In my English III classes, we just finished reading Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. I assigned my students a creative assignment in which they had to somewhat retell the famous story in a new way. This could be by creating a comic book, a children’s book, a poem, a song, a model, a rap… I decided that I would do one myself and present it on the same day my students were going to present theirs. Naturally, I chose to write a rap (I mean, I had already used Rush to teach themes in the play twice–it was time to switch up the genre). The video above is the result, which one of my students taped on an iPhone, which I guess technically shouldn’t have been out of his pocket at the time, but it was for the sake of education, right?
Here are my lyrics to my [sloppy] rap about The Crucible, as performed by my teacher-rapper alter ego, MC Grammar.
Here’s a story about witches but I don’t mean to frighten you.
It happened way, way long ago, back in 1692.
Some girls cookin’ a brew, conjurin’ a sinful stew,
Parris come out of the blue, catch ’em girls in the nude.
Now in this village, that just wasn’t allowed,
Witchy stuff was sketchy stuff, keep your family proud
by always meetin’ at the meetin’ house; always wear a frown.
This wasn’t Boston, Mass. This was no “Boss Town.”
This was in Salem–someone suspicious, we jail ’em,
No body bail ’em, if they a witch, then we tell ’em
We oughtta Reverend Hale ’em, well somebody mail ‘im
‘Cause Tituba’s a witch, we gotta assail ’em.
When Hale first arrived: Hale hatin’,
But ain’t nobody sayin’ “Hail Satan.”
So now Hale confused, he be debatin’
and renegotiatin’ what he put his faith in.
And that’s what we call an internal conflict.
“God damns all liars, Mary!” Eternal torment.
But let’s talk about John Proctor, at the top of Salem’s list
Even though there was one Commandment that he missed
Elizabeth and Abigail think he’s the swaggerest
And that is why he’s the tragic protagonist.
He’s not the perfect man, but maybe the fairest,
he heard about Parris and his inert heiress,
he said, “You havin’ girl problems? I feel bad for you, son,
I got 99 problems, but a witch ain’t one!”
Goody used to be sick, but John’s an achiever
she come up with Herrick, he’s hangin’ with Cheever,
and they found a poppet, but no body believe her
John’s gonna stop it, in the court he’ll relieve her.
Tryin’ to save his wife, Francis held his stances,
but the judge didn’t believe there weren’t necromances.
So Nurse was the worst, got 91 people arrested,
But Giles held in contempt, then he got press-ted.
Proctor was a saint, but Mary couldn’t faint,
Proctor said you think Abby is good but she ain’t.
Proctor pleaded with Hathorne and Danforth,
they made Goody Proctor come down and stand forth.
She couldn’t face her hubby so his eyes couldn’t catch her,
so didn’t already know they knew he was a lecher.
Defyin’ any word would make Abby see a bird.
Then a second ‘n a third would keep these morons assured
that there’s witches in the world that needed God to be cured
and every rumor heard kept the crucible stirred.
Proctor said “God is dead!” but his name stayed alive, though,
he hanged without shame because he didn’t have to lie, though.
And so that’s the end of this Crucible rap,
lesson learned: don’t be ignorant–that’s some crucibull crap.