It didn’t seem Donald Trump’s leaked phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger could get any worse—but the folks over at The Gregory Brothers found a way. The digital content creators, who specialize in autotuning spoken word into song, have taken a portion of Trump’s catastrophically abhorrent phone call in which the president asks Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes (a.k.a. commit election fraud) and set a portion of the conversation to the tune of Rent earworm “Seasons of Love.”
The specificity of “11,780” (which, while maybe enough to change the results of the presidential election in Georgia, would still not give Trump the victory he is trying to manifest through increasingly ridiculous and fraudulent means) apparently made The Gregory Brothers think of the lyric “Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes /Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear” which they replaced with “Eleven thousand seven hundred eighty votes, which is one more than we have / Have they moved the inner parts of the machines and replaced them with other parts?” The answer to his question is no, by the way.
Many Twitter users have joked that the later lyric “How about love?” would be replaced with “How about no?” and pointed out that the Trump legal team’s lawsuits in New Mexico should inspire a rewrite of lesser-known Rent song “Santa Fe.” Among the fans of The Gregory Brothers’ creation is Rent star Anthony Rapp, who played Mark in the original Broadway production and the 2005 film adaption of Jonathan Larson’s Tony-winning musical. “I think it’s safe to say that Jonathan Larson would have been very proud,” Rapp tweeted late Sunday. He was intensely political, and would have HATED Donald. I love this.”
UPDATE, 1/5 @ 3:30 p.m. CT: A full version of the “song” has emerged:
For some reason, The Gregory Brothers are not the only ones with Rent on the mind. On December 28, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member Sheila Kuehl sent the following email with the very serious subject line “2021 Vaccine Update.”
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure a year? In sunsets? Cups of coffee? Or in the words of this wistful song from one of my favorite musicals, Rent, how about love.
It hasn’t been an easy year for love, or joy, or peace and happiness. We’ve struggled with lost jobs, closed schools, a pandemic that grew and grew, and how to find strength as we were called upon to deal with sick, and in some cases, dying, friends and relatives.
But if you take the measure of 2020 in love, you may be surprised at what you find. The love it took to keep our families and friendships intact. The love of employers who did all they could to keep employees on the payroll. The love that put groceries at a neighbor’s doorstep. The love we express every time we put on a mask.
Let’s usher in 2021 with renewed commitment to taking care of one another. Make it a season of love, and if you’d like to lift up your voice with love, here’s a link to a singalong version of Seasons of Love from Rent.
All kidding aside, listen to Kuehl. Wear that damn mask.
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