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First of all, I’m not a rapper. (This video never gets old.)

Jokes aside, it’s true. I’m not a rapper, but I let me tell you about this one time I did write rhymes.

Before I go any further, I have to first say that Lin Manuel Miranda is a lyrical genius. I often find myself singing or humming lines from not only Hamilton, but Moana and Mary Poppins Returns right on down to his newest release on Netflix, Vivo.

It’s so persistent that I can’t even think “You’re Welcome” without this song coming to mind:

Alright, so here’s the story of how I became a lyricist for one day.

Every year, my church (shout out to everynationnyc.org) has this annual awards-show-like event to celebrate all of the amazing volunteers who team up to make the whole weekly church service thing work. We call it the ENNYS (a play on the Emmy Awards). Last year’s celebration was canceled (like most of 2020), so we decided to bring the ENNYS home to the volunteers. Each person received a hand-delivered care package from the pastors with some goodies and gift cards, and access to this rap video that was made just for them.

As for the rapping part, I had fun using Logic to build the instrumental track, and writing the lyrics. I recorded the demo in my studio (a.k.a my closet). It was even more fun watching the pastors record their parts and seeing the final product come together after many hours of Zach and Teri’s awesome video production and editing.

Here’s the actual final video:

And the rap lyrics, if you want to rap along:

THE HAMILTON MASH-UP, ENNYS 2020 EDITION

Pt 1. GUNS AND SHIPS

How did this dedicated volunteer army, succeed and not cower?
Not retreat, and somehow overpower?

Showing us the church is a body, not a building
Making a difference. Our mission, they’re fulfilling

Yo, turns out we have a sacred weapon
A mighty God we know and love who’s not afraid to step in

He’s constantly strengthening, guiding laying the foundation
The service teams exemplify Him, give an ovation!

It is so nice, it is so nice
To have service teams on our side
It is so nice, it is so nice
To have service teams on our side

Pt 2. WASHINGTON ON YOUR SIDE

It is so nice, it is so nice
To have service teams on our side
It is so nice, it is so nice
To have service teams on our side

Your dedication, only leads to greater admiration
There’s no us without you, that’s a proclamation
EN Kids on the go, still learning as they grow
Hospitality unilaterally brings joviality
And practically Communications has no limitations
Others try emulation, there’s no imitation
the mighty crews from EN Youth and from people engagement
they shine radiant and for them, there is no replacement.
Remained patient as we took it back to the foundation
EN Campus made it happen no self-justification
Worship experience led us to praise brought exhortations
Marriage and Family, building community,
They need a free vacation

It is so nice, it is so nice
To have service teams on our side
It is so nice, it is so nice
To have service teams on our side

Pt 3. HELPLESS

Oh…I do, I do, I do thank you!

You’ve helped us
It’s no surprise, you really represented

You’ve helped us
By making a difference in our city, you really did

Help us
No compromise, even in a pandemic
OR We recognize, we can’t do this without you

You’ve helped us
Shouting it out, there’s no doubt about it

They say
To limit the spread we must stay at least six feet away
We try
We keep on our masks and purell everything that’s in sight

Pt 4. YOU’LL BE BACK

They say
To limit the spread we must stay at least six feet away
We try
We keep on our masks and purell everything that’s in sight

Yes it’s true
Even, despite this arrangement, we do still have Zoom
And we’re here for you
Facetime and phone calls and YouTube until we resume…

We’ll be back, Soon you’ll see
We will all be out of quarantine
We’ll be back, time will tell
Until then, thank you for serving well

Morning prayers, late night calls
We have seen each other through it all
But next year, when COVID’s done
We will have US AN in-person ENNYS to remind you of our love

Da da da da dat da, dat da da da da ya
Da da dat dat da ya da da!

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