Friday, February 1, 2019

One Last Time -- The Hamildrop

Last month, Lin-Manuel Miranda released the last of the Hamildrops: a version of the song One Last Time (44 Remix) that features former US President Barack Obama reciting a passage from the farewell address of George Washington. 


Hamildrops is a series of songs from the musical Hamilton that were released monthly last year. One Last Time is the song from the musical that portrays the time that Alexander Hamilton helped Washington write his farewell address. 

I remember getting goosebumps when I saw the performance of One Last Time during the Kennedy Center Honors last year, I never imagined how much more I would feel that when I heard this song with the voice of Obama doing the farewell address.  

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration
I am unconscious of intentional error
I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects
Not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors 

I shall also carry with me the hope
That my country will view them with indulgence
And that after forty-five years of my life
Dedicated to its service with an upright zeal
The faults of incompetent abilities
Will be consigned to oblivion
As I myself must soon be
To the mansions of rest 

That farewell address of Washington must have been really something to hear in full. Hamilton is truly an amazing writer, basing on the passage featured in this song. It presents someone who for me epitomizes a good leader, someone who recognizes that he is not without his faults and who recognizes that he is only human and acknowledges his weaknesses, knowing when it is time to walk away. How many leaders do we know who is like that? 

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. 

There is something about Barack Obama’s voice and the fact that he is someone who is from this lifetime that makes the lines from the farewell address more real. It hits you more than it would if it were from someone in the past because you know this person. You’ve seen him (albeit only on TV) and you know his legacy as a leader. The song and Obama’s voice made me wish and dream of a similar leader for our country, someone who dreams and works for a good future for his country and his countrymen. 

For the nation we've loved and we've made
We're gonna teach them how to say goodbye...  

In a country where so many do everything they can to stay in power, where political dynasties are a normal part of Philippine politics, I admire how Washington was able to walk away from the power he had as President. I only wish that more people in politics were like him, who knew when to walk away and to give way to the future leaders who could do more and build on what he had started. 

This song will always remind me of one of the best qualities of a true leader. It will always give me goosebumps and that warm feeling in my heart whenever I hear it.  

Thank you for this song, Lin Manuel Miranda. 

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