Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Patriotic Song, "Stephen Oliver

My Nicholas Nickleby post prompted some great e-mail and Facebook exchanges. My Andover buddy David Schwartz sent this video melding the third-season finale of "The West Wing," in which composer Stephen Oliver's "Patriotic Song" appears, with a scene from the Royal Shakespeare Company's marathon 1982-83 production of "The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby," for which Oliver wrote the song.

If you're not a "West Wing" aficionado, all you need to know is that President and playgoer Josiah Bartlett (Martin Sheen) has reluctantly ordered the illegal assassination of a terrorist -- the sometimes dark work of national security as against the idealized vision of nationhood in Oliver's rousing anthem.

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