Academic journal article Independent Review

The Musical Hamilton from the Perspective of Financial History, in Verse

Academic journal article Independent Review

The Musical Hamilton from the Perspective of Financial History, in Verse

Article excerpt

Act I

Scene 1: The Hypothesis

Lin! Lin! I love where you goin' and I love where you been. (1) But I gotta tell you straight up what you doin's a sin.

Don't care about the compression, the artistic liberties, and all that. Limitations on time and your audience prevent telling the small t truth. What has me feeling so down about this, and really very flat, Is that you don't tell the big T truth about AH, and that's the epitome of uncouth. (2)

Scene 2: The Braggadocio (3)

   Cuz I'm lilly white, this ii'l ditty (4) might cause a flap,
   But who today gonna throw shade and say a Slim Shady can't rap? (5)
   So settle and consider the rational rhymes (6) 'bout to spew from
      my tap.

   Race is nothing but a figment of our mind
   So let's leave that concept where it belongs ... behind.

   So bad, so mad, so sad, so fad are my rhymes
   I cut down bad ideas like zombies in front of Rick Grimes. (7)

   If hatin' and spewin' criticism is still what you need,
   Consider this: I've published more books than you could ever
      read. (8)

   Chernow's book is great; (9)
   The man knows how to pontificate, extrapolate, di-a-late.
   So let's all cheer now for Chernow (10)
   Cheer now for Chernow
   Cheer now for Chernow
   For Chernow, get up out of our chairs now.

   Same goes for Joanne Freeman. (11)
   But what about this free man?
   This free man?
   This here free man?

Scene 3: Dissin' Lin (12)

   If you read my faux letter about Chernow's tome,
   Which you could've read for free and right from home, (13)

   You'd'a discovered that when it comes to money and finance,
   Everything important about Hamilton except Maria's fine ass, (14)
   Chernow's book is short of plot, misses the whole lot, can't find
      the right spot.
   And li'l Jo's book on affairs of honor is a fine narrative
   But compared to my game theory of dueling, (15) it's like a fine
   It catches the big pieces, but the important part goes down the

   Dueling wasn't a deadly game played by the mad.
   When viewed from the standpoint of credit,
   Or rather from the viewpoint of discredit,
   It was really quite rational and much more than a tad. (16)

   But much worse, maybe even a curse ...

   Is that an ode to Hamilton without describing the Bank of the
      United States,
   Is a lot like an epode to Newton without explaining gravity.
   It might sound great, but it will never possess gravitas or
   Do you all really want that to be your muthaf****n' fates? (17)

   An ode to Hamilton without describing his funding system,
   Is a lot like a poesy to Einstein without mention of relativity.
   It might sound great, but it will never possess gravitas, even
   And I mean this positively: you may be a genius, but you lack

Scene 4: Dissin} Historians

   Yo! Yo! Hamilton was great, of that there is no doubt,
   But it's important for everybody to know what he was really all

   Hamilton was a libertarian, tried and true,
   So libertarian he'd make Ron Paul look like a statist foo'.

   You won't be reading that in no history books
   Cuz truth be told, most historians are crooks.

   From each other ideas they do steal
   Instead of sitting down and going through the real deal.

   Primary sources, the very stuff of the past, is where it's at.
   Anything else is just blah blah this and blah blah that.

   What the primary sources clearly show, if you read them slow and
      are in the know,
   Is that Hamilton sought efficient, not big, government.
   On this don't rush to judgment: energy and efficiency was the goal
      of his department.
   It's a shame that the ideas of Nelson (18) and Flaumenhaft (19)
      didn't make it into
   your show.

   So, son, let me show you how it's done,
   for reals and for fun, here in Song Number One. (20)

Act II: "What Bondholders Want"

Hamilton: Our humiliation was the government of the new nation And its inability to pay our farmers, soldiers, or sailors the proper remuneration due to its distressed monetary situation, a situation called bankruptcy that led mere individuals straight to the jailers. …

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