Charlie at the NSDA

by Frank Riccobono

At the suggestion of his coach, I wrote these alternate lyrics to The Kingston Trio’s “Charlie on the MTA” to celebrate her student's (i.e. Charlie) second time in finals of student congress at the 2018 National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Let me tell you the story
Of a man named Charlie
On a humid south Florida day
He prepped each bill in the docket,
Thanked his coach and teammates
Went to speak at the NSDA

Chorus:

Did he ever affirm,
Yes, he’d speak to affirm
And negate with the skills he’d learned
(What a trooper)
He may speak forever
Goin’ session after session
In the chamber that never adjourned.

Charlie straightened up his placard
As the P.O. called for order
And he stood to debate the first bill.
Hours later, chamber never moved to
Previous Question
Charlie’s there debating still.

Chorus:

Did he ever affirm,
Yes, he’d speak to affirm
And negate with the skills he’d learned
(The poor Parli)
He may speak forever
Goin’ session after session
In the chamber that never adjourned.

Charlie's coach goes to wait
Just outside the chamber
Every day to show her support
And during each brief recess
She hands Charlie a snack
At that Bonaventure Resort.

(3-minute banjo solo followed by 1 minute mandatory questioning)

Now you citizens of Natick,
Don't you think it's a triumph
That your student got a finals replay?
Watch the finals stream
You know that we’ll be tryin’
To cheer for Charlie at the NSDA.

Chorus: Where he’ll speak to affirm,
Yes he'll speak to affirm
And negate with the skills he’d learned
He may speak forever
Goin’ session after session
In the chamber that never adjourned
In the chamber that never adjourned
In the chamber that never adjourned

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