More Vine, More Fig Trees

I have not touched on my Hamilton amazement here yet. I figured I'd save it for the review, which would follow soon after getting tickets. [insert gif of endless horizon retreating from me.]

But I have to write about one place in the score that tears me up, when Chris Jackson sings George Washington's final address over Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, who reads it aloud:


[WASHINGTON]
...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 want to sit under my own vine and fig tree
A moment alone in the shade
At home in this nation we've made
One last time

...

I anticipate with pleasing expectation
that retreat in which I promise myself
to realize the sweet enjoyment of partaking,
in the midst of my fellow-citizens,
the benign influence of good laws
Under a free government,

the ever-favorite object of my heart,
and the happy reward, as I trust,
Of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

Emphasis added for the lines that just do me in every time, even as I type about them now, as I think about the millions of people who don't feel safe in this nation we've made, or who find suffering, injustice, or even death, under the far-from-benign influence of our laws and government.

george_washington_farewell_manuscript_p32.jpg
image: from the final page of the final manuscript of George Washington's Farewell Address, via gwpapers.virginia.edu

This was literally the kicker of Washington's parting address, his wrap-up, his mic drop. And to look around at this mess we've made, the Founding Fathers'd be like smdh.

One Last Time, from Hamilton [youtube, lyrics via genius]
Buy Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)(Explicit)(2CD or MP3) [amazon]
[note: fwiw, when I bought the album, I ended up swapping out the explicit tracks with the broadcast-safe versions I ripped from NPR. You know, for kids.]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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first published: November 4, 2015.

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