOLGOSZ:
Leon Czolgosz. William McKinley.

BYCK:
Sam Byck. I'm going to try to kill Dick Nixon.

HINCKLEY:
John Hinckley. Ronald Reagan.

FROMME:
Lynette Fromme --

MOORE:
Sara Jane Moore --

FROMME and MOORE:
Gerald Ford.

ZANGARA:
Zangara. F.D.R.

OSWALD:
I don't get this --

MOORE:
It's simple, Lee.

CZOLGOSZ:
You're going to bring us back.

HINCKLEY:
And make us possible.

GUITEAU:
We're in your debt, old boy.

BYCK:
This Bud's for you, babe.

GUITEAU:
Bravo!

HINCKLEY:
What's he doing?

OSWALD:
Getting out of here.

GUITEAU:
You mean you're not going to do it?

OSWALD:
| Goddamn right.
|
|GUITEAU
|He's not going to do it!
|
|FROMME
|You said he would!
|
|HINCKLEY
|You promised!
|
|BOOTH
|O.K., O.K., shhh...
Lee, I'm sorry. I know things are happening kind of fast here. But you can't leave now.

OSWALD:
No? Watch me --

(He heads for the door.)

BOOTH:
You have a responsibility here, Lee.

OSWALD:
To who? To you? I'm responsible to me and no one else!

BOOTH:
Not anymore, Lee. Fifty years from now, they'll still be arguing about the grassy knoll, the Mafia, some Cuban crouched behind a stockade fence, but this -- right here, right now -- this is the real conspiracy. And you're a part of it.

OSWALD:
Get out of my way.

BOOTH:
Listen to me, Lee. You have to do this. Now. You won't get another chance.

OSWALD:
So what? So I'll do something else. I'll shoot my wife. I'll shoot my kids. I won't shoot anyone! Who cares?!

BOOTH:
He wants to know who cares...I care, you stupid fool! We all care! Haven't you been listening, for Christ's sake?! Are you such a vapid, vacuous nonentity -- Sorry. I'm sorry...John --

HINCKLEY:
Yes, sir?

BOOTH:
John, when Lee was 8 he had a dog. What was its name?

HINCKLEY:
Tex.

BOOTH:
The Marines sent him to radar school. Where?

HINCKLEY:
The Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida.

BOOTH:
The K.G.B. official who de-briefed him in the Kremlin -- what was his name and rank?

HINCKLEY:
Lieutenant-Colonel Boris Kutzov.

BOOTH:
Lee. Eighteen years from now, when John tries to assassinate President Reagan, they're going to search his room, and do you know what they're going to find? Every book about you ever written.

HINCKLEY:
Can I have your autograph?

BOOTH:
Take a look, Lee. You know what that is, outside that window? That's America. The Land Where Any Kid Can Grow Up To Be President. The Shining City, Lee. It shines so bright you have to shade your eyes. But in here, this is America, too. "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." An American said that. And he was right. But there are no lives of quiet desperation here. Desperation, yes. But quiet? I don't think so. Not today. Today we're going to make a joyful noise. This is the big one. You're the big one. You're the one that's going to sum it all up and blow it all wide open. Why, after you...

GUITEAU:
Tell him.

BOOTH:
Should I tell him?

ASSASSINS:
Go on!...Tell him!...Go ahead!

BOOTH:
What the hell...Is Artie Bremer here tonight? Where's Artie Bremer?!

BREMER'S VOICE:
It was a bum rap! My penis made me do it!

BOOTH:
Who's next?! Who else is out there?!

ANOTHER VOICE:
Death to the enemies of Palestine!

BOOTH:
Of course, of course! Sirhan Sirhan!

(A rebel yell.)

BOOTH:
And James Earl Ray!

(The Assassins give a rebel yell.)

Why do these rednecks always have three names? James Earl Ray. John Wilkes Booth --

OSWALD:
Lee Harvey Oswald!

BOOTH:
I have seen the future, Lee. And you are it.

(He snaps his fingers -- the radio comes on.)

RADIO ANNOUNCER:
-- and now the motorcade is turning onto Ellm Street. There's someone holding up a banner. "All the Way with JFK." The President is smiling and waving as his car heads for Dealy Plaza where it will swing past the Texas Book Depository and --

(Booth snaps his fingers -- the radio goes off. He holds out the gun.)

OSWALD:
People will hate me.

BOOTH:
They'll hate you with a passion, Lee. Imagine people having passionate feelings about Lee Harvey Oswald...

(Oswald reaches for the gun, hesitates, then drops his hand.)

Somebody. Help me...

(Zangara steps forward, speaks in Italian. The Assassins translate.)

ZANGARA:
Per favore, te prego, ti supplico…

MOORE:
Please. I beseech you –

ZANGARA:
Noi siamo i disperati gli smarriti…

CZOLGOSZ:
We are the hopeless ones. The lost ones...

ZANGARA:
Vivlamo la nostra vita in’esilio…

GUITEAU:
We live our lives in exile...

ZANGARA:
Rimpatriati nelle nostre terre…

BYCK:
Expatriates in our own country...

ZANGARA:
Siamo partati sin dalla nascita, disperandoci…

HINCKLEY:
We drift from birth to death, despairing...

ZANGARA:
Inconsolabili…

FROMME:
Inconsolable...

ZANGARA:
Ma, attraverso le tue azioni osiamo sperare…

GUITEAU:
But through you and your act, we dare to hope...

ZANGARA:
Attraverso le tue azioni ravvivandoci dando senso…

MOORE:
Through you and your act we are revived and given meaning...

ZANGARA:
Oguno delle nostre vite e delle nostre azioni diventano significativi…

CZOLGOSZ:
Our lives, our acts, are given meaning...

ZANGARA:
Le nostre frustrazioni svaniscono…

HINCKLEY:
Our frustrations fall away...

ZANGARA:
I nostri sogni profondi diventano veri…

BYCK:
Our fondest dreams come true...

ZANGARA:
Oggi, attraverso te, siamo rinati.

FROMME:
Today, we are reborn, through you...

(Pause)

BOOTH:
We need you, Lee.

MOORE:
Without you, we're just footnotes in a history book.

GUITEAU:
"Disappointed office seeker."

CZOLGOSZ:
"Deranged immigrant."

BOOTH:
"Vainglorious actor."

FROMME:
Without you we're a bunch of freaks.

HINCKLEY:
With you we're a force of history.

GUITEAU:
We become immortal.

ZANGARA:
Finally we belong.

MOORE:
To one another.

CZOLGOSZ:
To the nation.

GUITEAU:
To the ages.

BYCK:
Bring us together, babe.

MOORE:
You think you can't connect. Connect to us.

CZOLGOSZ:
You think you're powerless. Empower us.

BOOTH:
It's in your grasp, Lee. All you have to do is move your little finger. You can close the New York Stock exchange.

GUITEAU:
Shut down the schools in Indonesia.

MOORE:
In Florence, Italy, a woman will leap from the Duomo clutching a picture of your victim and cursing your name --

CZOLGOSZ:
Your wife will weep --

FROMME:
His wife will weep --

ZANGARA:
The world will weep --

GUITEAU:
Grief. Grief beyond imagining --

HINCKLEY:
Despair --

MOORE:
The death of innocence and hope --

CZOLGOSZ:
The bitter burdens which you share --

BYCK:
The bitter truths you carry in your heart --

GUITEAU:
You can share them with the wrold.

BOOTH:
You have the power of Pandora's Box, Lee. Open it...

(He holds out the gun. Oswald takes it and crouches at the window.)

GUITEAU:
I envy you...

MOORE:
We're your family...

HINCKLEY:
I admire you...

CZOLGOSZ:
I respect you...

MOORE:
|Make us proud of you...
|
|BOOTH:
|I envy you...
|
|GUITEAU:
|We're your family...

HINCKLEY:
|I admire you...
|
|FROMME and MOORE:
|We're depending
|On you...
|ZANGARA:
|You are
The
|Future....
|
|GUITEAU and MOORE:
|We're your family...
|
|CZOLGOSZ:
|We respect you...

BYCK and GUITEAU:
Make them listen to us,
We've been waiting for you.

BYCK and ZANGARA:
Make them listen, boy...

ALL:
We admire you...
We're your family...
You are the future...
We're depending on you...
Make us proud...
All you have to do
Is squeeze your little finger.
Squeeze your little finger...
You can change the wor--

(Oswald fires. A slide is projected upstage: the famous photo of Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby.)




EVERYBODY’S GOT THE RIGHT (REPRISE)

BOOTH:
Everybody’s
Got the right
To be happy.
Don’t be mad,
Life’s not as bad
As it seems.

CZOLGOSZ:
If you keep your goal in sight,
You can climb to any height –

BOOTH and CZOLGOSZ:
Everbody’s
Got the right
To their dreams.

MOORE:
Everbody’s
Got the right
To be different –

BOOTH and CZOLGOSZ:
If you want to be
Different…

GUITEAU:
Even though
At times they go
To extremes –

BOOTH, CZOLGOSZ, and MOORE:
Go to extremes…

ZANGARA:
Anybody can prevail –

BYCK:
Everybody’s free to fail –

ALL:
No one can be put in jail
For their dreams…

Free country --!

HINCKLEY:
Means that you’ve got the choice:

GUITEAU:
Be a scholar!

BYCK:
Make a dollar!

ALL:
Free country --!

CZOLGOSZ:
Means that you get a voice.

ZANGARA:
Scream and holler!

FROMME:
Grab ‘em by the collar!

ALL:
Free country --!

OSWALD:
Means you get to connect.

MOORE and FROMME:
That’s it!

ALL:
Means the right to expect
That you’ll have an effect,
That you’re gonna connect –

Connect.
Connect!
Connect!

Everybody’s
Got the right
To some sunshine –
Not the sun
But maybe one
Of its beams.
One of its beams.

Rich man, poor man,
Black or white,
Everybody
Gets a bite,
Everybody
Just hold tight
To your dreams –

Everybody’s
Got the right…

To their dreams!

(All point their guns at the audience and fire. Blackout.)

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