After it was announced that Lin-Manuel Miranda would be reprising his role as Alexander Hamilton in a limited run of Hamilton: An American Musical in Puerto Rico, he decided to follow that up with the news that there would be a Hamilton Mixtape Vol. 2...kind of. Nothing can really live up to the first in that incarnation, but he can still release new content every month, sort of like building the plane as it takes off, but in a good way. The first was Ben Franklin’s Song by the Decemberists, then in January was a remix of Wrote My Way Out found on the original mixtape.
I was already pretty obsessed with the Weird Al Hamilton Polka, well more so the reaction video of Jimmy Fallon and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
I’m so glad I follow Lin-Manuel on Twitter because he teased that the March Hamildrop would include Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt and was “for the kids”. I sort of knew what was to come, but didn’t want to speculate too much, everything Lin does is nothing short of amazing and Ben’s voice is that of an angel (and Fergie). I said that this “mixtape” was an incomplete airplane in a good way, but I should also mention that it’s pretty genius and all because of this latest collaboration. If a complete mixtape was released before, we wouldn’t have this song which was released after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas kids started making a lot of noise.
When they finally dropped Found/Tonight and announced all proceeds would go to March For Our Lives it was enough to make my eyes well up repeatedly because I actually was listening to this repeatedly. The Story of Tonight is my personal favorite song from the Hamilton musical and when Miranda reworked the lyrics from “we may not live to see our glory...and when our children tell our story” to “we may not yet have reached our glory...and when our children tell their story” well cue my silent weeping in my office. The intro to the original song is inspiring and even more so in this version, but then it gets better. Rather than continue with “raise a glass to freedom” which could have still worked for this dedication we go into the opening of You Will Be Found. Now that song presents a whole new meaning. Originally about lifting yourself up when you feel alone, Ben & Lin encourage these kids to persevere even if there are opposing voices telling them otherwise. Combining lyrics like “No matter what they tell us, tomorrow there’ll be more of us.” and “If you only look around, you will be found.” its like we get a new anthem.
I’m going to take it a step further and say this song is the spirit of a modern day revolution we are witnessing right now. This new generation isn’t expected to take it on alone either. We’re already seeing how they’ve inspired these artists who are much older and like the lyrics say “So let the sun come streaming in ‘cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again. If you only look around you will be found”. Now who’s lifting up who?