Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Hamilton

Encouraged by rosefox here and rmc28 here, I bit the bullet and forked out €15 (the first time I've bought a music album for myself for over a decade) for the Broadway cast recording of Hamilton, the musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, based on the Ron Chernow biography which I read in 2006, and starring a mainly black cast.

Gosh. It hooked me less than two minutes in:
Well, the word got around, they said, “This kid is insane, man”
Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland
“Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came, and
The world is gonna know your name. What’s your name, man?”

[HAMILTON]
Alexander Hamilton
My name is Alexander Hamilton
And there’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait, just you wait...
And then I couldn't stop listening. I'd loaded up the iPod with the album, and casually thought I'd listen to it on a long walk after a day of travel. But I found I just had to get back to the computer and read through the annotated lyrics right through to the end. It is fantastic.

I love the clever wordplay, including the repeated use of "satisfaction" and "time" and "I will not throw away my ... shot" hurtling towards the awful conclusion; I loved the many nods to Les Miserables; I loved the Schuyler sisters as Destiny's Child; I loved the successful attempt to set cabinet meetings to music; I loved the epilogue sung by Eliza about her fifty years of widowhood. This is one of the most amazing musicals I have experienced, and if I get a chance I will try to see it on stage in New York.

Here is Lin-Manuel Miranda performing the opening song at the White House in 2009.



What I find interesting is that the audience, including the President of the United States and the First Lady, think it's rather funny that anyone should try and write a hip-hop opera about the only one of the Founding Fathers who didn't become President because he got shot dead by the sitting Vice-President in 1804. I don't think they're laughing now.

For more info here's a short documentary about it.



Go get it, listen to it.
Tags: music
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