One of the best things about the musical Hamilton is how it presents every single character as complex, flawed human beings. Nowhere is this more evident than with Aaron Burr. This is our villain, the man whose envy and frustration led him to kill our protagonist. We know this from the very beginning. And yet here is a touching song about how Burr’s tragic life and how he struggles to deal with it, to rise above his tragedies. You wind up really feeling for him, even when the song turns to his jealousy of Hamilton. We can relate, because the song made Burr relatable. Enjoy!
The most heartbreaking song in Hamilton, performed with heartbreaking depth by Kelly Clarkson. Enjoy!
Powerful art echoes through time and connects us to those who have come before us. In Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda drew back the curtain and showed us the mythical figures of America’s birth were human beings, and that their experiences are not so different from our own. This performance at the White House drives that point home in a unique way. George Washington is stepping down, setting the precedent of two terms that presidents would follow for centuries to come (with one notable exception being FDR). And Obama, about to step down himself after his eight years in office, is in the audience. When the chorus sings “George Washington’s going home,” you can hear the tears in their voices, as through time they wish farewell to an influential and much beloved man with the words of farewell to the father of our country.
I was late to the bandwagon, but I’ve been mildly obsessed with the musical Hamilton for a couple months now, and “Wait For It” in particular has been on repeat for the past couple weeks. One of the things I love about Hamilton is how all the characters, these mythical men (and women) from the founding of our great nation, are human beings. There are no good guys or bad guys, just people trying to do the best they can in momentous, uncertain times. Alexander Hamilton is a brilliant man with major issues of arrogance and womanizing. And Aaron Burr, the “villain in your histories,” struggles with a need to live up to the expectations of his dead parents’ legacy and the resulting hesitance to stick his neck out for anything. Who can’t relate to that?