Last week a friend sent me a link to an obituary. The deceased wasn’t a mutual acquaintance, but my friend Michael spent twelve years as an ordained minister and still reads obits regularly, saying they often tell him something new about human nature. Michael is also a Vietnam vet, retired CPA, and a writer with a sense of humor.
The first sentence of the obituary was on a par with zinger opening lines from great works of literature such as Plath’s The Bell Jar: “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York,” or Orwell’s 1984, “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” The rest of the obit, quite frankly, was generic average-life stuff, but this first sentence rocked: “Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne N____ of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 68.” Call me crazy, but it seemed deserving of a rap song.
My most recent blog was about the genius of the Broadway musical, Hamilton. Here, then, is my humble tribute to Lin-Manuel Miranda and the hip-hop art form. FYI, it’s based on the biographical facts in the obit, but ends with my own fictional twist. So, snap your fingers. Need a melody? Try something borrowed: how about Alexander Hamilton, the song.
How does a wife and grandma, God-loving nursing grad/Decide to end it–I do mean end it!/She passed away at sixty-eight, was November 4th too long to wait?
The ten-time grandmother was also a mother/A three-time mother with a sis and two brothers/Her sons found wives/They had good lives/By sixty-seven she’s sitting pretty, singing to the choir and giving high fives
Then a storm started gathering/Nobody saw it happening/Republicans have a dozen candidates, all in search of delegates/But only one has the funds to run, run, run/What’s your name, son?
Donald, Donald, Donald Trump/My name is Donald, Donald, Donald Trump/There’s a billion things I’ve done so far/But just you wait, just you wait. . .
Mary Anne is troubled: orange-hair, tanning-bed troubled/The Donald says whatever drops into that c’lebrity head of his/A celebrity never apprenticed to any form of governing but his
My name is Donald, Donald, Donald Trump/There’s a billion things I’ve said so far/and a billion more to take me far–ther.
Mary Anne, dejected, turns her gaze on the Clinton named Hillary/Not sure she likes what she sees/Okay her resume is in government/but her FLOTUS needs fine temperament/and Bill’s more a ladies’ man, not much a First Gentleman
The grandma from Richmond is beside herself/Thinking of offing herself/How can she vote, she knows she must vote or slit her throat or get on a boat/’cause Donald’s married to some foreign gal and Hillary seems stuck on her Billy Goat
Then one night it occurs to her/It must be the nurse in her/A third party is needed/If found, her death won’t go unheeded/She’ll will herself gone and instead of flowers/hubby will ask for donations/Lin-Manuel for President, he’s been uniting our nation!