Our past is upon us again, and we must recognize that.
I saw a post earlier this week that asked users to add their favorite "Hamilton" quote that aligns with America today. When reading through the comments, I realized how much of "Hamiltonthe Musical" by Lin Manuel Miranda truly relates to the situation at hand.
So, I spent hours going through each song on the soundtrack and the mixtape. I suggest listening to the songs, even those I didn't include, especially from the mixtape, because they tell a story of racism that only partly shines through in the lyrics.
Keep in mind, each of these lyrics can be taken in many different contexts. Lyrics provided are both from the oppressed (American people, POC, etc.) and the oppressors (the king, those against the revolution, etc.).
Take the time to truly reflect on the songs/ lyrics below.
1. "Aaron Burr, Sir"
"Fools who run their mouths off wind up dead."
"The revolution's imminent, what do you stall for? If you stand for nothing, Burr, what'll you fall for?"
2. "My Shot"
"So there will be a revolution in this century."
"I will lay down my life if it sets us free."
"But we'll never be truly free until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me."
'If you talk you're gonna get shot."
"Rise up! When you're living on your knees, you rise up. Tell your brother that he's gotta rise up. Tell your sister that she's gotta rise up. When are these colonies gonna rise up?"
"Scratch that this is not a moment, it's the movement. Where all the hungriest brothers with something to prove went?
Foes oppose us, we take an honest stand, we roll like Moses, claimin' our promised land. And? If we win our independence? Is that a guarantee of freedom for our descendants? Or will the blood we shed begin an endless cycle of vengeance and death with no defendants?"
3. "The Story of Tonight"
"I may not live to see our glory, but I will gladly join the fight and when our children tell our story they'll tell the story of tonight."
4. "The Schuyler Sisters"
"There's nothing rich folks love more than going downtown and slummin' it with the poor. They pull up in their carriages and gawk at the students in the common just to watch them talk."
"It's bad enough daddy wants to go to war. People shouting in the square. It's bad enough there'll be violence on our shore. New ideas in the air!"
"'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal' and when I meet Thomas Jefferson, imma compel him to include women in the sequel!"
5. "Farmer Refuted"
"Heed not the rabble who scream revolution, they have not your interests at heart... Oh my God tear this dude apart... Chaos and bloodshed are not a solution, don't let them lead you astray."
"Yo he'd have you all unravel at the sound of screams but the revolution is coming."
"Chaos and bloodshed already haunt us, honestly you shouldn't even talk and what about Boston? Look at the cost, n' all that we've lost n' you talk about congress?"
6. "You'll be Back"
"Oceans rise, empires fall, we have seen each other through it all. And when push comes to shove, I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love!"
"Cause when push comes to shove, I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love!"
7. "Wait for it"
"Death doesn't discriminate between the sinners and the saints, it takes and it takes and it takes and we keep living anyway. We rise and we fall and we break and we make our mistakes. And if there's a reason I'm still alive, when everyone who loves me has died I'm willing to wait for it."
8. "Ten Duel Commandments"
"Can we agree that duels are dumb and immature?... Sure but your man has to answer for his words, Burr... With his life? We both know that's absurd, sir... Hang on, how many men died because Lee was inexperienced and ruinous?... Okay, so we're doin' this."
9. "Guns and Ships"
"How does a ragtag volunteer army in need of a shower somehow defeat a global superpower? How do we emerge victorious from the quagmire? Leave the battlefield waving Betsy Ross' flag higher? Yo. Turns out we have a secret weapon! An immigrant you know and love who's unafraid to step in!"
"The world will never be the same."
"We will fight up close, seize the moment and stay in it."
"Black and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedom. Not yet."
11. "What Comes Next"
"I'm so blue. I thought that we made an arrangement when you went away, you were mine to subdue."
"Corruption's such an old song that we can sing along in harmony."
"The constitution's a mess... So it needs amendments... It's full of contradictions... So is independence! We have to start somewhere."
"For once in your life, take a stand with pride! I don't understand how you stand to the side."
13. "Cabinet Battle 1"
"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we fought for these ideals we shouldn't settle for less."
14. "The Room Where it Happens"
"We want our leaders to save the day but we don't get a say in what they trade away. We dream of a brand new start but we dream in the dark for the most part."
15. "Cabinet Battle 2"
"Revolution is messy but now is the time to stand, stand with our brothers as they fight against tyranny."
16. "One Last Time"
"Like the scripture says: "Everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree And no one shall make them afraid." They'll be safe in the nation we've made. I wanna sit under my own vine and fig tree a moment alone in the shade at home in this nation we've made."
17. "It's Quiet Uptown"
"There are moments that the words don't reach. There is suffering too terrible to name. You hold your child as tight as you can and push away the unimaginable."
18. "The World Was Wide Enough"
"What if this bullet is my legacy?"
"America, you great unfinished symphony, you sent for me. You let me make a difference, a place where even orphan immigrants can leave their fingerprints and rise up."
"History obliterates, in every picture it paints. It paints me and all my mistakes."
"Now I'm the villain in your history. I was too young and blind to see. I should've known, I should've known the world was wide enough."
19. "Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells your Story"
"And I'm still not through I ask myself, what would you do if you had more time? The Lord, in his kindness he gives me what you always wanted, he gives me more time."
"I speak out against slavery, you could have done so much more if you only had time. And when my time is up, have I done enough?"
20. "My Shot"- Hamilton Mixtape
"When even role models tell us we're born to be felons. We're never gettin' into Harvard or Carnegie Mellon and we gon' end up either robbin' somebody or killin'. It's not fair that's all they can tell us."
21. "Wrote My Way Out"- Hamilton Mixtape
"Courtroom prejudice, insufficient evidence, jailhouse lawyers, these images still relevant."
"Really, I saw like a hole in the rap game. So if I wanted to put my little two cents in the game, then it would be from a different perspective. I thought that I would represent for my neighborhood and tell their story, be their voice
In a way that nobody has done it. Tell the real story."
22. "Valley Forge"- Hamilton Mixtape
"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. Yet we have this consolation with us that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
"I have written Congress and received dishonest responses. I am beyond comprehension of their nonsense!"
"Congress, I beg of you, justify your existence. Are you men or just a bunch of indigenous infants?"
"Alex, listen, there's only one way for us to win this, provoke outrage, outright, don't engage, strike by night, remain relentless 'til their troops take flight, make it impossible to justify the cost of the fight."
23. "Immigrants"- Hamilton Mixtape
"We've got the House and the Senate debating this issue and it's, it's really astonishing that in a country founded by immigrants "Immigrant" has somehow become a bad word. So the debate rages on and we continue."
"And we all came America trying to get a lap dance from Lady Freedom. But now Lady Liberty is acting like Hilary Banks with a pre-nup."
"You claim I'm stealing jobs though Peter Piper claimed he picked them, he just underpaid Pablo but there ain't a paper trail when you living in the shadows. We're America's ghost writers, the credit's only borrowed. It's a matter of time before the checks all come but immigrants, we get the job done."
24. "Cabinet Battle 3"- Hamilton Mixtape
"But for a second let us say that we can legislate unanimous emancipation, freedom reigns, and yes, it's great. We cannot cure prejudice or righteous, desperate hate. So back to Africa or do they get a separate state? In 1784, I tried to float banning slavery in the West, my notion didn't get a single vote. Slavery's a sin, it's growing like a cancer but we can't address the question if we do not have an answer."
"This is the stain on our soul and democracy. A land of the free? No, it's not, it's hypocrisy to subjugate, dehumanize a race, call 'em property and say that we are powerless to stop it, can you not foresee? Sir, even you, you have hundreds of slaves whose descendants will curse our names when we're safe in our graves."
"Let's hope the next generation thinks of something better."
25. "Who Tells Your Story"- Hamilton Mixtape
"The path to perfection is rarely achieved. I head in that direction, I dream and believe."
"The noise of beat girls and boys building to destroy the perception of urban aggression. My life is a progression, of course for the oppressors, a chorus, my story is the glory of the lord."
Don't be like Burr. Instead, take a stand.
Black lives matter.