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    #1

    Kennedy's Speech

    Hi!
    I would like to know what JFK actually meant when he said:

    ---------------
    I'm the one who is doing all the work, so we just want you to stay cool for a minute.
    ---------------

    in his famous speech made at the Rice University in 1963.

    The line seeems to be his ad-libs or a kind of joke refering to the heat of the day. What does it mean, when he said "I'm the one who is doing all the work" ?

    Thank you for your kind help!

    Cherin

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    #2

    Re: Kennedy's Speech

    Hi cherin. In this famous speech Kennedy had just made a joking remark about how hot it was and when the applause died down he followed it up with the phrase you quote.. and got another laugh. He is saying that he is the one standing up in the heat making this major speech (i.e. "doing all the work") but he is nearly finished so the audience only needs to stay settled (i.e. "stay cool") for a short time. Like all good public speakers he knew how to inject a casual phrase to connect with a specific audience, in this case mostly college students.

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    #3

    Re: Kennedy's Speech

    Hi JMurray,

    Thank you for your kind advice.
    Now I get the point!
    He was teasing the audience, wasn't he? It may be like saying "you may feel it's hot, but I've been speaking for some minutes in this heat, while you just sit listening to me".
    Thanks again,

    Cherin

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    #4

    Re: Kennedy's Speech

    Hi,

    Now I am studying another Kennedy's speech made at Amherst College and have come to the phrase which as a non-native I find it difficult to understand.

    When Kennedy said:

    Amherst has had many soldiers of the king since its first one, and some of them are here today:

    He means that many graduates of this college have greatly served to this country, doesn't he?

    But to say so, why had he to say "soldiers of the king since its first one"?
    What does it mean actually?
    Is this an idiom or a phrase used in literature?

    Thank you,

    Cherin

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Kennedy's Speech

    Amherst College is named for Lord Jeffrey Amherst, who at one time was the Governor General of British North America. He was an officer during the French and Indian War, and there's a locally famous folk song about him:


    Lord Jeffrey Amherst was a soldier of the king
    And he sailed from across the se-ee-ee-ea;
    To the Frenchmen and the Indians he didn't do a thing
    In the wilds of this wild countree-ee-ee.
    In the wilds of this wild country.

    And for his royal majesty he fought with all his might;
    He was a soldier loyal and true.
    He conquered all the enemies that came within his sight
    And he looked around for more when he was through.

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    #6

    Re: Kennedy's Speech

    Thank you!

    Now I get the point. I did so many Google searches but failed to find the answer.

    So Kennedy, or his speech writer, knew this song. Now I understand why he used the word "sail" several times in his speech. Really interesting!

    It is amazing how many things that we could know from a single speech.
    And it is really a moment of joy of learning to come across to such deep knowledge on the culture and language of one country.

    I am excited to share this with my fellow students.

    Thank you,

    Cherin

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Amherst College is named for Lord Jeffrey Amherst, who at one time was the Governor General of British North America. He was an officer during the French and Indian War, and there's a locally famous folk song about him:


    Lord Jeffrey Amherst was a soldier of the king
    And he sailed from across the se-ee-ee-ea;
    To the Frenchmen and the Indians he didn't do a thing
    In the wilds of this wild countree-ee-ee.
    In the wilds of this wild country.

    And for his royal majesty he fought with all his might;
    He was a soldier loyal and true.
    He conquered all the enemies that came within his sight
    And he looked around for more when he was through.

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