I can’t keep it a secret any longer. It’s been tearing a hole inside of me, so I’ve decided to tell you.
I now like Hamilton.
Er, the music. I haven’t actually watched the play (or whatever), I’m not a super fan, and I already knew all the history except maybe some details about personal lives (which I carefully double-checked against real life historical records because I’m that person – like I’m gonna take a musical’s word for any of this).
But guys. GUYS. THE MUSIC IS SO GOOD! And the story the music tells. The character arcs alone are enough to make me adore this! (I love great arcs, and I cannot lie.)
So yup. The only question I have is … WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME!?
I’m totally joking because everyone and their grandma told me it was fantastic, including several of my close friends, and I ignored them. I just … completely ignored them.
I’m that person who has to discover things for themself several years too late.
If you don’t know, which you should …
What is Hamilton?
Hamilton is a broadway musical that came out in 2016 (??? something like that ???) and has tons of fangirls (and boys). Everyone adores it. I was stubbornly refusing not to listen to it because I don’t like popular things until after they’re cool. 😉
It’s not 100% accurate to history, it has some language (and a few crude references), but overall, it’s really good. In particular, if you’re a lover of character arcs (particularly brilliantly executed negative character arcs!), then this is for you.
Also, rapping history. I … I just approve so much.
Why did I take so long to listen to it?
Well, other than the fact that I have a sworn dislike of anything people are talking about way too much (except Frozen because I’d already seen it by the time people started liking it and then hating it) …
I just hate Alexander Hamilton, y’all. The person.
I hate his politics. His politics are dumb. I love Thomas Jefferson and James Madison!
And I was skeptical of him because to me, he just came out of nowhere and started messing with stuff, and CAN HE BACK THE HECK OFF LEAVE MY FOUNDING FATHERS ALONE YOU UPSTART.
I thought the play would just glorify his failings. I thought it would ignore anything bad about him and make my favorite founding fathers look bad.
I thought it would be more anti-American rhetoric.
But no, it doesn’t ignore or celebrate his flaws. So as soon as I realized it was a negative character arc, well, I was greatly pleased. Just … greatly pleased.
So now I like Hamilton (the character, anyways)
As an anti-hero. As someone who simultaneously frustrates me and reminds me of myself, Bailey, and various others of my friends, families, and characters. (Non-Stop is my theme song.)
I get why people are so crazy over Angelica, but I definitely prefer Eliza. To me, she’s the strong character. That said, they’re both pretty epic. I love Eliza just a tiny bit more. Just … her steadiness and compassion and sweetness. I can’t even.
I love Aaron Burr, too, and Washington. And … just lots of them. The characters are well done. *clap clap clap*
Also, yes, I am a nerdy lil’ bean who knew all about what all the founding fathers’ politics were like, and all of the songs just were like, “Oh yeah I remember that. And that. And that.” I’m a history nerd. Let’s move on.
Back on Subject
I decided to write a quick appreciation post for the music, highlighting my favorite songs and
fangirling offering meaningful thoughts on them.
Sound good? Good. Let’s get right into it.
Note: I shall only talk about the ones I like most. Because otherwise this would be way too long!
Alexander Hamilton … my name is Alexander Hamilton
From the very first lines, I was like, “Yesss.” There’s just something so cool about the rhythm of most of these songs, and the chord choices, and the repeated call-backs & themes. (Especially upon relistening to it. You’re like, “Oh wow. OH WOW. OH WWWWWOOOOWWWWW.”)
By the way, let’s just have a quick note that most of these songs have some references. *coughs* So yeah, probably … older teens.
His life story is really cool, though. Like he does become a hero – but then his past issues which he forgot to properly address kinda killed him. *shrugs*
But yes, the growing excitement in this song and all the overlapping themes and just … yes. I love it. It’s the perfect introduction.
Aaron Burr, Sir
Ohhhh, the rivals! I was so excited when I saw this was the second title. (#historynerd) And it was great! It’s so cheerful, and it totally sets up all their conflict.
Three favorite lines:
“I may have punched him, it’s a blur, sir.“
“He looked at me like I was stupid. I’m not stupid.”
“Fools who run their mouths off wind up dead.”
Just … *dies*
I actually haven’t listened to My Shot because I accidentally didn’t add it to my playlist. Whoops. I have it now, though.
The Schuyler Sisters
I don’t know why, but I listen to this one over and over and over again!
Just … something about the three sisters’ contrasted against each other (particularly Angelica and Eliza) combined with the fun beat and the longer notes that the sisters sing is just … great.
“You want a revolution? I want a revelation.”
A Note on All the King George Songs
I’m not gonna talk about the King George songs at length even though they’re great because I don’t want to spend three years on this article.
But … suffice to say … just … he’s the Frozen guy! He’s Jonathan Groff! And he’s fantastic.
Helpless & Satisfied
You have to listen to these two back to back. I love them both … so much … so very much.
Especially Satisfied, which is oddly more satisfying to listen to than Helpless which is just … mindless cute fluff. But both of them are emotional food.
“You strike me as a woman who has never been satisfied”
“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean. You forget yourself”
“You’re like me. I’m never satisfied”
“Is that right?”
“I have never been satisfied”
Wait For It
This simultaneously reminds me of half of my characters and of one of my besties, so I’m like, “You can’t miss, mate.”
It’s so … heartbreaking. Like it makes me so solemn just hearing the first lines, but also oddly inspired? How can it do both those things?
It’s about my least-possessed quality – patience – and I’m just like, “I want … but I can’t … but I …”
Death doesn’t discriminate
Between the sinners and the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep living anyway.
We rise and we fall and we break
And we make our mistakes.
And if there’s a reason I’m still alive
When everyone who loves me has died
I’m willing to wait for it.
Guns and Ships
This is the one I knew from way back when. So I was already familiar with it. It pleases me greatly. It’s just … great. Greatness.
WHY ISN’T IT LONGER, THOUGH!?
This continually makes me almost cry. It’s just … so cute and sweet. And it reminds me of Kirk and Riley and Gibson and I just … I can’t, y’all. I can’t.
My father wasn’t around (my father wasn’t around)I swear that I’ll be around for youI’ll do whatever it takesI’ll make a million mistakesI’ll make the world safe and sound for you
THIS IS MY THEME SONG Y’ALL.
HOW DID I NOT KNOW UNTIL NOW THAT THIS WAS MY THEME SONG!?!?!?!
Oh my gosh, guys, it’s so good! And so … just good! How didn’t I know this was a thing? Everything about it is so complicated and awesome and good.
Why do you write like it’s
Going out of style?
Write day and night like it’s
Going out of style?Ev’ry day you fight like it’s
Going out of style
Take a Break
It took me quite a bit to understand this because I listened to it late at night, and I was just sitting here like, “… French? Wot wot?”
But once I did, I really loved it.
My Dearest, Angelica is in this song, of course, and everyone’s obsessed with that. I admit it’s … interesting. We … we all do remember that he’s … he’s married to Eliza? Right? We remember that?
I mean, Alexander doesn’t, but … WE remember that, right???
Eliza is so sweet in this song, though, and Philip.
Angelica, tell this man John Adams spends the summer with his familyAngelica, tell my wife John Adams doesn’t have a real job anyway
We’re gonna ignore Say No To This, but *coughs* I listen to that one quite a bit too.
The Reynolds Pamphlet & Burn
Both of these physically hurt me. The line “never gonna be president now” absolutely kills me – in a good way. It’s perfect but horrible but awesome.
I know my sister like I know my own mind
You will never find anyone as trusting or as kind
I love my sister more than anything in this life
I will choose her happiness over mine every time
Put what we had aside, I’m standing at her side
You could never be satisfied, G*d, I hope you’re satisfied
And of course Burn is so, so sad. I just … I can barely stand it, and yet I listen to it over and over again. Why do I do this to myself? I don’t know.
You forfeit all rights to my heart
You forfeit the place in our bed
You’ll sleep in your office instead
With only the memories of when you were mine
Stay Alive (reprise)
WHY DO I KEEP READING THIS TO KEEP GETTING HURT. I DON’T WANT TO HURT. I’M SICK OF HURTING. GAH. Yet I can’t stop.
Who did this? Alexander, did you know?
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
Okay, perfect conclusion. *lots of clapping* *way too much clapping*
Let me tell you what I wish I’d known
When I was young and dreamed of glory
You have no control
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
And this is why I say Eliza is the real heroine (hero). She’s the one who just … she got him and yet she didn’t. She loved him pretty much unconditionally.
And she did the right thing, even given all he’d done to her (which was a lot if you look over it all).
I put myself back in the narrative
I stop wasting time on tears
I live another fifty years
It’s not enough
Just … what kind of love is that? That’s self-sacrificial love. That’s real love. That’s Christ-like love. And I love it!
Oh, and the orphanage! How sweet is that!?
In their eyes I see you, Alexander
I see you every time
And when my time is up
Have I done enough?
Will they tell your story?
Well, that’s it, folks. A few thoughts on my favorites!
Do you like Hamilton? What are your favorite songs? Do we enjoy any of the same ones? Why did I take so long!?
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