Hey, y’all. Yes, it’s true. I’m one of the Hamilton Faithful.
I’m fresh out of the deadline cave, having turned in my most recent book last week. I like to be early for my deadlines, and this one was a close shave. I turned in the book a mere 4 days before the deadline. Still early, but not early enough for me. I’ve vowed to start the next book earlier, so I can get back on top of things.
Anyway, I’ve had several new companions to keep me company during my time sequestered away from the world. (I did briefly leave the cave for two reader events.) My new friends are witty, fascinating, and full of useful information. Who are these lovely folks, you ask? Why, they are Lin-Manuel Miranda and the entire cast of the Broadway musical, Hamilton. The cast album helped me keep my sanity during my breaks from writing.
I recently discovered the cast recording from the show on Amazon Music, after being proselytized to by Adrienne Mishel, Synithia Williams, and Lena Hart during the long car ride down to Destin a few weeks ago (My Sincerest Thanks, Ladies). I even half- listened to a few tracks during the ride, via the magic of Bluetooth, at Adrienne’s behest. (I say half-listened because there was a very serious conversation going on during the ride, the topic of which I’m not about to reveal.) What I heard intrigued me, so I downloaded the full album when I got into the wi-fi zone.
My first listen was when I returned from trip, so around the beginning of February. I listened all through the month, mainly while cleaning my house or driving. I only had short bursts of time to listen, and only managed to finish the entire 42 track masterpiece yesterday. (It should be noted that I managed not to cry through Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story. I may have gotten a little misty during It’s Quiet Uptown, however, this is unconfirmed.)
There’s so much good stuff in Hamilton. It chronicles the life of “the $10 Founding Father,” Alexander Hamilton, from his humble beginnings as an orphan in the Caribbean, through his influence in the building of America, all the way through to his unfortunate death during the infamous duel with his rival/frenemy, Aaron Burr. For a history nerd like me, it’s catnip. Add in the hip-hop medium through which the story is told, and you’ve got something really special. I also love the top billing given to the women in Hamilton’s life, like his wife and sisters-in-law, the Schuyler Sisters. Their titular tune is one of the standout tracks in the show’s score.
Let me just say that I’m fully on board, I have been since the first time I heard Aaron Burr, Sir all the way through. This musical is EPIC. I can’t remember ever being this excited about show tunes, even though I love The King and I. The diverse cast is phenomenally talented, and there is just enough dramatic license taken so that it makes the show entertaining without disrespecting the narrative. It would take me all day and all night to sing the praises of Hamilton, because it is a work of absolute mastery. This wonderful mash-up of history and hip-hop, two things I love passionately, is like the coolest. thing. ever. As far as I am concerned, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius of the highest order.
I never thought the story of the Founding Fathers, a group of long-dead White men, could be presented in a way I could relate to on such a deep level. My only regret is that it took me so long to really discover it. If you haven’t heard the album by now you really don’t have any excuse to continue living a Hamilton-less life. The album is free all over the place, including Amazon Prime Music and Spotify, and possibly elsewhere. I should also let you know that it is totally worth buying on CD or MP3. Go forth and get this is your life!
And if you’re wondering what all this has to do with writing, consider that I now have numerous Revolutionary War era plot bunnies inhabiting my brain. Books will be spawned from this, I assure you.
Want to share in my love for Hamilton? Drop your wise observations in the comments below! Don’t be shy-History Has It’s Eye on You…
Later, Y’all 😉