Tired of long-winded commencement speeches? Try the 1-minute version

[youtubevid id=”ljvJoFLt3EU”]

Former presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, darling of the left in 1968, gave the commencement speech to the Haverford College class of ’71 in my senior year there. By that time, sadly, he was as boring as he appeared to be bored.

As colleges, high schools and even middle-schools jockey to line up speakers they hope will inspire their graduates, the most ardent wish of those receiving diplomas or sitting in the audience is for someone who is concise, engaging and perhaps even a bit funny.  Let’s face it: Most graduation speakers fail this test miserably.

And so, for inspiration, we turn to this one-minute graduation song, making the rounds of the news and YouTube.  The Boston Globe reports it was written by Barry Levy,  a physician “whose lifelong hobby has been writing poetry and satirical lyrics.”   He may be good enough at it to quit his day job.  You be the judge.

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About jerrylanson

I teach, write, coach and sing, though you're not required to listen to the latter. I'm a journalism professor at Emerson College in Boston. My third book, "Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves," was published in November by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing. You can read a sample chapter at www.jerrylanson.com. My passions are politics (generally liberal in outlook), music, mountains, golden retrievers and my grandchildren, though not in that order. Please stop by and mix it up with me. I always answer those who post.
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3 Responses to Tired of long-winded commencement speeches? Try the 1-minute version

  1. Tyler Smith says:

    Reminds me of Tom Lehrer.

  2. Caitlin Kelly says:

    Very cute. I remember (how boring) our speaker was, a Nobel prize winner (in science) from our own school. Not wildly inspiring to an English major.

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