Hamilton

We are pretty much obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack right now.

I know, I know: we’re late to the party. All the cool people are off playing Pokémon Go. Not us.

And, no. We haven’t seen the musical. In fact, before I became obsessed with the soundtrack, I met up with a friend who had gone to see the musical. She’d done an all-by-herself, stand-by, sort of deal and spent, well, more than she felt like saying out loud. But she had this massive post-show afterglow. Had she already been listening to the soundtrack before the show? I asked. Oh, yes! That’s why she had to go see it. And I thought that this was, perhaps, a little peculiar, but I took note.

Meanwhile, Cute W noticed the Hamilton soundtrack is currently free to stream for Amazon Prime members. Always one to take advantage of an unbeatable bargain, he added it to our music library. Where M noticed it. She’d tried the new Meghan Trainor (also streaming) and was unimpressed (apparently I’m the only one in the family who like Me Too. But I absolutely do, and I don’t care if that makes me cheesy).  So she switched to Hamilton and became obsessed.

From there, the obsession spread, except that by the time the rest of us were on board, M determined that anything her mother loves so much must be secretly a little bit lame, so she has declared herself tired of it. Except that once Hamilton starts playing she has to sing along.

Right now it’s all J and I ever want to listen to. And when we’re not listening to it, sometimes we’ll just start singing it a cappella. Yesterday we got into an argument because we were going to sing the first Cabinet Meeting together while hanging around on the hammock and when I asked J if she wanted to sing Hamilton’s part or Jefferson’s part, she said that she’d like to do both and that I can sing Washington’s part. And then, when I started singing Washington’s part, she sang along, and decided that maybe I should just do Madison’s part. Which, I believe, is one line. How’s that for a Super Geek disagreement?

I’m going on too much. So, bullet points. Why I’m so smitten with Hamilton:

  • You can follow the entire story through the songs
  • It’s history. And I am a history geek. And it makes it so exciting and accessible
  • It’s very long, making it perfect for summer road trips
  • With a love story! Stories. My personal favorite love story trifecta: new love, impossible love, and longstanding marital love
  • It’s got very funny parts. I especially love how the king sounds like a stalking ex-lover
  • Singing along with it is fun. J has conquered the tough-to-sing “Guns and Ships,” and listening to her, she reminded me of myself oh-so-many-years-ago singing “The Museum Song” from Barnum.
  • It’s also super-sad. I don’t always love this about, really, but the four times I’ve listened all the way through (roadtrips), I cried at least once each time

Now, one thing that’s super-cool is that we’re close to some serious Hamilton history. When I told J that the Schuyler Mansion, the actual house where Alexander and Elizabeth were married, is right here in Albany, she gasped out loud.

And the Albany Institute of History is doing an exhibition called Spotlight: Alexander Hamilton. From the email: “This exhibition looks at all the different ways Hamilton and Albany are connected,” says AIHA curator Diane Shewchuk. “Hamilton’s connection to Albany started with the Schuyler family, but it is a story that is richer than most people realize and this is a great opportunity to tell it.” The exhibition runs through the end of the year.

Not only that, but now there’s a Hamilton-focused walking tour as well! Which I heard about from the lovely folks at All Over Albany. Who also, incidentally, reported on some steamy correspondence between Alexander and Elizabeth a while back.

We have yet to make the rounds to these Hamilton highlights, but it’s on the summer list.

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