STEPHEN SONDHEIM


The Ballad Of Guiteau Lyrics

Charles Guiteau stands at the foot of the gallows, the
Hangman waiting at the top of the steps.

GUITEAU
I am going to the Lordy,
I am so glad.
I am going to the Lordy,
I am so glad.
I am going to the Lordy,
Glory hallelujah!
Glory hallelujah!
I am going to the Lordy...

BALLADEER
(entering)
Come all ye Christians,
And learn from a sinner:
Charlie Guiteau.
Bound and determined
He'd wind up a winner,
Charlie had dreams
That he wouldn't let go.
Said, "Nothing to it,
I want it, I'll do it,
I'm Charles J. Guiteau."

Charlie Guiteau
Never said "Never"
Or heard the word "No."
Face with disaster,
His heart would beat faster,
His smile would just grow,
And he'd say:

GUITEAU
(cakewalking up and down the gallows steps)
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.

Wait till you see tomorrow,
Tomorrow you'll get your reward!
You can be sad
Or you can be president --
Look on the bright side...

(finishes a step or two higher than before)

I am going to the Lordy...

BALLADEER
Charlie Guiteau
Drew a crowd to his trial,
Led them in prayer,
Said, "I killed Garfield,
I'll make no denial.
I was just acting
For Someone up there.
The Lord's my employer,
And now he's my lawyer,
So do what you dare."

Charlie said, "Hell,
If I am guilty,
Then God is as well."
But God was acquitted
And Charlie committed
Until he should hang.
Still, he sang:

GUITEAU
(cakewalking up and down the steps)
Look on the bright side,
Not on the black side.
Get off your backside,
Shine those shoes.
This is your golden
Opportunity:
You are the lightning
And you're news!

Wait till you see tomorrow,
Tomorrow you won't be ignored!
You could be pardoned,
You could be president --
Look on the bright side...

(finishes a step or two higher)

I am going to the Lordy...

BALLADEER
Charlie Guiteau
Had a crowd at the scaffold --

GUITEAU
I am so glad...

BALLADEER
-- Filled up the square,
So many people
That tickets were raffled.
Shine on his shoes,
Charlie mounted the stair,
Said, "Never Sorrow,
Just wait till tomorrow,
Today isn't fair.
Don't despair..."

GUITEAU
(feverishly, cakewalking up the steps)
Look on the bright side,
Look on the bright side,
Sit on the right side...

(reaches the Hangman)

Of the...

(steps backwards to the bottom, then with resolution
starts up again)

I am going to the Lordy,
I am so glad!
I am going to the Lordy,
I am so glad!
I have unified my party,
I have saved my country.
I shall be remembered!

I am going to the Lord...

(Hangman adjusts noose)

BALLADEER
Look on the bright side,
Not on the sad side,
Inside the bad side
Something's good!
This is your golden
Opportunity:
You've been a preacher --

GUITEAU
Yes, I have!

BALLADEER
You've been an author --

GUITEAU
Yes, I have!

BALLADEER
You've been a killer --

GUITEAU
Yes, I have!

BALLADEER
You could be an angel --

GUITEAU
Yes, I could!

(Hangman puts hood over Guiteau)

BALLADEER
Just wait until tomorrow,
Tomorrow they'll all climb aboard!
What if you never
Got to be president?
You'll be remembered --

(Guiteau dances briefly.)

Look on the bright side --

(again)

Trust in tomorrow --

(once more)

GUITEAU, BALLADEER
And the Lord!

(Hangman pulls the trapdoor lever.)

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Songwriter(s): Michael Starobin, Stephen Sondheim
Publisher(s): Rilting Music Inc.

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