Hamilton cast album!

Back in May, I posted about Hamilton, the new hip-hop Broadway musical about Alexander Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Ever since then, I've been wanting to see the show. Still can't do that without visiting New York, but the next best thing is now available: You can buy the cast album, or listen to it for free online.

(You can also listen to it on Spotify, or buy the CD on Amazon, etc.)

The lyrics are particularly amazing. I really love the repeated sound-patterns (not sure whether “rhyme” is the right term), like Scotsman/dropped in/(for)gotten/spot in; and the puns (Burr, sir/bursar); and the rhymes-per-se (rioting/disquieting), and the near-enough rhymes (tyranny/here and he). And extended combinations: hurricane/reigned/drain/brain/refrain/pain/insane, man/mainland/came, and/name, man. All this and a compelling story with interesting characters and political commentary! And US history!

Here are the opening lines of the opening/title song:

How does a

bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a

Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten

spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in

squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

I had been a little concerned that listening to the show before seeing it might spoil it, but I'm listening to it anyway, and I'm realizing that I'll probably enjoy the live version more if I'm already familiar with the story and don't have to work quite so hard to follow every word of every song. (Which is also true of traditional musicals for me.)

I haven't yet finished listening to the whole show, but everything I've heard from it so far is amazing. I started to write this blog entry last night while listening to the songs, but I kept getting caught up in the glorious words and grinning too much to write.

And btw, if you haven't seen Miranda's 2009 performance at the White House (5-min video, with mostly-accurate captions) of the song that turned into the opening song from the show, it's still well worth watching.

(Thanks to Sumana for telling me the album's available!)

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