My friends all know that I love music, and two of my current favorite albums are soundtracks from musicals: “Hamilton: An American Musical,” by Lin-Manuel Miranda and “Dear Evan Hansen,” by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Too often have they endured me talking about the beauty of these albums (having seen neither of them live—yet), and I’ve spent many days listening to the songs on repeat. I could literally talk about the music for hours on end, and I have immense respect for Miranda, Pasek, and Paul for their song-writing and composing talents.
You can probably imagine my excitement then when I found out that earlier this week, Miranda and Ben Platt, the actor who originated the role of Evan Hansen on Broadway, released a mash-up of two songs, “The Story of Tonight” from “Hamilton” and “You Will Be Found” from “Dear Evan Hansen.” Titled “Found/Tonight,” the song became an instant favorite for me. If you haven’t listened to it, you absolutely should:
I fell even more in love with the music from those soundtracks when I heard them blended together. Although the mash-up primarily mixes “The Story of Tonight” and “You Will Be Found,” if you listen carefully (and have previously listened to the musicals), you can recognize lines and melodies from other songs in the musicals. The song opens as though it’s going to be “The Story of Tonight,” but as Platt begins singing, some of the lyrics are different from the original, which begins with “I may not live to see our glory/ but I will gladly join the fight/ and when our children tell our story/ they’ll tell the story of tonight.” This version opens with “We may not yet have reached our glory/ but I will gladly join the fight/ and when our children tell their story/ they’ll tell the story of tonight.” Small changes, sure, except when you take into account the context of these changes.
The song was released as the fourth installment of #Hamildrop, a year-long event during which there will be a monthly release of “Hamilton” content. A portion of the proceeds from “Found/Tonight” will be donated to the March for Our Lives campaign for gun control, so the changes made to the lyrics indicate that Miranda and Platt believe that the movement will be successful, even if the victory hasn’t happened yet. They acknowledge the children as the leaders of this movement, calling it “their story” rather than “our story,” giving a well-deserved nod to the Parkland survivors who started speaking out against gun violence, inspired the school walkouts, and created the March for Our Lives campaign. The message of the song is one of hope and love; it acknowledges that the journey will be difficult, but no one in this fight is alone. There is an enormous community of people demanding change, and Miranda and Platt pay tribute to them with this gorgeous mash-up.
Main image from Pinterest.