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Remember the Ladies (2021)

for SATB choir | 00:03:30

by Melissa Dunphy | text by Abigail Adams

Commissioned by the Museum of the American Revolution for their 2020-2021 special exhibition When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807.

When acclaimed contemporary composer Dr. Melissa Dunphy heard that Abigail Adams’s famed “Remember the Ladies” letter would return to Philadelphia as part of the Museum of the American Revolutions’s When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807 special exhibition, she was inspired to interpret—through music—what Adams’s powerful words could mean for our current moment. “Remember the Ladies” sets excerpts from the letter for a cappella mixed chorus, premiered by the 40-voice community choir PhilHarmonia.

"I have sometimes been ready to think that the passion for liberty cannot be equally strong in the breasts of those who...deprive their fellow creatures of theirs. Of this I am certain, that it is not founded upon that...Christian principle of doing to others as we would that others should do unto us...

"I long to hear that you have declared an independency and by the way in the new Code of Laws...I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors...

"If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice..."

—Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 March, 1776.

Artwork by Wood Rosanville Harlan, Inc. for the Museum of the American Revolution

Visit the official Remember the Ladies website.


Performances

  • 25 Mar, 2021: PhilHarmonia at The Museum of the American Revolution (virtual)