A large tent is being erected on the South Lawn for the event, with construction beginning Monday, a White House official told CNN. About 2,000 guests have been invited to attend and the concert has been in the works for several months, the official said.
John performs at the White House for an evening titled “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme,” for a concert in collaboration with A&E Networks and The History Channel. The concert will be broadcast on television on a date to be determined, the official said.
The title of Friday’s event comes from a line in Seamus Heaney’s poem, “The Cure of Troy.” Biden has often cited Heaney as his favorite poet, and the president has used the line “when hope and history rhyme” from the poem several times during his political career, including in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. of 2020.
The last stanza of the poem says:
“That means someone is listening
The cry and the cry of birth
Of new life at its end.
It means once in a lifetime.
May justice rise
And hope and history rhyme.”
The connection between Biden and John was revealed in Biden’s 2017 memoir, “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose.” Biden wrote that she used to listen to John’s music with his sons Beau and Hunter Biden, and years later, when Beau was sick with brain cancer, she sang his songs to him in the hospital.
John is scheduled to perform a concert at Nationals Park on Saturday night.