Assassins (musical)

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Assassins (1990–1991), musical, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Everybody's Got the Right[edit]

  • (Proprietor) 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 be winners. First prize often goes to rank beginners.
  • (Proprietor) 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...
  • (Proprietor) 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...
  • (Proprietor) Hey, fella, Feel like you're a failure? Bailiff on your tail? Your Wife run off for good? Hey, fella, fell misunderstood? C'mere and kill a president...
  • (Proprietor) What's-a wrong, boy? Boss-a treat you crummy? Trouble with your tummy? This-a bring you some relief. Here, give some hail-a to da chief-
  • (Proprietor) Everybody's Got the right To be different Even though At times they go To extremes. Aim for what you want a lot- Everybody Gets a shot. Everybody's Got a right To their dreams- 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... Jeez, lady-! Give the guy some room! The bumper cars are that way.. Please, lady- Don't forget that guns can go boom...
  • (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 be put in jail For their dreams.
  • (Booth) Be a schoolar! (Proprietor) Make a dollar! (Together) Free Country! (Booth) Means they listen to you! (Proprietor) Scream and holler, (Booth) Grab em by the collar! Means you don't have to sit! (Proprietor) That's it! (Booth) Or put up with that shit!
  • (Assassins) Not the sun, but maybe one of it's beams, (Echoing) One of it's 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...

Ballad of Booth[edit]

  • (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...
  • (Balladeer) 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 coutry, John, Because of bad reviews.
  • (Balladeer) Johnny lived with a grace and glitter. Kind of 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.? Your brother made you jealous, John, You couldn't fill his shoes. Was that the reason, tell us, John- Along with bad reviews.
  • (Booth spoken) 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 you ship was sinking john (Booth spoken) 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 started missing cues. (Booth spoken) Two: You did silence you critics in the north by hurling them into prision without Benifit of charge or trial.
  • (Balladeer) They say it wasn't Lincoln, John, (Booth spoken) Shut up. Three: (Balladeer) You merely had a slew of bad review! (Booth spoken) I said shut up!
  • (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'em all! Tell'em till they listen! (Balladeer) He said, damn you Lincoln and damn the day, you threw the U out of U.S.A!
  • (Balladeer) 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 can end! Now this bloody war can end! Because someone slew the tyrant, just as Brutus slew the tyrant!
  • (Balladeer) He said (Together) Damn you Lincoln! You rightous whore! (Booth) Tell'em, tell'em what he did! (Balladeer) You turned your spite into civil war! (Booth) Tell'em, tell'em the truth! (Balladeer) And more!
  • (Booth) Tell'em boy! Tell'em 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 the How we gave up the field But we still wouldn't yield. How the union will never recover, from that vulger! High and Mighty! Niggerlover! Never! never... never...
  • (Booth) 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
  • (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.
  • (Baalladeer) Listen to the stories. Hear it in the songs. Angry men Don't write the rules And guns don't write 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

How I Saved Roosevelt[edit]

  • (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!
  • (Zangara) No scare. You think that I care? No care. I look at the world- No good. No fair. Nowhere. When I am 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.
  • (Zangara) 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.
  • (Zangara) 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!
  • (Zangara) 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, American! American nothing!
  • (Zangara) And why there no photographers? For Zangara no photographers! Only capitalists get photographers!


  • "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, anybody's got the right to their dreams.." - "Everybody's Got the Right"

  • "Everybody's got the right to some sunshine! Not the sun, but maybe one of it's beams!" - "Everybody's Got the Right"
  • "Everybody's got the right to their dreams!" - "Everybody's Got the Right"
  • "What a wonder is a gun! What a versatile invention! First of all, when you've a gun-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, Ensure my future, My niche in history, And then the world will see That I am not a man to overlook!" - Guiteau, "The Gun Song"
  • "A gun claims many men before it's done." - Czolgosz, "The Gun Song"
  • "You know [Brutus'] name. Brutus assassinated Caesar what, 2000 years ago, and here's a high school dropout with a dollar-twenty-five an hour job from Dallas, Texas who knows who he was. And they say fame, is fleeting." - John Wilkes Booth, "November 22, 1963"
  • "Angry men don't write the rules, and guns don't right the wrongs." - "The Ballad of 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"-John Wilkes Booth, "The Ballad of Booth"
  • "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..." -John Wilkes Booth, "The Ballad of Booth"

  • "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!"-Guiteau, The Ballad of Guiteau
  • Byck: Have it your way, have it your way! You know what my way is? Hot. How's about a hamburger that's fuckin' hot!? [throws his burger out the window; a car honks] Hey don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts!
  • John Wilkes Booth: Sic Semper Tyrannis! [Echoes throughout the theater].
  • Emma Goldman: What does a man do when before his eyes, he sees the vision of a new hope dawning on his toiling, agonizing brothers? What does a man do, when at last he is realizes that his suffering is caused not by cruelty of fate, but by the injustice of his fellow human being? 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--[sound of whistles, shouts, curses, chairs being turned over.]

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