Judge Learned Hand Sings A Song From His Childhood

Via Josh Blackman:

It’s interesting to hear Hand’s voice, especially after the song when he explains its source. I’m surprised by the transatlantic accent. It reminds me a bit of Cary Grant’s, especially when he says “years” and “New York.”

Hand explains at the end that he heard the song as a boy, and that he thinks it was from the Civil War but knows little else about it. A bit of googling suggests that it may be based on a song from the War of 1812, which has some similar lyrics. Too bad Hand didn’t live in the time of Google; he could have figured this out for himself.

UPDATE: On the same theme, but the opposite judicial ideology, here’s Justice Douglas on “What’s My Line”: