get your education don’t forget from whence you came

I went to college with the performer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, also the director of the Broadway musical In the Heights. When I saw this video I was immediately reminded of this class. No, I’m not conflating the Revolutionary and Civil wars… I just hear echoes of Whitman in Miranda’s slam verse.

how does a bastard orphan son of a whore and a scotsman dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the caribbean by providence impoverished in squalor grow up to be a hero and a scholar – the ten dollar founding father without a father got a lot farther by working a lot harder by being a lot smarter by being a self-starter – by fourteen they had placed him in charge of a trade and charter and everyday when slaves were being slaughtered or chartered away across the waves our hamilton kept his guard up – inside he was longing for something to be a part of the brother was ready to beg steal borrow or barter – then a hurricane came and devastation rained and our man saw his future drip dripping down the drain put a pencil to his temple and connected it to his brain and he wrote his first refrain a testament to his pain – well the word got around they said this kid is insane man took up a collection just to send him to the mainland get your education don’t forget from whence you came and the world is gonna know your name

While it was the content of the lyrics that piqued my interest and drew a connection in my brain, so to speak, between Lin-Manuel’s take on Burr’s eulogy of Hamilton and our fine lyricist, then I got thinking, what could slam Whitman sound like?

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