What did y’all do this past holiday weekend? No wait, let me guess. If you weren’t blowing up your paychecks with fireworks you were watching Hamilton on Disney+. Am I right?
We did both and I have to say I cannot get King George III’s lines out of my head. He stole the show. Be forewarned if you haven’t seen it I’m going to do a little spoiling. I know his lines/lyrics are the brainchild of Lin-Manuel Miranda and yes I know King George III didn’t actually say any of those things, yet everything stated was actually true and he could have said them if he’d wanted to. However, the thing that struck me the most is how accurate the words were in the late 1700s and in 2015 when the musical debuted and today five years later. I did a little transcription and I’m going to quote it to prove my point.
In the King’s second act, he says, “Do you know how hard it is to lead. It’s much harder when it’s your call. All Alone. Across the Sea. When people say they hate you don’t come crawling back to me.” Super ironic considering it seems like the whole world hates America including a goodly number of its citizens. Hate is a very strong word so let’s go with highly disenfranchised for the folks that live here and are unhappy.
In the King’s third and final scene he learns George Washington is stepping down as President and John Adams will take his place. Not only does he make fun of Adams for not commanding the same authority and respect but he also says, ” All alone watch them run. They will tear each other to pieces Jesus Christ this will be fun.” He’s not wrong. The Federalist and Anti-Federalist (Democratic-Republicans) were at each others throats pretty much after the last shot was fired in the war for our independence. The Federalists wanted a strong centralized federal government controlled by wealthy, educated property owners. The Democratic-Republicans wanted a smaller government run mostly by the states. In a mear 87 years, our country really did tear each other apart with a Civil War. I fear our country is about to tear itself apart again. I wonder if other nations are laughing as King George III did?
In all fairness, it’s really not surprising we did tear each other apart and continue to do so. If you’d like a bit of light reading (tongue firmly planted in cheek) about why it’s a freaking miracle we are still the United States, I invite you to read a couple of books both by Colin Woodard. The first is called American Nations and the second, American Character. It’s a deep dive into how our nation was formed and settled by different groups all having their own distinct characteristics they brought from their original homeland. It’s absolutely fascinating to see how different the Quakers varied from the Dutch that varied from the Scottish and so on and so forth.
Finally, if you haven’t seen Hamilton go immediately and watch it. It’s wonderful. History has never been so interesting.
Photo Credit: I have no idea. I searched King George the III free photo and this came up about 1,000 times. It’s obviously a painting by whom I have no idea. It is amazing how much the costuming in Hamilton looks like this painting. Excellent detail.
Lyrics: I quoted lyrics that I transcribed from the play Hamilton by Lin- Manuel Miranda. As always, not copyright infringement is intended. I do this blog for free. I’m not making any money on it. I’m broke. Don’t sue me.