Richard Henry Lee was the Virginian delegate to the Second Continental Congress. In 1776 he brought forth the motion calling for American independence from Great Britain.
“My name is Richard Henry Lee; Virginia is my home
My name is Richard Henry Lee; Virginia is my home
And may my horses be turned to glue if I can’t deliver
Unto you a resolution on independency!”
I don’t remember learning about Richard Henry Lee when I was in school, but his song from the musical, “1776” has probably been sung a couple of hundred times in the Paladini home in the last 10 years.
“For I am FFV, the first family
In the sovereign colony of Virginia
Yes I am FFV, the oldest family
in the oldest colony in America
And may the British burn my land if I can’t deliver
To your hand a resolution on independency!”
The first time we heard of Richard Henry Lee was when David was in the 6th grade and drew Lee’s name in a small home-school co-op drama about the events leading up to the Revolutionary War. David had to write a report, memorize some of his quotes, and put together a costume.
Then we discovered “1776” the musical, and the delightful characterization of Richard Henry Lee.
And then, within the month, we all went to Washington DC for Monica’s eighth grade trip, and it included a stop at Saint John’s Church in Richmond Virginia – and who do you think we met?
“You see it’s here-a-Lee, there-a-Lee
Social-Lee, political-Lee, financial-Lee, natural-Lee
Internal-Lee, external-Lee, fraternal-Lee, eternal-Lee
Since then, it has become a tradition for us to watch “1776” every 4th of July! If you haven’t ever seen it you’re in for a treat! You’ll learn all kinds of tidbits of American history and you’ll have great, fun songs stuck in your head forever!
*Lyrics from the Musical: 1776 (Song: Lees of Old Virginia)