Farmer Refuted starts with a pastor named Samuel Seabury introducing the Free Thoughts on the Proceedings of the Continental Congress pamphlet to the public. The pamphlet was published in 1775 and was anonymously signed A.W Farmer although the true author was Samuel Seabury himself. He tries to persuade the crowd that a revolution is not their solution and that they should accept the English government as their ruler. Seabury believed that war with England would tear the Thirteen Colonies apart since the British held more power than the Americans. He preferred staying under the control of a king and feared the consequences of war. Alexander Hamilton hears Seabury’s public announcement and with the push of Hercules Mulligan, speaks up for himself and starts a rap battle debate with Seabury. Hamilton believes that America should become an independent nation and is fed up with England issuing unconsented taxes on the Thirteen Colonies. Their “argument” takes place in front of a public crowd and shows the different perspectives of the two sides during the revolution. Those who support the American Revolution and those to discourage it.
This song features Alexander Hamilton and Samuel Seabury as its main characters with Hercules Mulligan and Aaron Burr as side characters. It circles around the beliefs of Samuel Seabury, who is a loyalist and Alexander Hamilton, who is a patriot. In the song, Seabury gives his opinion on the decisions made the continental congress. He disapproves of them declaring war with England and fears chaos and bloodshed. Upon hearing this, Hamilton argues with Seabury about how England has already started a war with America relating to the Boston Massacre and tax acts. He believes the Thirteen Colonies should fight for their rights and has the strength to demand independence.
Farmer Refuted is a battle between the ideologies of loyalists and patriots. During the American Revolution, there were two sides. Each had completely different perspectives to the revolution. Loyalists still wanted to be a part of England, they accepted the British government, and they wanted to be under the rule of a king. They feared chaos and bloodshed, they disliked the barbaric ideas of protests, and they believed that England troops would destroy the Thirteen Colonies. Patriots, on the other hand, wanted to be independent from England after events such as the Boston Massacre and the issuing of the Intolerable Acts. They want to have the rights as citizens and to be free from British control. They feared the power that England used unfairly against the Thirteen Colonies and did not see a future where America stayed with England.
The big idea I chose is emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events. In the song, Hamilton fought with Seabury about which ideology was more crucial to the future of America. Should the thirteen colonies just accept their British ruler, or should they stand up for their nation and demand independence? Seabury argued with lines such as “chaos and bloodshed are not a solution”, saying that war with England is not the answer to their problems and “this Congress does not speak for me”, stating that he does not agree with Congress. Hamilton counteracts those points with “Chaos and bloodshed already haunt us”, referring to the Boston Massacre and “Why should a tiny island across the sea regulate the price of tea”, asking why England has the right to tax supplies that rightfully belong to the Thirteen Colonies. Both Seabury and Hamilton are trying to influence society to get them on their side. They both need to gain support for their wishes to outpower the other.
I found Farmer Refuted to be a genius, upbeat, and humorous song. I was blown away by the creative counterpoint style of the song and was drawn to its unique beat and godlike roasts. The lines I was most infatuated with were the parts where Hamilton argued against Seabury’s lines.
He’d have you all unravel at the
Sound of screams but the
Revolution is comin’
The have-nots are gonna
It’s hard to listen to you with a straight face
Chaos and bloodshed already haunt us, honestly you shouldn’t even talk. And what about Boston? Look at the cost, n’ all that we’ve lost n’ you talk
About Congress?!My dog speaks more eloquently than thee!
For the revolution!
Heed not the rabble
Have not your
At heartChaos and bloodshed are
Not a solution. Don’t
Let them lead you
This Congress does not
Speak for me
They’re playing a dangerous game
It was brilliant how Lin-Manuel Miranda kept the beat and melody steady while having two different characters singing/rapping at the same time. I also found the theme of loyalists and patriots in the song was something I wanted to research more of.
“Heed not the rabble who scream revolution, they have not your interest at heart”
Samuel Seabury says to pay no attention to the people who want a revolution, stating that “the bands of civil society is broken […] and individuals are deprived of their liberty”, taken from the Free Thoughts on the Proceedings of the Continental Congress. He remains loyal to an established ruler and this line sets his wants and fears for the song, earlier said in previous paragraphs.
“And what about Boston? Look at the cost, n’ all that we’ve lost n’ you talk about Congress?”
Alexander Hamilton brings up the Boston Massacre and how England shot the first shot that started the battle. Although it was a misunderstood command, America saw it as a sign of a real war and galvanized patriots to strive for an independent nation. Hamilton references this to Seabury as evidence and a reason for America to fight for their freedom.
“Why should a tiny island across the sea regulate the price of tea”
Alexander Hamilton is referring to the Tea Act that was established by England when they needed money after the seven-year war. The thirteen colonies wanted to be recognized as British but with the way England was treating them, they felt disrespected and unaccounted for. Tax acts such as the Tea Act angered the thirteen colonies and caused them to protest and rebel. The Tea Act was the final straw for America and was a catalyst to the Boston Tea Party. In Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, it states how absurd it is that a small island like England is governing a larger land and that they belong in different systems with Europe to England and America to itself.