Brilliant Reader Challenges: "Hamilton," 300-Game Winners and More
Another loaded week for the Brilliant Reader Challenge! The premise is simple. You send in a challenge. And I take on a few each week. OK! Let’s go!
From Mick: “Hamilton” is finally coming to Dublin. Rank the songs of “Hamilton” in order.
Whew. This one seems pretty much impossible. But that’s the point isn’t it? I’ll do a Top 10 … I could do all 46 songs but there are other challenges to take on!
“Wait for It.” Aaron Burr tells his story and what’s in his heart — the glory of “Hamilton” is that Burr is both a villain and hero. Favorite lyric: Life doesn’t discriminate/Between the sinners and the saints.
“Burn.” This is Eliza’s heartbroken song as she deals with the aftermath of the Reynolds Pamphlet. Favorite lyric: You built me palaces out of paragraphs/You built cathedrals.
“Alexander Hamilton.” The opening number — and when Elizabeth and I heard it that first time we just knew: This is going to be one of the great nights of our lives. Favorite lyric: Alexander Hamilton/My name is Alexander Hamilton/And there’s a million things I haven’t done/But just you wait, just you wait.
“Satisfied.” Angelica’s retelling how Hamilton ended up married to her sister — including a rewind to the actual day they met — is simply astonishing. Favorite lyric: I remember that dreamlike candlelight/Like a dream that you can’t quite place.
“It’s Quiet Uptown.” I’m a little bit embarrassed to say that I didn’t fully appreciate the power of this song about Philip’s death until (should I even tell you this?) I heard Kelly Clarkson’s version of it on “The Hamilton Mixtape.” It’s an exposed heart. Favorite lyric: I take the children to church on Sunday/A sign of the cross at the door/And I pray/That never used to happen before.
“The Schuyler Sisters.” Joyous, happy introduction to the Schuyler Sisters — ANGELICA! ELIZA! and Peggy. Favorite lyric: We hold these truths to be self-evident/That all men are created equal/And when I meet Thomas Jefferson/I’m a ’compel him to include women in the sequel./WERK!
“What’d I Miss?” You probably know Thomas Jefferson doesn’t appear in the first act of “Hamilton.” But he’s right there at the beginning of the second, decked out in glorious purple and ready to go. Favorite lyric: Madison — “I’ve been fighting for the South alone. Where have you been?” Jefferson — “Uh, France.”
“My Shot.” The young Hamilton searched for greatness. Favorite lyric: “Hey, yo, I’m just like my country/I’m young, scrappy and hungry/And I’m not throwing away my shot.”
“Guns and Ships.” It’s not actually one of my favorite songs except for the extraordinary speed rap by Daveed Diggs — but that rap is so good that it makes the list. Favorite lyric: No one has more resilience/Or matches my practical, tactical brilliance.
“You’ll Be Back.” King George III to the colonies. Favorite lyric: And when push comes to shove/I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love.
A few other favorite lyrics:
“Cabinet Battle 2”: Should we honor our treaty, King Louis’ head?/“Uh, do whatever you want, I’m super-dead.”
“Right Hand Man”: Dying is easy, young man/Living is harder.
“Hurricane”: I’ll write my way out. (I know the feeling of this one),.
“History Has Its Eyes on You”: Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
“The Story of Tonight”: We’ll tell the story of tonight.
Jon: Why do you think there are no non-white 300-game winners when there are so many non-white members of every other baseball club (3,000 hits, 500 homers, etc.)?
Interesting question. The answer that comes to mind for me comes in two parts.
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