Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I shared a couple of UK-related news tidbits. Tina reviewed Bad Boy, number 19 in the DCI Banks series. Sim’s fantasy walk in London took us out to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Jean re-read Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency in advance of the new TV series. Becky reviewed The Time Machine by H.G. Wells and The Kellys and the O’Kellys by Anthony Trollope.
A number of people I know are finding Hamilton: An American Musical a source of comfort and inspiration right now. I’ve been listening to the cast album for a couple of weeks and, now, I’m looking through Hamilton: The Revolution, a book that contains the full libretto of the play.
The entire story takes place in the colonial (and, then, independent) United States — except for three short pieces, all with the same tune, sung by King George III who provides comic relief.
The first is “You’ll Be Back.” Most of the pieces in Hamilton are in American genres like rap and R&B, but King George III sings “You’ll Be Back” as a love ballad like the British Invasion bands. The song style contrasts hilariously with some of the lyrics:
And when push
Comes to shove,
I will send a fully armed battalion
To remind you of my love!
In the second piece sung at the end of the Revolutionary War, “What Comes Next?”, King George reminds the newly independent US that this governing business may not be as easy as it looks.
You’re on your own.
Do you have a clue what happens now?
It’s impossible to convey the delicious disdain in the delivery of that middle line.
In “I Know Him,” sung during the transition between the Washington administration and the Adams administration, King George is flummoxed by our system:
George Washington’s yielding his power and stepping away.
Is that true?
I wasn’t aware that was something a person could do.
I loved this British take on Hamilton, prior to the show arriving in London, from the Telegraph:
Hamilton seemingly has a magical ability to inspire fanatical devotion in anyone who listens to the original cast recording – even the British.
Have you joined the ranks of the Hamilton-obsessed?