Rumsfeld (Christopher J. Noren)
- Editor: Christopher J. Noren (submitted 2006-03-21). Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 226 kB Copyright: Personal
- Edition notes:
Composer: Christopher J. Noren
First published: 2004
Description: shape note hymn based on press conference by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The composer writes:
"At a Department of Defense news briefing on February 12, 2002, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was asked:
- In regard to Iraq weapons of mass destruction and terrorists, is there any evidence to indicate that Iraq has attempted to or is willing to supply terrorists with weapons of mass destruction? Because there are reports that there is no evidence of a direct link between Baghdad and some of these terrorist organizations.
Secretary Rumsfeld replied:
- Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.
I was inspired by the Zen metaphysics of the Secretary's response to set the section in red as a 4-part a cappella “Fuging-Tune,” composed in the rollicking, proto-Gospel style of The Sacred Harp and other 19th-century Southern tunebooks.
The tune can be performed in the usual SATB choral fashion, but it is traditional for both the first line (“Treble”) and the third line (“Tenor”) to be sung by both men and women, doubled at the octave, which results in a very rich 6-part harmony!! Note that the melody is in the Tenor line."
- A live recording of "Rumsfeld" performed by the Loose Canon Chorale at the Tribe Theater in Boston on April 1, 2006.
Original text and translations
As we know, there are known knowns;
There are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns;
That is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns --
The ones we don't know we don't know.