Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hamilton Saves the Union through Music

There is some kind of WWF contest on TV Monday night. Andy Kaufman is back wrestling a woman again or something. Maybe it's Roller Derby. Regardless of the high entertainment value of Hillary vs. the Donald in the ring, the real hope for America lies in Hamilton, the Musical.

PBS will be showing a special on the Musical phenom on October 21st, just a couple of weeks before the presidential election.

The BYU Co-eds on our trip through Britain last summer introduced my wife and I to the music. It's quite the popular thing with the erstwhile Harry Potter fan-base. They played it a few times on the van during the long trips winning the popularity battle over my iPod playlists, even Pirates of Penzance, when we were even right there in Cornwall!
Who tells your story?
While we couldn't pick up all the lyrics, and they skipped past some the girls found embarrassing, there was clear irony present cruising along through Great Britain while listening to King George III's silly song and then, "The World Turned Upside Down." It made us proud to be Americans.

If you haven't heard, this is a hip-hop musical, the rock musicals of my youth now way beyond their ability to shock and be popular. The original cast was of mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds. And somehow, it all makes sense as a musical and message for our time. This is America, after all.
They emerge with a compromise, having opened doors that were previously closed, Bros. 
Hamilton is the forgotten founder except for the ten-dollar bill and losing the duel, as noted by the musical's writer, Lin-Manual Miranda. Yet his statue stands out front of the U.S. Treasury next to the White House having secured his place not just at Washington's side, but as the perfect balance to Jefferson's grandiose visions of liberty still tainted by slavery. Hamilton gave us a firm, financial foundation, and success in the power of government to do good for its People, even for an illegitimate immigrant like Hamilton.
Every other founding father story gets told. Every other founding father gets to grow old. 
There is Hope for America, even in the cussing, brawling, and compromise of Hip-Hop Musicals - and presidential elections.

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