MICHELE NORRIS, host:
A couple of weeks ago we got an unusual piece of mail. One of our listeners, Barry Levy, sent us a song. He's a doctor who moonlights as a musical satirist, and he mailed us lyrics he wrote set to a tune by Mozart. It's a musical satire of a graduation speech. So we commissioned our intern, Tara Tisch-Wallace, who's about to become a graduate herself, to sing those lyrics. Here's the result of this collaboration.
(Soundbite of song)
Ms. TARA TISCH-WALLACE (NPR Intern): (Singing) You guys are the best, I'm so impressed. You've written every paper, read each book, and passed each test. You have forded every river, you have conquered every hill. Each and every grad, thank your mom and dad. Thank each teacher, coach, and mentor that you've ever had. Give it up for all those people because you know they love you still.
You have mastered all the art of science. You have mastered the science of the arts. You have demonstrated self-reliance, and your sum is greater than your parts. Now you're on your own, but your debt has grown. All your working life you will be paying off that loan. As you pick up your diploma, pay your past-due bill.
JFK said you should ask how it's best to serve your nation. Dr. King said he had a dream that everyone was free. Margaret Mead said a few of you could bring big transformation. Gandhi said you can be the change that you would want to see. Go with style and grace, you will find your place. Every challenge in your life you're now prepared to face. Don't forget your alma mater when you write your will.
NORRIS: Ladies and gentlemen, Tara Tisch-Wallace. She's graduating from the Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland. She'll be attending the University of Illinois at Chicago in the fall, and she plans to study acting. Barry Levy wrote the lyrics to that song, his musical partner, Brad Ross, accompanied by Tara on the piano.
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