In dark days long past the sun circled the earth
A prince came to power Medici by birth
Proud Lorenzo, keep your city free —
Lead your subjects well, and always protect their liberty.

The pope marched his army into the Tuscan hills
With borrowed troops from Naples to rape and burn and kill
Proud Lorenzo, hear your subjects cry –
“Save us as freemen, O Prince, or as freeman we will die”

With fear and superstition and tangled webs of lies
Kings and popes and cardinals hold their sway
But Florence is a state that honors freedom among men
Rise, Lorenzo, blaze a bright new way

He sailed south to Naples alone to plead his case
In the court of King Ferrante appearing face-to-face
Proud Lorenzo, will you ever be released?
Or will you charm the warlord with promises of a lasting peace?

He gave himself as hostage and won the peace he sought
The best war, he knew, is one that’s never fought
Proud Lorenzo, instead of a long siege
Sail home to Florence, you’ve won its liberty

Painting and sculpture adorn your lavish homes
And chamber music echoes in your halls
Your scholars translate the works of ancient Greece and Rome
And tapestries hang from your gilded walls

In peacetime you patronized artists great and small
But politics was your greatest art of all
Proud Lorenzo, most courageous prince
You led by your example and we’ve not seen your equal since

In dark days long past the sun circled the earth
A prince used his power to show what peace was worth
Proud Lorenzo, all the good a prince can do
Where is your spirit now in this dark time when we need you?

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