Under the blazing sun this graduation season, many a cap-and-gowned graduate or proud parent, fanning their sweaty brows with a program, may feel like the commencement speech will ... never … ever … end.
Hasn't this all been said before? And couldn't this all really be said in just one minute? That thought may circle in the back of minds anxious to get a cool drink under a striped tent.
It did in Barry Levy's mind.
That's why the doctor and epidemiologist who is an adjunct professor at Tufts Medical School boiled the typical graduation speech down to just over a minute.
Levy, a Sherborn resident whose lifelong hobby has been writing poetry and satirical lyrics, had to give a short graduation speech once himself. So he studied the structure, learned all the moves. A couple of years ago, he found himself listening to another predictable speech. That, he said, is what likely set his creative juices flowing.
"I said to myself, 'Gee, everything this person said could have been said in one minute,'" he said.
A video of the song is available on Youtube, the video sharing site, featuring a friend of a friend who is a professional singer, and when Levy sent the song over the transom to NPR, they liked it so much they asked if they could record their own version, with a different singer.
"They all fall into sort of similar patterns, which I tried to encapsulate in this one particular song," said Levy, who set the mini-speech to Mozart's "Alla Turca."