A tribute to Senator Kennedy

Here is a stirring tribute song to my good friend, Senator Ted Kennedy called ‘Headed Home.’ I wrote this song with the great Phil Springer. Take a moment to listen to the words. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s politics…none of us agree 100% of the time. But you have to admire a lifetime dedicated to public service and improving the lives of others — and that is just one of the many things that made Ted great. I think this song captures a small part of Ted’s legacy of service. Listen to it and see what you think.

Senator Orrin Hatch


Through the darkness
We can find a pathway
That will take us half way
To the stars.

Through the rain and fog
We can find a clear day
Shoo the shadows and doubts away
And touch the legacy that is ours.

Yours and mine
And our children’s
For all time.

Just honor him
Honor him
And every fear
Will be a thing of the past.

America, America
We’re headed home
We’re headed home
At last.

Just honor him
Honor him
And on the reefs of despair
We shall not crash.

We’re sailing home
Sailing home
We’re headed home
Headed home
At last.

Written by: Orrin Hatch and Phil Springer


Filed under Celebration, Tributes

13 responses to “A tribute to Senator Kennedy

  1. PrairiePond

    That weasel basturd hatch doesnt have the moral standing to carry Senator Kennedy’s shoes! But it says a lot about Ted that he could still be friends with him.

    I’ve seen a lot of pics the last few days, but these, of him leaving the family compound for the last time, just make me break down and sob.

    Don’t click unless you are ready for another good cry!


    PS–I’m struck by how old the Kennedy cousins look. Most of them are within five years of me, either older or younger.

    I still think of us all as “the kids”, no matter how gray our hair or how lined our faces.

    We need a Camalot revival…

    • tosmarttobegop

      Wow that is so true, those of us who grow up with the “Kennedy kids” it was like we were all cousins.
      That they were our relatives, a little confession, I had the biggest crush on Carolina when I was eight.
      Never met her, but still I thought her so cute and for years I like seeing her picture and on TV.

      But it always was that when ever I saw the cousins it was like a kind of family reunion.
      Good catch there Pond.

      • lilacluvr

        I’ve watched some of the coverage and I was happy to see so many people lined up along the motorcade route from his Hyannis Port home to the JFK library.

        What a tribute to a wonderful man – that so many people would stand alongside the road just to get a glimpse of a man they obviously loved.

        Who is left in the political arena to take Ted Kennedy’s place? I know there are a few rising stars in the Democrat Party but who really is there because they truly want to help people?

        Maybe our country is reaping what we have sown for the past decade?

        Have we had too many reality shows like Jerry Springer and that has seemed to have moved over to our political world? The one who can get down in the sewer the lowest wins?

  2. PrairiePond

    As always, the Rude Pundit nails it.

    Bad language warning. I’m just posting excerpts and a link here.

    “Finally, we must take a measure of the man. Not the person, or the legislator, or the family member. No, the man. Ted Kennedy was more of a man’s man than any of the brush-clearing, hick-talking, pick-up driving politicians who overcompensate again and again by faking it. No, Kennedy demonstrated, through all the ups and downs, again and again what a real man is. It is a type of masculinity that we rarely see anymore because it is a fearlessness that few are allowed to embrace.

    Put aside the money for a moment. Wealth makes life easier but it does not make one happy and it is not a measure of character. Don’t you think that Kennedy would have given away his whole fortune to have his brothers back?

    For a man does not shy away from the tragedies of his life. When John was assassinated, Kennedy took up the cause of the civil rights movement as his first major action in the Senate. When Bobby was killed, he began to push even harder against the Vietnam War. When his 12 year-old son, Ted, Jr., had to have a leg amputated to prevent the cancer there from spreading in 1973, Kennedy threw himself into the cause of rights for people with disabilities as much as his sister, Eunice, had, a crusade that would last the rest of his life.

    A man fucks up again and again, but he owns his mistakes and learns from them. Ted Kennedy wore his flaws openly in his personal life. Some of it was the price of juvenile overindulgence (even as an adult) and some of it was just stupidity. The question is less about fucking up, but how a man reacts to it. He was kicked out of Harvard for cheating on an exam, so he joined the military (although he would achieve none of the glory of John and Joe, Jr.). When the Chappaquiddick incident happened, he nutted up and told the voters to decide on his fate. He was a hard-drinking son of a bitch who screwed around on his first wife, a Dean Martin-like punchline to jokes about alcoholism and a tabloid laughingstock. During that period, among other things, he was getting funding cut off to Chile because of Pinochet’s barbarism, pushing legislation to help political refugees, getting sanctions imposed on apartheid-era South Africa, negotiating with Gorbachev on nuclear missiles, stopping Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination, and strengthening the Civil Rights Act. What did you do on your years-long bender? He paid, too, with his presidential ambitions dashed. And when he was slugging ’em back like a frat boy with his nephews on a night that ended with William Kennedy Smith arrested on an accusation of rape, Kennedy made another public reckoning about who he was as a man in a speech in October 1991. And despite all he had accomplished before, he grew up, finally, understanding that to be a man one must become a man.

    A man works to help those who need help. A real man is a liberal because a real man is unafraid of change and progress and difference. Let us come back to the money. The Kennedy family has always seen wealth as a privilege, a burden, and an opportunity to do good for others. Yes, it is easier to support charities and to have the time to work for various causes. But Kennedy made it his role in government to level the playing field.”


    “We could talk about how he believed, his entire career, that health care for everyone was a right, not a privilege, with COBRA and S-CHIP having been accomplished because of him. He was an unabashed, proud liberal whose full-throated speeches roared in defense of the whole ideology against the ignorance of those who would keep progress from being achieved.

    A man is willing to embrace his enemies. Yesterday, Ron Reagan, Jr. had his mother on his radio show to talk about how much the Reagans loved Ted Kennedy. Kennedy and Nancy Reagan were allies on stem cell research funding, but the former first lady talked about how she and her husband were dear friends with Kennedy. Kennedy worked with Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar, both George Bushes, and anyone he could to accomplish his goals. That’s called politics. Compromise was a willingness for both sides to move. When George W. Bush dicked him over on No Child Left Behind funding, Kennedy had to know that a tide had shifted in a way that was going to make the entire process of legislating more rancorous and difficult. The political nature of the nation was moving into entrenchment, which was not how Ted Kennedy functioned.

    A man knows how to die. A man understands that the end comes and doesn’t desperately cling to every millisecond of life that medical science can squeeze out of him. No, a man dies with his family, in a place he loves, having done much, knowing that there was much still to be done, but accepting that there’s only so much one can live.”


  3. lilacluvr

    I think when people hear the name Kennedy, their minds immediately go the JFK. But, in reality, it was Ted that accomplished the most in his political career.

    Not just because he had more years to do it but, I believe, Ted knew how to work the political ropes and got things done.

    JFK and Bobby were both headset on the presidency level but Ted was in the Senate doing the grunt work for many, many years and our country is the better for it.

  4. tosmarttobegop

    I know I was not aware of the entire story of Hercules until reading Bloomfield’s mythology.
    We all know of the heroic labors of Hercules, but the entire story is not so heroic.
    He in the beginning was not such a hero, brutish and prone to anger he eventually beat his wife and children to death in a fit of rage.

    It an attempt to atone for his past, he went on his heroic labors to easy his own feelings of guilt for his past failures in his life. But in the end he never could quite feel that atonement personally, but his efforts benefited his world.

    Ted Kennedy has such a life and we benefited from his efforts. There will be those who will not or can not forgive his pass failing. But like Hercules his heroic efforts do overshadow his failings.
    Perhaps Mary Jo will greet him and say he was able to accomplish more in his life then she would have expect to have in her own.

  5. Bad Biker

    Great men are often tragically flawed, women much less so than men.

    John Lennon was sainted after his assassination, but by all accounts he was an asshole most of his life. Dr. King allegedly had many affairs. Winston Churchill drank like prohibition was going to start tomorrow. FDR had his mistress for many years. Poe was a drug addict. Jefferson fathered children with his slaves. Hemingway was Hemingway.

    The list goes on and on and on.

    Ted Kennedy had his flaws, but Ted also had a life of tragedy that few would wish on their worst enemy.

    If there is a God in Heaven, Ted Kennedy has been forgiven his transgressions and is now sipping a glass of Jesus’ finest Scotch along with Joe, John and Bobby.

  6. jammer5

    I stand in awe and respect both of and for the man who was Ted Kennedy. What he accomplished during his time in service of his country will and should be written about for centuries. One amazing American. RIP.

  7. Whenever I see Hatch, I always think of his questioning of Anita Hill at Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearing. He is a real jerk and actually couldn’t qualify for carrying Ted Kennedy’s shoes.

    • lilacluvr

      Ted Kennedy must have been a better human being than I am because every time I see or hear Hatch’s voice, I just cringe.

      The man is a hypocrit – in my opinion – and following by a close second is John McCain.

      Especially about their really wanting to pass health care reform , but their dear friend Ted is gone.

      Hey, about if these two buffoons actually did honor their friendship with Ted and start knocking some sense into their fellow Republicans to stop hijacking the health care issue with all their lies.

      Wouldn’t that mean more to Ted than have these two blubbering about how much they loved the guy?

      Actions speak louder than words – Hatch and McCain are being partisan hacks.

  8. tosmarttobegop

    Senator Kennedy’s memory is served every time a 18 y.o. votes and every time someone enjoys the benefits of equality. That is more then any words spoken, any statue raised or any amount of people standing along side a highway.

  9. Zippy

    As poignant as it is, to look back, one of many things Ted said that is yet to be fulfilled:

    Via Greg Saunders at This Modern World:

    “This is the cause of my life. New hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American – north, south, east, west, young, old – will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.”

    – Ted Kennedy, exactly one year ago today (Aug 25)

    I’m not going to let my cynicism rule, even though I have my own life to deal with, and I see so many battles languishing right now.