For years and years, whenever anyone ever mentioned the words “Puerto Rico” in my presence, my automatic response has been to sing the opening line of the song “America” from West Side Story. There’s no reason for it; it’s just a silly, meaningless habit that I picked up somewhere along the way. But in the current context of the devastation caused by the recent hurricane, that particular response doesn’t seem so silly but rather callous and cruel, which is why I didn’t quote the line here.
So I said to myself, “Man, I really need a new song to associate with Puerto Rico.”
Fortunately, Elmo and Rosita sang a song with the brilliant and Muppety Lin-Manuel Miranda, which was posted yesterday to Elmo’s Twitter feed.
(By the way, why does Elmo need a Twitter feed? I mean, I understand it from a Doylist point of view, but from a Watsonian point of view it makes no sense whatsoever, because Elmo can’t even read. )
Sorry, I got distracted there for a second. Anyway, the gifted and beautiful Lin-Manuel Miranda also wrote and produced another song for Puerto Rico called “Almost Like Praying.” It is available on all digital media platforms, and all the proceeds go to hurricane relief.
On Amazon, it costs less than a buck and a half, so it’s one small way that we can all help out our fellow Americans and fellow human beings who have experienced horror and degradation the likes of which most of us cannot even begin to imagine.