When I first heard about Hamilton these were my thoughts both before and after I saw it.
I was a little late to the Hamilton party which is a shame because it is very unlikely I will ever be able to afford to see it. It’s also unlikely because since Disney+ are showing the live stage show of it, more and more people will probably want to see it too.
At least I have it on TV and the wonderful songs by the original cast. There are 46 songs in total. And it’s hard to pick just 10 but I managed to do it! I probably cried through all of these on the first watch…
Favourite line: Are we a nation of states what’s the state of our nation?
This was supposedly the song that Lin Manuel Miranda took the longest to write. It sets up the foundations of the story and what drives Hamilton. It’s catchy and is a constant theme throughout the show.
YOU’LL BE BACK
Favourite line: You’ll be back like before, I will fight the fight and win the war, For your love, for your praise, And I’ll love you ’til my dying days.
This is probably a fan favourite as it’s so well written. King George III hilariously delivers this number as if it’s a song about love between a man and woman, however, based on the plotline and history, this isn’t the case. I think it’s very clever, funny and very well performed.
Favourite line: But when I fantasize at night, it’s Alexander’s eyes, as I romanticize what might have been if I hadn’t sized, him up so quickly, at least my dear Eliza’s his wife, at least I keep his eyes in my life.
Lin-Manuel stated that it was the most “ambitious” songs of the show.
When we met Angelica we saw her as a tough and strong woman who wasn’t easily swayed just by anyone. Even during Helpless, we see she has a sense of humour about sharing Hamilton with Eliza. But Satisfied gives her a softer edge, opening her heart up to the fact she has found someone she loves and connects with deeply.
I love the references that you probably will only spot when looking up lyrics and the references. For example, she raps, “It’s Ben Franklin with a key and a kite! You see it, right?” Ben Franklin famously discovered electricity with a key and a kite, demonstrating the spark between Angelica and Hamilton upon meeting.
I also just want to also point out that most of this is not factually correct. They did have brothers so her father did have sons. Also, she was married with children when she met Hamilton. That’s not to say their relationship was incredibly close, although believed to be emotional only.
IT’S QUIET UPTOWN
Favourite line: You hold your child as tight as you can and push away the unimaginable.
This one had me broken. As a parent, I think it hurts a lot more than if I didn’t have a little one. But obviously it’s a sad song either way. I sobbed and I sobbed HARD.
The song is not just about the grief of losing their firstborn son, but of reconciliation. It’s about Hamilton and Eliza coming back together after he ruined their marriage. Despite his infidelity, you feel sorry for him because he has lost his wife and child too. And it was because of him. He is no longer power-hungry and egotistical, he is begging for forgiveness from Eliza.
When Eliza holds his hand, it’s because she needs him too. She’s lost a lot too.
ONE LAST TIME
Favourite line: Sir, I don’t know what you heard but whatever it is, Jefferson started it
Despite George Washington actually owning slaves himself, “One Last Time” is one of the most moving songs in the production. I guess I find it more heart wrenching because this was performed when Obama left office.
THE SCHYLUR SISTERS
Favourite line: And when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel! (Work!)
LMM has said he wrote this song so we can meet Angelica, Eliza and Peggy Schuyler before Hamilton does. We get an idea that they are excited about the change about to happen, wanting to meet someone who is as forward-thinking as they are,
Favourite quote: I hope that you burn
Eliza is taking the stand and not letting her husband off easy in this one. She’s not blaming Maria as everyone else has done. Hamilton made Eliza “Helpless” and, as she mentions in this song, “defenceless”. Why would she blame Maria for the affair when Hamilton is so convincing and great at wooing? Surely if anything, he let this happen.
She really shows how selfish he has been in publishing details of his extramarital affair just to save his career, over their marriage.
And what I love most? Eliza doesn’t cry for him during this song. She is powerful and her voice is strong, no longer the giddy girl singing about how Helpless she is. Now she wants him to suffer for how he treated her.
TEN DUEL COMMANDMENTS
Favourite line: Okay, so we’re doin’ this
I love how Lin wrote this as a way of explaining how duels went back in the day. He demonstrates how there was a ritual to ultimately murdering someone. The song occurs a few times, although some people don’t always follow the rules…
The layout of the song follows the same template of Notorious BIG’s Ten Crack Commandments which is a FANTASTIC nod to the Hip Hop industry.
NO TO THIS
Favourite line: I wish I could say that was the last time, I said that last time, it became a pastime
Every time I hear this song it is stuck in my head for about a week. It’s sexy, a little funny and the moment where shit really hit the fan. Lin really did a great job at toning down the rap/hip hop and making it an RNB song.
Favourite line: I’m dedicating every day to you
This is such a beautiful tribute from two fathers to their children. They may have had different ideas but Burr and Hamilton were incredibly similar. It’s fatherhood that make their ambitions for a better America seem more worthwhile.
I must say there are only probably two songs in the production where I’m a bit meh about. But 99% of the music is superb!
How can you not love General Washington’s entrance for Right Hand Man? Or The Room Where It Happens? Oh and don’t get me started on Guns and Ships
All of their voices in the original Broadway production (as I have not heard any other versions of the songs, yet!) give me goosebumps. The talent is ethereal!
I truly love this musical and I am doing my absolute best to learn the words to all of the songs, although I am starting to find that near impossible.
What are your favourite Hamilton songs?