Okay, I Admit It – I Now Like Hamilton

 In Kell's Blog

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!?

Dear Theodosia

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 you
I’ll do whatever it takes
I’ll make a million mistakes
I’ll make the world safe and sound for you

Non-Stop

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 family
Angelica, 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

*quiet sobbing*

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
(Eliza)
I stop wasting time on tears
I live another fifty years
It’s not enough
(Eliza)

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!

TTFN!

~Kell~

P.S.

Do you like Hamilton? What are your favorite songs? Do we enjoy any of the same ones? Why did I take so long!?

Want to keep getting amazing posts in your inbox? Follow my blog on the sidebar!

Showing 24 comments
  • Ryana Lynn
    Reply

    Well, I have to admit, I’m not a fan…not my music style and I have too much of a personal vendetta against Hamilton for messing up my country XP I’m an anti-federalist of sorts so…XP and personally I’m like, y’all both agreed to the duel, so don’t fly off the handle at Burr for winning. But that’s just my take on it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Constitution. But it needed some more safe guards to keep potential bad guys in check. Anywho, this was still a cool post, even it I’m not a fan! And yes, Non-Stop’s lyrics sounds cool!

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      It’s not for anyone! And I hate Hamilton’s politics, too, so I definitely am glad the story is more of a negative character arc. He did dumb things, he messed up, and even his death was because he was doing yet more dumb, idiotic things for no reason … which he should’ve known better than because his son literally just died in a duel …? Anyways, it’s interesting, but not for everyone for sure!

  • E.F.B.
    Reply

    Yeah, I haven’t heard all the songs yet but I have heard most of them and I am a fan. Especially Eliza’s part in the final song. Totally makes me cry in a good way. She truly had a Christ like love like you said and did so many good things.

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Yes! Eliza’s part in the final song is really what gets to me. It’s so sad – and yet happy. She’s really fantastic!

  • Maya Joelle
    Reply

    I really do like Hamilton but don’t talk about it much because… certain content. This was a really fun blog post though! My favorite song is It’s Quiet Uptown, but they’re all awesome.

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Right, I also was a bit hesitant to listen to it until recently because people had told me it was super bad – but it isn’t “f-bombs every other second” (which is what I’d feared) – just some occasional language and some … yeah, that stuff. 😛 But at least I can skip some of it! And I’m glad I did give it a chance at last.

  • Merie Shen
    Reply

    WHOA WHOA WHOA what is this okay but just a few days ago I started listening to the songs and just 🤯 wow they are amazing. Everything you say about all of them, just so true and amazing and 100% agree. “Non-Stop” got me hooked and it is my jam. Also the rap is… Well, I never really liked rap but history now needs to be retold through rap, and that’s all there is to it.

    And now I want to watch the musical… And yes, Jonathan Groff as King George was like my favorite thing ever! And Eliza is wonderful!! And basically Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius. I’ll stop fangirling now and leave you to it… 😂

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      YES, EXACTLY! I can’t believe I waited so long, but … but … well, reasons. Reasons. And I’m not like the biggest rap person, either, but now I’m like, “This is … this is how it should be told?” I mean, it definitely makes you want to learn more!

      Yessss, Jonathan Groff! 😛 I was dying!!! It took me a while to realize what was going on, but once I did, I was like, “EEEK!!!”

  • Amie
    Reply

    Me: HAMILTON
    Me: WITH KELLYN’S HUMOR.
    Me: THIS IS THE BEST POST YET.
    The comments: *mostly agree*

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      LOL! I now feel like I didn’t use enough humor in this because I was just focusing on TALKING ABOUT ALL THE GOOD STUFF THAT BE IN HERE, but … THANK YOU! 😛

  • Tori Easter
    Reply

    Have you read the book it’s based off of? I’m not a fan of the musical, but the book is *makes Italian hand gesture* suburb! It goes more in depth with Eliza’s Christ-like love. Definitely cried when I read it.

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      I haven’t! I don’t know if I have the attention span for it already knowing the story as I do (yes, I’m that spazzy!) but I should look into it for sure!

  • iamcharlesbakerharris
    Reply

    WELL, THIS MAKES ME VERY HAPPY.

    *beams*

    I love Hamilton (both the historical guy, the fictional character, AND the musical), so yussssssssssssssss. I loved reading through all your commentary!!! “Never gon’ be President now …” I don’t know why but that line just Does Stuff to me, like you said.

    Also, I saw “Hamilton” live last year, and let me tell you: it was absolutely electrifying. Did. Not. Disappoint. And nothing on earth–nothing on earth, I say–could have prepared me for Eliza’s whispered, “it’s quiet uptown …”

    *curls up in a ball and cries forever*

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Right, I’m not sure why, but it’s just like ,,, thematically perfect somehow. 😛 I was just like, “What!? Nooo … but yess … but nooo …”

      That’s really cool! I’m one of those people who dislikes the experience of a live performance, so I don’t know how I’d respond to it. 😛 If it were just me in the audience … and if the performers didn’t know I was in the audience … that might be fun.

      • iamcharlesbakerharris
        Reply

        Ahhhhhhh. I’m one of those people who LIVES for the experience of live theater–but, I think I understand what you’re saying. 😉

        Are you going to watch Hamilton when it comes to Disney+?

  • Rachel
    Reply

    I love Hamilton too! I got into last summer because of my cousin. I agree with all your thoughts. I like “The Story of Tonight” and “Its Quiet Uptown”, too.

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      I’ve had a lot of people say those are awesome! I think I’ve only listened to “The Story of Tonight” a couple times, though. I accidentally didn’t have it downloaded for the longest time, lol!

  • Germaine Han
    Reply

    Reading this reminds me of when I first got into Hamilton. Eliza Schuyler is actually one of my dream theatre roles (and my favorite character in the musical), but I have to face that I am very sadly not a soprano. I actually like Hamilton as a character, but that may be due to my being not American — hence no bias for or against him.

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      YES, Eliza is so great. Haha, yeah, if I were into theater, I’d definitely be all over this! 😛

      Yeahhh, I don’t mind the CHARACTER, but if you take away all the character development, he was reckless and his politics were nuts.

  • Esmeralda
    Reply

    Much like you, I am a recent Hamilton fan. I’ve fallen in love with the music, I mean it’s just really hard not to. 🙂
    My favorites mirror your list, Satisfied and Burn and of course Alexander Hamilton. Honestly the first time I listened to the album I was not very impressed, then a few months later I listened to it again and again and I think it’s safe to say that I am now a fan. 🙂
    I really enjoyed reading this post!

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Same here! It took me a while to get into it. 😛 I had heard a lot of it just because a friend played a lot of them, but it wasn’t until recently that I listened to all of them and was super impressed!

  • abigailblessing
    Reply

    Coolio! I like a few Hamilton songs, though the music style isn’t really my taste. Fantastic post!

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Thank you! Yes, the music wasn’t my taste for years, but my taste is always changing and growing, so now I do!

What do you think of my thoughts?

%d bloggers like this: