Art Resist: Immigrants, we’re America’s ghost writers; the credit’s only borrowed

 

We’re America’s ghostwriters; the credit’s only borrowed. Immigrants, we get the job done.

It’s chilling if not haunting but the best part is that it’s unapologetic. Released on The Hamilton Mixtape (the spin-off album of the hit musical Hamilton by Lin Manuel-Miranda), the song “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” centers a passing yet poignant remark said by Lafayette and Hamilton — two immigrants who catalyzed the revolution — in Act I. A lyrical artistry, the song boasts of the courage and resilience of immigrants while condemning the systematic injustice of xenophobic nations. Most importantly, the lyricists claim a truth that history books and the government have carefully muted for the sake of “nationalism” and “national security”: that is, immigrants, not the Founding Fathers, are the bedrock of this nation. A qualification to this statement, however, is needed. Although the musical and song has looked “fondly” on the “first immigrants” to arrive to the United States, to call the white settlers who founded Jamestown and eventually introduced slavery to the continent “immigrants” is wrong. A distinct line must be drawn to distinguish colonizers from immigrants because to refer to those who raped, pillaged, stole and organized the mass murder of the indigenous peoples of the United States as “immigrants” is a grace that the living arguably do not have the right to bestow.

To learn about how you can enter for a chance to win a chance to see the musical Hamilton and meet Lin Manuel-Miranda backstage while supporting a good cause, click here.


[Intro]

You know, and it gets into this whole issue of border security, you know, who’s gonna say that the borders are secure? We’ve got the House and the Senate debating this issue, and it’s… it’s really astonishing that in a country founded by immigrants, “immigrant” has somehow become a bad word. So the debate rages on and we continue….

And just like that it’s over, we tend to our wounded, we count our dead
Black and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedom…
Not yet

[Verse 1]
I got 1 job, 2 jobs, 3 when I need them
I got 5 roommates in this one studio but I never really see them
And we all came America trying to get a lap dance from lady freedom
But now lady liberty is acting like Hillary Banks with a pre-nup (Banks with a pre-nup)

Man I was brave sailing on graves
Don’t think I didn’t notice those tombstones disguised as waves
I’m no dummy, here is something funny you can be an immigrant without risking your lives
Or crossing these borders with thrifty supplies
All you got to do is see the world with new eyes

[Chorus]
Immigrants
We get the job done
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
We get the job done
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Immigrants
We get the job done

[Verse 2]
It’s a hard line
When you’re an import
Baby boy, it’s hard times
When you ain’t sent for
Racist feed the belly of the beast
With they pitchforks, rich chores
Done by the people that get ignored

Ya se armó
Ya se despertaron
It’s a whole awakening
La alarma ya sonó hace rato
Los que quieren buscan
Pero nos apodan como vagos
We are the same ones
Hustling on every level
Ten los datos
Walk a mile in our shoes
Abrochenze los zapatos

I been scoping ya dudes
Ya’ll ain’t been working like I do
I’ll outwork you, it hurts you
You claim I’m stealing jobs though
Peter piper claimed he picked them he just underpaid Pablo
But there ain’t a paper trail when you living in the shadows
We’re Americas ghost writers the credit is only borrowed
It’s a matter of time before the checks all come
But…

[Chorus]
Immigrants
We get the job done
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
We get the job done
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Immigrants
We get the job done
Not yet

[Bridge[
It’s America’s ghost writers the credit is only borrowed
It’s America’s ghost writers
It’s America’s ghost writers
It’s America’s ghost writers
It’s America’s ghost writers the credit is only borrowed
It’s America’s ghost writers the credit is only borrowed
It’s America’s ghost writers the credit is only borrowed
It’s…

[Hook]
Immigrants
We get the job done

[Verse 3]
Ay yo aye immigrants we don’t like that
Na they don’t play British empire strikes back
They beating us like 808’s and high hats
At our own game of invasion, but this ain’t Iraq
Who these ‘fugees, what did they do for me
But contribute new dreams
Taxes and tools swagger and food to eat
Cool, they flee war zones, but the problem ain’t ours
Even if our bombs landed on them like the Mayflower
Buckingham Palace or Capitol Hill
Blood of my ancestors had that all built
With the ink you print on your dollar bill, oil you spill
Thin red lines on the flag you hoist when you kill
But still we just say “look how far I come”
Hindustan, Pakistan, to London
To a galaxy far from their ignorance
Cause immigrants, we get the job done

[Verse 4]
Por tierra o por agua
Identidad falsa
Brincamos muros o flotamos en balsas
La peleamos como Sandino en Nicaragua
Somos como las plantas que crecen sin agua
Sin pasaporte americano
Porque La mitad de gringolandia Es terreno mexicano
Hay que ser bien hijo e puta
Nosotros Les Sembramos el árbol y ellos se comen la fruta
Somos los que cruzaron
Aquí vinimos a buscar el oro que nos robaron
Tenemos mas trucos que la policía secreta
Metimos la casa completa en una maleta
Con un pico, una pala
Y un rastrillo
Te construimos un castillo
Como es que dice el coro cabrón?

[Chorus]
Immigrants
We get the job done
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
We get the job done
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Immigrants
We get the job done
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Look how far I come
Immigrants
We get the job done

Not yet

 

Credits:

Featured song: Immigrants (We Get the Job Done) by K’NAAN, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC

Music video: via YouTube

Lyrics: azlyrics.com

 

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