Rewrite This Story, But Do It Like It's the Opening Song From the Musical 'Hamilton'
Does Lin-Manuel Miranda have some competition from Chat GPT?
Do you guys remember the story I wrote way back in 2020 about Julia Sand, the 19th century shut-in who wrote a bunch of letters to the President Chester Arthur, only to have him show up at her house, unannounced? (I also revisited it during Low Power Mode last August.)
This was during a very macabre time: the two-month death watch between the July day when President James Garfield was struck by an assassin’s bullet, and the September day when he died.
The national mood was basically: Really? This guy is about to become president of the United States?
Enter Sand... She was 31, eccentric, fairly wealthy, unmarried, and often sickly, confined to her home, with no connection at all to Arthur—except that they were both Americans and New Yorkers.
Sand writes entertainingly, but she takes FOREVER to get to the point, and ultimately tells him: Look, come see me in New York sometime in the late morning, when everyone else will be gone.
Arthur was the type to play with fire, apparently, because he took her up on it.
I love this story, and I poured the full text into Chat GPT the other night. And, because my daughter has gotten into the Disney+ version of Hamilton and its soundtrack, I asked it the AI chatbot to rewrite the entire story in as a rap along the lines of the the opening song in Hamilton.
Me: I'm going to share a 700-800 word article I wrote. Please do 2 things: Write a 50-word summary. Then, rewrite the whole thing as a rap, in the style of the opening song from Hamilton. I especially want creative rhymes and similar lines, like how at one point the Hamilton song refers to Hamilton as "the ten dollar founding father without a father who got a lot farther..."
ChatGPT: Please provide the article text, and then I'll be happy to write a 50-word summary and rewrite it as a rap in the style of the opening song from Hamilton.
Just in case you’re not familiar with the song, here’s author/actor/performer Lin-Manuel Miranda singing an early version of it at the White House in 2009:
OK. Twenty seconds after I asked ChatGPT for this, what it came up with (copied below), blew my mind. It’s a bit clunky in some parts, true, but in others it’s pretty darn good and has some very creative lines. For a first draft? Pretty wild.
Have a look, and feel free to rap along like Lin-Manuel:
Summary: The article tells the story of Julia Sand, who wrote 23 letters to U.S. President Chester A. Arthur during his presidency. She advised, urged, and flirted with him, ultimately pushing him toward reform. Their relationship reveals the importance of leaders hearing directly from the people they affect, though their lives met tragic endings.
(Verse 1) Now listen up, I got a story to share
About a president and a woman who dared
It's 1881, a dark time for the nation
Presidential assassination, a pending inauguration
(Chorus) Julia Sand and Chester A. Arthur
Two lonely souls, pushed a little bit farther
A story of hope, of letters, and power
A muse to inspire in the darkest of hours
(Verse 2) She was eccentric, wealthy, and 31
He's the vice president, second to none
With no connection, she wrote him a letter
Pushing for reform, making things better
(Verse 3) He was widowed and lonely, she was sickly, confined
But their lives intertwined through the letters she signed
She pushed him on issues, civil rights, and cabinets
A relationship so unique, you can't forget
Their meeting was chaos, expectations fell flat
Like the man in 'Arabian Nights,' she tried to take it back
But their story goes on, a legacy in the making
Sand's letters to Arthur, a course of action overtaking
(Outro) Their lives met tragic ends, but one thing's for sure
Their connection changed a presidency, that we can't ignore
Leaders should listen to the people they affect
Julia Sand and Chester Arthur, a story we can't forget
What do you think? Let us know below. And, please make your comments in the style of a hip hop song from a 2015 Broadway play.
<severs all ties to the electronic world>
<digs cave, takes family and aging dog>
<survives as “Hughes-esque hermit>
GPT-5 will also sing/rap this in Lin-Manuel Miranda‘a voice…