The Senator’s Stump Speech

(2006)

"The Senator’s Stump Speech" is a concert aria by Stephen Mark Kohn setting the speech text of a former state representative of Mississippi.

I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time.
However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy.


On the contrary, I will discuss any subject at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it may be.


You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right. Here is how I feel about whiskey.


If, when you say whiskey, you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children!


If, when you say whiskey, you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacle of gracious, righteous living into the bottomless pit of degradation and despair and shame and helplessness and hopelessness, than I am against it!


But…


If, when you say whiskey, you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song on their lips and laughter in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes.


If you mean Christmassy cheer, if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring into some old gentleman’s walk on a frosty, crispy morning.


If you mean the drink which enables man to magnify his joy, his happiness, his pleasure and his love of life…and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies.


If you mean the drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build roads and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.


This is my stand, I will not be swayed from it!
I will not detract from it! I will not compromise!
Thank you very much.


Audio PLaylist