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"The Ballad of Czolgosz" is a song from the musical Assassins. It features the Balladeer narrating Leon Czolgosz's assassination of President William Mckinley.

Performers

Character Original Off-Broadway London Premiere Broadway Premiere London revival Encores! Off Center
The Balladeer Patrick Cassidy Anthony Barclay Neil Patrick Harris Jamie Parker Clifton Duncan

Lyrics

Czolgosz, working man
Born in the middle of Michigan
Woke with a thought
And away he ran
To the Pan-American Exposition
In Buffalo
In Buffalo

Saw of a sudden
How things were run
Said, "Time's a-wasting
It's nineteen-one
Some men have everything
And some have none
So rise and shine—
In the U.S.A
You can work your way
To the head of the line!"

[Single line, ladies and gentlemen. Line forms here to meet the President of the United States. Single line to shake hands with President William McKinley.​]

Czolgosz, quiet man
Worked out a quiet
And simple plan
Strolled of a morning
All spick and span
To the Temple of Music
By the Tower of Light
At the Pan-American Exposition
In Buffalo
In Buffalo

Saw Bill McKinley there
In the sun
Heard Bill McKinley say
"Folks, have fun!
Some men have everything
And some have none
But that's just fine
In the U.S.A
You can work your way
To the head of the line!"

Big Bill!

Gave 'em a thrill

Big Bill!

Sold 'em a bill

Big Bill!

—Who'd want to kill
A man of good will like

Big Bill!

[Doesn't the President look marvelous? So round and prosperous!]

[Do you know what his favorite dish is? It was in the paper. Beef!]

[I'm told that in his spare time, he enjoys collecting coins!]

Czolgosz, angry man
Said, "I will do what
A poor man can
Yes, and there's nowhere
More fitting than
In the Temple of Music
By the Tower of Light
Between the Fountain of Abundance
And the Court of Lilies
At the great Pan-American Exposition
In Buffalo
In Buffalo

Wrapped him a handkerchief
'Round his gun
Said, "Nothin' wrong about
What I done
Some men have everything
And some have none
That's by design
The idea wasn't mine alone
But mine
And that's the sign

In the U.S.A
You can have your say
You can set your goals
And seize the day
You've been given the freedom
To work your way
To the head of the line—
To the head of the line!"

Other Appearances

  • The original version of the song was featured in the play's soundtrack.
  • The Broadway version was featured on the official soundtrack.

Gallery

Images

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Videos

The Gun Song The Ballad of Czolgosz
Assassins (BRC) part 5 - The Ballad of Czolgosz
"The Ballad of Czolgosz" Choreography
           Assassins Navbox.png Songs

Everybody's Got the RightThe Ballad of BoothHow I Saved RooseveltThe Gun SongThe Ballad of CzolgoszUnworthy of Your LoveThe Ballad of GuiteauAnother National AnthemYou Can Close the New York Stock ExchangeEverybody's Got the Right (Reprise)

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