Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” has been inescapable this spring, as the viral track and its Billy Ray Cyrus remix continue to dominate the Hot 100 chart. The meteoric smash has even seeped into the classroom, with one Birmingham, Ala. teacher turning the tune into an educational anthem for her third graders.
Ms. Merlette originally posted the “Classroom Edition” clip of her students singing to social media on April 30. “I’m gonna ace my test, I’m gonna raise my score, I’m gonna solve ’til I can’t no more,” the Sun Valley Elementary School kids chant in the reworked version.
The heartwarming video caught fire — and the attention of internet savant Lil Nas X days later (May 2). “I’m cheesing hard as hell watching this. this beautiful lol,” he wrote. Cyrus then chimed in as well. “This is what it’s all about,” the 57-year-old added on May 4.
HuffPost caught up with Merlette to get her thoughts on the whirlwind of unexpected notoriety that had a few of her students crying tears of joy. “It’s a call to action to empower not just yourself but those around you as well, especially our youth because they need us,” Merlette told the outlet in an email. “The goal of our song was to encourage my kids to remain confident and motivated while taking the state exams. Music is a fun and easy way to remind them that they possess the tools for success.”
Listen to the “Classroom Edition” of “Old Town Road” below.
— Jasmine A. Merlette (@futuredrjas) May 1, 2019
i’m cheesing hard as hell watching this. this beautiful lol https://t.co/em0RUX5cqX
— nope (@LilNasX) May 2, 2019
This is what it’s all about!!! pic.twitter.com/GwhbN57I5I
— Billy Ray Cyrus (@billyraycyrus) May 4, 2019