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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"Death Plucks My Ears"

No, that isn't just an awesome heavy metal lyric, although it certainly is that too (I'm thinking it would sound about right as a lyric for the excellent band Opeth).  It is, of course, the beginning of the peroration to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's famous radio address on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday.  I've long loved his address, and wanted to hear it, but didn't realize it was (natch) available online.  Here it is, and it's a joy to hear it at long last.  His accent is fascinating: that mid-Atlantic, English-meets-American accent that seems to have dropped out of existence in the past half-century, although it may still be heard among certain shadowy inbred tribes living in small, isolated communities in the New England region, and among slavish imitators of Cary Grant movies.  And the speech, of course, is lovely.  I'd given some thought to saving this post for Holmes's birthday, March 8.  But, as the man says, "Live, I am coming."

Posted by Paul Horwitz on February 20, 2007 at 11:15 AM in Constitutional thoughts | Permalink


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» Justice Holmes Recorded on His 90th Birthday from Discourse.net
Paul Horwitz at Prawfsblawg points to an amazing live recording of the sometimes odious and usually brilliant Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. made at the conclusion of a symposium in honor of his 90th birthday. Truly a dead voice from the past. And ... [Read More]

Tracked on May 30, 2007 5:59:01 PM


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