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·2019 words·10 mins·
2023 Broadway
Jerry S
Jerry S
Table of Contents


As part of my birthday celebrations for 2023 I went to go see Hamilton. It was intense. I highly recommend it. When I die I will die a tiny bit happier for having seen this.

Outside the Opera house after having watched Hamilton

Spoiler Alert!

If you don’t want spoilers and want to go see Hamilton in your life don’t read on.

Do yourself a favor and steal, borrow, pilfer, pickpocket, or hack a friend’s Disney+ account. As far as I know it’s not yet available on Blu-ray yet so if you don’t get Disney+ access you can always try to listen to some of the songs on the Youtubez.

A dip into melody

When Hamilton first came out I found out about it because of the circle of friends I was around at the time. How long ago was that? Well, Hamilton came out in 2015 and I probably didn’t actually hear about it until a few months to a year later when it gained its renown. Naturally I was exposed to various songs from the musical through my friends but I don’t think I ever really appreciated the music as much as I do now after having seen it live on stage.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the script, music, and lyrics and as someone that is NOT musically inclined other than listening to good music I greatly respect his abilities. He’s only 6 years older than me! Imagine that! He did not waste his shot.

Lin-Manuel in his Hamilton attire

The Winds Of History

I won’t lie. I might read more about Alexander Hamilton now that my curiosity has been piqued but I did no research for this blog post since it’s primarily a way for me to capture a wonderful memory and the things from the play that caught my attention.

From the musical I learned many things and each of those things provoked many thoughts.

Founding Father

Alexander Hamilton, along with George Washington, is considered a "Founding Father". Who knew? :-D

He wrote a lot

He apparently wrote a lot and was very out-spoken about his beliefs compared to his rival in the musical, Aaron Burr. If this is true, I might admire him for his eloquence, which I feel is a skill that escapes me when I’m talking publicly. Much of the time it feels like I mumble aloud my way through a pile of ideas to eventually get to what I actually believe.

Undoubtedly, it is due to his prolific writing that we know so much about his spicy life.

His son died in a duel

This one hit hard during the musical. It was sad to see a re-enactment of the aftermath of the duel where the son’s mother, Eliza, and father, Alexander Hamilton, cried and sang over the dying body.

Hamilton had a secret affair

Ouch. He betrayed his wife. His political rivals attempted to blackmail him upon finding out but instead of letting himself be blackmailed a second time he instead published a pamphlet to openly admit his affair to the public.

I don’t admire the betrayal of the affair.
I do admire the bravery of admitting it to the public.

I do admire his wife Eliza’s reaction to the publication of the affair. She burned her letters and writings to keep her side of the story forever lost to darkness of unrecorded history. Rightfully so. I don’t know exactly how much she burned. Maybe more than just her side of the story was lost.

He fought against the British

He served under General Washington and fought for our freedom from Great Britain. Pretty amazing. A war hero by all accounts.

He died in a duel

Aaron Burr challenged him to a good ol’ fashioned duel and he lost. No spoilers here really. The first song of the musical gives away the ending right away. That’s good for me. I knew I had something to look forward to.

Memorable Songs

I’m sure everyone that goes to see the musical has their own set of memorable songs and moments. Here are the ones I could remember from the musical.


Why do you write like you’re running out of time?
Write day and night like you’re running out of time?
Ev’ry day you fight, like you’re running out of time

Maybe it’s the envy one writer feels for another writer that is more prolific and seems to have an endless stream of refined sentences that easily slide out of their pen in inky form.

Maybe that’s why I like this song.

Say No To This

There’s trouble in the air, you can smell it

That’s when I began to pray:
Lord, show me how to
Say no to this
I don’t know how to
Say no to this

This is the song when Hamilton cheats on his wife the first time and starts his affair while she’s away from their home. Hamilton stayed home to work.

It’s interesting. In the song, his…mistress lover…Maria Reynolds, calls Hamilton a man of honor before doing her best to strip him of it after he honorably helped her with money to help provide for her temporarily in the absence of her husband.


In the eye of the hurricane
There is quiet
For just a moment

I’ll write my way out

Hamilton has just been told his rivals know about his secret affair. He knows what comes next if he chooses to come clean to the public. He forges ahead. He writes his way through the storm.


I’m erasing myself from the narrative

The world has no right to my heart

They don’t get to know what I said
I’m burning the memories
Burning the letters that might have redeemed you
You forfeit all rights to my heart

Eliza, his wife, reacts to the news of Hamilton’s betrayal. It was brought to life even further when the actress lit paper on fire on the stage using a lantern she had placed on a bench when she came onto the stage. Seeing a real fire, that had an impact for some reason. Bravo.

Hamilton, writing his way out (right); Maria Reynolds, in her red dress (mid-right); Eliza, burning her letters and her narrative (mid-left); Hamilton’s mother holding him when she died. (left)

It’s Quiet Uptown

And I pray
That never used to happen before

If you see him on the street
Walking by himself, talking to himself, have pity

He is working through the unimaginable

In the musical, the Hamiltons have just lost their son in a duel and they’ve moved uptown. Eliza and Alexander manage to reconcile the woes caused by the affair and are brought together by the death of their son.

They somehow worked through the unimaginable.

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

You have no control
Who lives
Who dies
Who tells your story?

Somehow though, Alexander Hamilton seems to have told his story. Not his exact story, I’m sure, but it lives on and has been re-invigorated by Lin-Manual Miranda.

Other Favorite Songs

Since listening to the soundtrack even more I have become fond of other songs.

The Room Where It Happens

Wanna be in
The room where it happens
The room where it happens

Aaron Burr, feeling he is somehow being left out of momentous occasions is coming to terms with his own desire and motivation. Unlike Hamilton, he is portrayed as someone that hides his true motivations and beliefs. Yet here, in this song, he seems to flip and wants to do more now than just sit back in his comfortable life. He decides to join the fray and put some real skin in the game.

Where is the room where it happens?

I Know Him

Oceans rise.
Empires fall.

The king of England makes a second appearance in this song I believe. He said lots of funny things, like threatening to send an armada to fight a war in US waters to show the colonies how much he “loves” them. :-D

For me the most memorable line of course is the above. Yes they do. And yes they do. It makes me think that despite this, only stories that are told can actually live on. Untold stories are like imaginary invisible flowers; no one can ever possibly see them bloom.

One of the well known actors that played the King George III, Jonathan Groff. He wasn’t part of the cast in Boston but you can see how the King looked.

The World Was Wide Enough

But I’m the one who paid for it
I survived, but I paid for it
Now I’m the villain in your history

The world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me

Aaron Burr, as he says at the beginning of the musical, has just shot Hamilton and killed him in a duel. According to the musical Hamilton raised his gun to the sky, never intending to aim at Burr.

Aaron Burr’s spark, the spark that pushed him to reach for his own place in history and his own slice of influence, has caused him to act rashly. Unlike Hamilton he appears to not be skilled in managing a strong internal fiery motivation.

Did he actually realize he would be portrayed as a villain in Hamilton’s?

Another Memorable Quote

Look him in the eye, aim no higher
Summon all the courage you require.

I can remember hearing this said twice but it was memorable and I had to look it up. It was sung during the duels and is part of the 9th commandment of a duel. 9 is just before 10, and 10 is when you shoot. For 9 you must look your opponent in the eye and aim no higher, then you summon all the courage shooting requires.

Obviously I’m not participating in many duels. If I am I must be a damn good shot. Who doesn’t need real courage when confronting the duel of life? (wow, that felt ultra cheesy. Enjoy the mozzarella.)

My Own Musical

If you listen to the soundtrack or watch the Disney+ version, you’ll see that Lin-Manuel Miranda and the “original” cast are in it. The one I saw in the Boston Opera House was not done by the original cast. However, after watching some clips of the “original” on YouTube I’m convinced that the version I saw meets or exceeds the original in quality. The cast was amazing to say the least and deserved the humble standing ovation we as an audience were able to offer them. Thank you for such a memorable Hamilton experience.

Final Thoughts

The play is filled with so much that I don’t know how much longer this would be if I continued to write about why all the above songs are memorable to me.

Who have I been? Who will I be?

One thing that keeps recurring in my life is the question of what kind of a story I’m living in. What role have I played in my own life up until now? Have I been the hero or the villain, the one that overcomes or the one that succumbs, the one that believes and acts or the one that observes and reacts?1 This was brought to the fore multiple times such as when Aaron Burr sings about becoming the villain in Hamilton’s life, all the writing Hamilton was credited with doing, and the lyrics “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?”

Who are you, dear reader, in your own life? Who have you been up until now? Is your life a comedy or a tragedy? And if you’re in a tragedy, will you twist the threads of destiny in the hopes of making it a comedy or are you stuck to live out your tragic conclusion?

Who have I yet to become?

  1. I heard Jordan Peterson say this in some fashion in one of his many informative lectures. ↩︎