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1776
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin fight, argue and compromise with their Continental Congress colleagues, to bring about the ratification of the Declaration of Independence and birth of the United States of America. Facing the challenges of creating a nation in the face of what Franklin suggests are almost insurmountable odds, dealing with slavery, states' rights, financial uncertainty, an army in retreat, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin work their miracle and re-make world history. It is suspenseful, funny and marvelously exciting - you know the outcome and yet there are constant surprises along the way.
Opened 3/16/1969 Ran for 1217 performances.          
Version:     Broadway Version      
Credits:     Book by Peter Stone

Music by Sherman Edwards

Lyrics by Sherman Edward      
Type:     Book Show      
Acts:     One      
Rating:     G      
Cast Size:     Large (over 20)      
Orchestra Size:     Medium (12-17)      
Chorus Required:     No     
Dancing Required:     Yes, but minimal/optional     
Difficulty:     Easy to learn
Easy to sing      
Style:     Broadway
Americana      
Category:     Drama
Historical
Period Piece      
Ideal For:     Colleges
Community Theatres
Concerts
Families
Festivals
Fund-Raising
High Schools
Regional Theatres
Intimate Spaces      
Cast Size:     Large (over 20)     
     25 Men & Women      
Casting Notes:     Predominantly men
Star vehicle - male     
Characters:     John Adams, driven, dynamic, stubborn
Abigail, Adams' devoted, practical wife
Thomas Jefferson, handsome young delegate
Martha, Jefferson's romantic young wife
Benjamin Franklin, wry, whimsical sage
Richard Henry Lee a Virginia dandy
Edward Rutledge, imposing South Carolinan dissenter
John Dickinson, Adams' main rival in Congress - leader of the cool, conservative men
Roger Sherman, another delegate, a simple man
Robert Livingston, cautious New York delegate
John Hancock, cautious president of the Congress
A young, war-shocked Courier (who sings Momma Look Sharp")
Caesar Rodney, a decrepit, cancer-ridden delegate, a decent man
Andrew McNair, the straggling custodian/ secretary
"     
Special Requirements:     This is essentially a one-set show. It is also a costume piece - it demands a full array of late 18th century costumes for men of wealth.     

1776

Book by Peter Stone
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards

  1.Overture
  2.Sit Down, John
  3.Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve
  4.Till Then
  5.The Lees of Old Virginia
  6.But Mr. Adams
  7.Yours, Yours, Yours
  8.He Plays The Violin
  9.Cool, Cool Considerate Men
 10.Momma, Look Sharp
 11.The Egg
 12.Molasses To Rum
 13.Yours, Yours, Yours (Reprise)
 14.Is Anybody There?
 15.Finale


1.Overture  


2.Sit Down, John  

   Congress:
   Sit down, John! Sit down, John!
   For God's sake, John, sit down!
   Sit down, John! Sit down, John!
   For God's sake, John, sit down!

   Someone oughta open up a window!

   It's ninety degrees! Have mercy, John, please
   It's hot as hell in Philadephia!

   Someone oughta open up a window!

   Adams:
   I say vote yes! Vote yes! Vote for independency!
   Congress:
   Someone oughta open up a window!
   Adams:
   I say vote yes!
   Congress:
   Sit down, John!
   Adams:
   Vote for independency!
   Congress:
   Someone oughta open up a window!
   No, no, no! Too many flies! Too many flies!
   But it's hot as hell in Philadelphia!
   Someone oughta open up a window!

   Can't we compromise here?
   Adams:
   Vote yes!
   Congress:
   No, too many flies here!
   Adams:
   Vote yes!
   Congress:
   Oh for God's sake, John, sit down!
   Adams:
   Oh, good God! Consider yourself lucky that you have John Adams to abuse, for no sane man
   would tolerate it!
   Congress:
   John, you're a bore; we've heard this before
   Now for God's sake, John, sit down!
   Adams:
   I say vote yes!
   Congress:
   No!
   Adams:
   Vote yes!
   Congress:
   No!
   Adams:
   Vote for independency!
   Congress:
   Someone oughta open up a window!
   Adams:
   I say vote yes!
   Congress:
   Sit down, John!
   Congress:
   Vote for independency!
   Congress:
   Will someone shut that man up?
   Adams:
   Never!


3.Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve  

   Adams:
   I do believe you've laid a curse on North America
   A curse that we now here rehearse in Philadelphia
   A second flood, a simple famine
   Plagues of locusts everywhere
   Or a cataclysmic earthquake
   I'd accept with some despair
   But, no, you sent us Congress.
   Good God, sir, was that fair?

   I say it with humility in Philadelphia
   We're your responsibility in Philadephia
   If you don't want to see us hanging
   From some far-off British hill
   If you don't want the voice of independency
   Forever still
   Then God, sir, get thee to it
   For Congress never will

   You see, we piddle, twiddle, and resolve
   Not one damn thing do we solve
   Piddle, twiddle, and resolve
   Nothing's ever solved in
   Foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy
   Philadephia!

   They may sit here for years and years in Philadelphia.
   These indecisive grenadiers of Philadelphia.
   They can't agree on what is right and wrong
   Or what is good or bad; I'm convinced
   The only purpose this Congress ever had
   Was to gather here specifically
   To drive John Adams mad!

   You see, we piddle, twiddle, and resolve
   Not one damn thing do we solve
   Piddle, twiddle, and resolve
   Nothing's ever solved in
   Foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy
   Philadephia!
   Congress:
   Someone oughta open up a window!
   Adams:
   Oh good God!
   Abigail:
   John, John, is that you carrying on, John?

   Just tell the Congress to declare independency
   Then sign your name, get out of there and
   Hurry home to me
   Our children all have dysentery
   Little Tom keeps turning blue
   Little Abbey has the measles
   And I'm coming down with flu
   They say we may get smallpox
   Adams:
   Madam, what else is new?
   Abigail:
   There's one thing every woman's missed in
   Massachusetts Bay
   Don't smirk at me, you egotist; pay
   Heed to what I say
   We've gone from Framingham to Boston
   And we cannot find a pin
   "Don't you know there's a war on?"
   Say the tradesmen with a grin
   Well, we will not make saltpeter
   Until you send us pins!
   Both:
   Till then, till then
   I am as I ever was and ever shall be
   Yours, yours, yours, yours, yours
   Adams:
   Saltpeter, John
   Abigail:
   Pins, Abigail
   Congress:
   For God's sake, John, sit down


4.Till Then  
   NOT AVAILABLE!


5.The Lees of Old Virginia  

   Lee:
   My name is Richard Henry Lee; Virginia is my home
   My name is Richard Henry Lee; Virginia is my home
   And my horses turn to glue if I can't deliver
   Unto you a resolution on independency!

   For I am FFV, the first family
   In the sovereign colony of Virginia
   Yes I am FFV, the oldest family
   in the oldest colony in America
   And may the British burn my land if I can't deliver
   To your hand a resolution on independency!

   You see it's here-a-Lee, there-a-Lee
   And everywhere-a-Lee-a-Lee

   Social-Lee, political-Lee, financial-Lee, natural-Lee
   Internal-Lee, external-Lee, fraternal-Lee, eternal-Lee

   The FFV, the first family
   In the sovereign colony of Virginia
   And may my wife refuse my bed if I can't deliver
   As I said a resolution on independency

   They say that God in heaven is everybody's God
   I'll admit that God in heaven is everybody's God
   But I tell you, John, with pride, God leans
   A little on the side of the Lees, the Lees of old Virgina!

   You see it's here-a-Lee, there-a-Lee
   And everywhere-a-Lee-a-Lee
   Here-a-Lee, there-a-Lee
   And everywhere-a-Lee

   Look out! There's Arthur Lee, Bobby Lee
   And General Lighthorse Harry Lee
   Willy Lee, Jesse Lee

   Franklin:
   And Richard H.!
   Lee:
   That's me!
   And may my blood stop running blue if I can't deliver
   Unto you a resolution on independency!

   Yes sir, by God, it's here-a-Lee, there-a-Lee
   Come on boys join in with me!
   Here-a-Lee, there-a-Lee!

   Franklin:
   When do you leave?
   Lee:
   Immediate-Lee!
   Here-a-Lee, there-a-Lee!
   Franklin:
   When will you return?
   Lee:
   Short-Lee!
   Here-a-Lee, there-a-Lee!
   And I'll come back triumphant-Lee!
   Here-a-Lee, there-a-Lee!
   Everywhere a-Lee-a-Lee

   Forward ho!


6.But Mr. Adams  

   Franklin:
   Mr. Adams, I say you should write it
   To your legal mind and brilliance we defer
   Adams:
   Is that so? Well, if I'm the one to do it
   They'll run their quill pens through it
   I'm obnoxious and disliked, you know that, sir
   Franklin:
   Yes, I know
   Adams:
   So I say you should write it Franklin, yes you
   Franklin:
   Hell, no!
   Adams:
   Yes, you, Dr. Franklin, you
   but, you, but, you, but
   Franklin:
   Mr. Adams, but, Mr. Adams
   The things I write are only light extemporania
   I won't put politics on paper; it's a mania
   So I refuse to use the pen in Pennsylvania
   Others:
   Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, refuse to use the pen
   Adams:
   Mr. Sherman, I say you should write it
   You are never controversial as it were
   Sherman:
   That is true
   Adams:
   Whereas if I'm the one to do it
   They'll run their quill pens through it
   I'm obnoxious and disliked, you know that, sir
   Sherman:
   Yes, I do
   Adams:
   So I say you should write it, Sherman, yes you
   Sherman:
   Good heavens, no!
   Adams:
   Yes you, Roger Sherman, you
   but, you, but, you, but
   Sherman:
   Mr. Adams, but, Mr. Adams
   I cannot write with any style or proper etiquette
   I don't know a participle from a predicate
   I am just a simple cobbler from Connecticut
   Others:
   Connecticut, Connecticut, a simple cobbler he
   Adams:
   Mr. Livingston, maybe you should write it
   You have many friends and you're a diplomat
   Franklin:
   Oh, that word!
   Adams:
   Whereas if I'm the one to do it
   They'll run their quill pens through it
   Others:
   He's obnoxious and disliked; did you know that?
   Livingston:
   I hadn't heard
   Adams:
   So I say you should write it, Robert, yes you
   Livingston:
   Not me, Johnny!
   Adams:
   Yes you, Robert Livingston, you
   but you but you but
   Livingston:
   Mr. Adams, dear Mr. Adams
   I've been presented with a new son by the noble stork
   So I am going home to celebrate and pop the cork
   With all the Livingstons together back in old New York
   Others:
   New York, New York, Livingston's going to pop a cork
   Jefferson:
   Mr. Adams, leave me alone!
   Adams:
   Mr. Jefferson, dear Mr. Jefferson
   I'm only 41; I still have my virility
   And I can romp through Cupid's Grove with great agility
   But life is more than sexual combustibility
   Others:
   Combustibility, combustibility, combustibili...
   Jefferson:
   Mr. Adams, damn you Mr. Adams
   You're obnoxious and disliked; that cannot be denied
   Once again you stand between me and my lovely bride
   Oh, Mr. Adams, you are driving me to homicide!
   Others:
   Homicide, homicide, we may see murder yet!


7.Yours, Yours, Yours  

   Abigail:
   I live like a nun in a cloister
   Solitary, celibate, I hate it
   Adams:
   I live like a monk in an abbey
   Ditto, ditto, I hate it
   Abigail:
   Write to me with sentimental effusion
   Let me revel in romantic illusion
   Adams:
   Do you still smell of vanilla and spring air?
   And is my favorite lover's pillar still firm and fair?
   Abigail:
   What was there, John, still is there, John
   Come soon as you can to my cloister
   I've forgotten the feel of your hand
   Adams:
   Madam we shall walk in Cupid's Grove together
   Both:
   And we'll fondly survey
   That promised land

   Till then, till then
   I am as I ever was and ever was
   And ever shall be
   Yours, yours, yours, yours, yours
   Abigail:
   Saltpeter, John


8.He Plays The Violin  

   Martha:
   He plays the violin
   He tucks it right under his chin
   And he bows, oh he bows
   For he knows, yes he knows
   That it's hi-hi-hi-diddle diddle
   It's my heart, Tom and his fiddle
   My strings are unstrung
   Hi-hi-hi-hi
   I am undone

   I hear his violin
   And I get that feeling within
   And I sigh, oh I sigh
   He draws near, very near
   And it's hi-hi-hi-diddle diddle
   Goodbye to the fiddle
   My strings are unstrung
   Hi-hi-hi-hi
   I'm always undone

   When heaven calls to me
   Sing me no sad eulogy
   Say I die, loving bride
   Loving wife, loving life

   For it was hi-hi-hi-hi-diddle diddle
   'Twixt my heart, Tom, and his fiddle
   And ever 'twill be
   Hi-hi-hi-hi
   Through eternity

   He plays the violin.


9.Cool, Cool Considerate Men  

   Dickinson:
   Oh say do you see what I see?
   Congress sitting here in sweet serenity
   I could cheer; the reason's clear
   For the first time in a year Adams isn't here
   And look, the sun is in the sky
   A breeze is blowing by, and there's not a single fly

   I sing hosanna, hosanna
   Hosanna, hosanna
   And it's cool

   Come ye cool cool conservative men
   The likes of which may never be seen again
   We have land, cash in hand
   Self-command, future planned
   Fortune flies, society survives
   In neatly ordered lives with well-endowered wives

   We sing hosanna, hosanna
   To our breeding and our banner
   We are cool

   Come ye cool cool considerate set
   We'll dance together to the same minuet
   To the right, ever to the right
   Never to the left, forever to the right
   May our creed be never to exceed
   Regulated speed, no matter what the need

   We sing hosanna, hosanna
   Enblazoned on our banner
   Is keep cool

   What we do we do rationally
   We never ever go off half-cocked, not we
   Why begin till we know that we can win
   And if we cannot win why bother to begin?
   Rutledge:
   We say this game's not of our choosing
   Why should we risk losing?
   All:
   We are cool

   To the right, ever to the right
   Never to the left, forever to the right
   We have gold, a market that will hold
   Tradition that is old, a reluctance to be bold.
   Dickinson:
   I sing hosanna, hosanna
   In a sane and lucid manner
   We are cool
   All:
   Come ye cool cool considerate men
   The likes of which may never be seen again
   With our land, cash in hand
   Self-command, future planned
   And we'll hold to our gold
   Tradition that is old, reluctant to be bold.
   We say this game's not of our choosing
   Why should we risk losing?

   We cool, cool, cool
   Cool, cool, cool
   Cool cool men.


10.Momma, Look Sharp  

   Courier:
   Momma, hey momma, come lookin' for me
   I'm here in the meadow by the red maple tree
   Momma, hey momma, look sharp, here I be
   Hey, hey, momma look sharp

   Them soldiers, they fired. Oh ma, did we run
   But then we turned round and the battle begun
   Then I went under, oh ma, am I done?
   Hey, hey, momma look sharp

   My eyes are wide open, my face to the sky
   Is that you I'm hearin' in the tall grass nearby?
   Momma come find me before I do die
   Hey, hey, momma look sharp
   All:
   I'll close your eyes, my Billy
   Them eyes that cannot see
   And I'll bury you, my Billy
   Beneath the maple tree
   Courier:
   And never again will you whisper to me
   Hey, hey, momma look sharp


11.The Egg  

   Adams:

   It's a masterpiece, I say!
   They will cheer every word, every letter
   Jefferson:
   I wish I felt that way
   Franklin:
   I believe I can put it better
   Now then attend, as friend to friend
   On our Declaration Committee
   For us I see immortality
   All:
   In Philadelphia City
   Franklin:
   A farmer, a lawyer, and a sage
   A bit gouty in the leg
   You know it's quite bizarre
   To think that here we are
   Playing midwives to an egg
   All:
   We're waiting for the chirp, chirp, chirp
   Of an eaglet being born
   We're waiting for the chirp, chirp, chirp
   On this humid Monday morning in this
   Congressional incubator
   Franklin:
   God knows the temperature's hot enough
   To hatch a stone, let alone an egg
   All:
   We're waiting for the scratch, scratch, scratch
   Of that tiny little fellow
   Waiting for the egg to hatch
   On this humid Monday morning in this
   Congressional incubator
   Adams:
   God knows the temperature's hot enough
   To hatch a stone
   Jefferson:
   But will it hatch an egg?
   Adams:
   The eagle's going to crack the shell
   Of the egg that England laid
   All:
   Yes, so we can tell, tell, tell
   On this humid Monday morning in this
   Congressional incubator
   Franklin:
   And as just as Tom here has written
   Though the egg may belong to Great Britain,
   The eagle inside belongs to us!
   All:
   And as just as Tom here has written
   We say to hell with Great Britain!
   The eagle inside belongs to us!


12.Molasses To Rum  

   Rutledge:
   Molasses to rum to slaves, oh what a beautiful waltz
   You dance with us, we dance with you
   Molasses and rum and slaves

   Who sails the ships out of Boston
   Ladened with bibles and rum?
   Who drinks a toast to the Ivory Coast?
   Hail Africa, the slavers have come
   New England with bibles and rum

   And its off with the rum and the bibles
   Take on the slaves, clink, clink
   Hail and farewell to the smell
   Of the African coast

   Molasses to rum to slaves
   'Tisn't morals, 'tis money that saves
   Shall we dance to the sound of the profitable pound
   In molasses and rum and slaves

   Who sails the ships out of Guinea
   Ladened with bibles and slaves?
   'Tis Boston can coast to the West Indies coast
   Jamaica, we brung what ye craves
   Antigua, Barbados, we brung bibles and slaves!

   Molasses to rum to slaves
   Who sail the ships back to Boston
   Ladened with gold, see it gleam
   Whose fortunes are made in the triangle trade
   Hail slavery, the New England dream!
   Mr. Adams, I give you a toast:
   Hail Boston! Hail Charleston!
   Who stinketh the most?


13.Yours, Yours, Yours (Reprise)  
   NOT AVAILABLE!


14.Is Anybody There?  

   Adams:
   Is anybody there?
   Does anybody care?
   Does anybody see what I see?

   They want to me to quit; they say
   John, give up the fight
   Still to England I say
   Good night, forever, good night!
   For I have crossed the Rubicon
   Let the bridge be burned behind me
   Come what may, come what may

   Commitment!

   The croakers all say we'll rue the day
   There'll be hell to pay in fiery purgatory
   Through all the gloom, through all the gloom
   I see the rays of ravishing light and glory!

   Is anybody there? Does anybody care?
   Does anybody see what I see?

   I see fireworks! I see the pagaent and
   Pomp and parade
   I hear the bells ringing out
   I hear the cannons roar
   I see Americans - all Americans
   Free forever more

   How quiet, how quiet the chamber is
   How silent, how silent the chamber is

   Is anybody there? Does anybody care?
   Does anybody see what I see?


15.Finale