Reverend Lonnie Lacy used his best King George impression to remind his parishioners that the church will be waiting for them when the coronavirus pandemic ends.

By Meghan Overdeep
August 12, 2020
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One Georgia pastor is using a catchy song from Hamilton to assure his congregation that they will, in fact, be back together once the threat of COVID-19 has passed.

Reverend Lonnie Lacy of St Anne’s Episcopal Church in Tifton is going viral for putting his own spin on “You’ll Be Back,” one of the songs from the hit Broadway musical.

“Social distancing got you missing church? You'll be back!” the video’s YouTube description reads. “Our priest's parody of the hit Hamilton song turns King George's threat into a joyful promise.”

Lacy told Episcopal News Service (ENS) that he got the idea for the parody while watching a recording of the musical on Disney+ with his family earlier this month.  When King George III started singing “You’ll Be Back” in his flowing robes, it dawned on him.

“I thought, ‘You know what? I have a cope that looks just like that,’” he recalled, referring to the elaborate vestment priests wear for special occasions.

So Lacy rewrote the song—in which King George sassily warns the American colonies to stop rebelling—to remind his parishioners that the church will be waiting for them when the pandemic ends.

It also happened to be the perfect number to use in the annual parish talent show, which had been moved online.

“Every year at the talent show, I try to do something really big and really ridiculous as the closing act. And it’s just become a thing— people know that Lonnie’s going to do something big and stupid,” Lacy said.

So, he got to work at recording his version of the song and recording himself performing it his empty church.

“You'll be back. Wait and see. Just remember how it used to be,” Lacy sings. “You'll be back. Time will tell, when we've kicked this virus back to Hell.”

The video, titled “Dancing Priest Does Hamilton” has reached more than 1.3 million views since it was posted on YouTube on July 25.

“What I have discovered is there is such a hunger to be back together,” Lacy told ENS. “The video is a little humorous word of hope, a promise that God is going to get us through this. There is going to be another side of this, and we will get back together.”