In New York

you can be
a new man!
By Joseph Ordaz


Introducing the first song to the
album Hamilton composed by Lin-

end of their four minutes listening
to the song they will!

Manuel Miranda, “Alexander

Each character describes a piece

Hamilton” presents many of the

of Hamilton’s life growing up.

characters that play in the musical.

Aaron Burr discusses Hamilton’s

The song includes Aaron Burr, John

origin at the beginning of the song.

Laurens, Thomas Jefferson, Eliza,

“How does a bastard, orphan, son

James Madison, George

of a whore and a Scotsman…grow

Washington, and of course

up to be a hero and a scholar?”

Alexander Hamilton, all taking a

This creates an image in the mind

turn to sing their part. It is obvious

of the listener that Hamilton’s

why the song is named Hamilton in

father left him as an orphan, his

that, it condenses a sketch of

mother did not control her

Alexander Hamilton’s life in four

sexuality to society’s fulfillment in

minutes. Since it is the first song

the 18th century, and he was born

in the production it serves the

privileged as a white man. Also,

purpose of setting the tone for the

Burr describes the future for

rest of the album by captivating

Hamilton as he will become a hero

the listener with historical facts

of the American Revolutionary War

and events of Hamilton. To a

and scholar, earning him the rights

listener who has no clue who

to be the face of the $10 bill.

Hamilton is, I guarantee by the

Hamilton is portrayed as a hard
worker by his good friend Laurens.

“Got a lot farther by working a lot

the end of the song with

harder.” Through all the traumatic

“Alexander Hamilton”. This is

events of his mother dying, father

significant because the last line is

leaving him, and cousin

a statement of identification,

committing suicide, Hamilton still

remember my name and also

finds a way to motivate himself.

transitions the reader to the next

These events lead him into making


a name for himself, by using his
intelligence and writing skills to
get him out of the hole he is in.
Hamilton understood that
knowledge is power, therefore, he
was “Scammin’ for every book he
can get his hands on.” Hamilton
can use his knowledge to take it to
the new land in the hope that, he
can live the American Dream.
Hamilton is asked chorus
questions about his existence.
“Will they know you rewrote the
game?” This foreshadows
Hamilton individually shaping
American history. Which leads to

Lin-Manuel Miranda does a
fantastic job accurately describing
Hamilton’s early life. In the song
Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda
uses the genre of rap to flow in an
out of the different character
parts. Quite a few of the ending
syllables rhyme with each other
which is common in the genre of
rap. One theme in Hamilton is
time. Hamilton is given the
tendency to work and write like he

is running out of time. The song

have a chorus repeating the same

starts with an adagio tempo. This


is significant because the listener
has to focus to what the characters
are saying rather than the
instruments. The tempo picks up
when Alexander Hamilton has to
start working and relying on
himself for his future of living the
American Dream.

My reaction to the first time
listening to Hamilition was wow!
This musical is composed
wonderfully. I enjoyed the rhyming
and tempo of the singers, it
created a good vibe. What struck
me was the fact that Hamilton
started from the bottom, he lost

I chose to compare Hamilton to

everyone that cared for him.

Aaron Burr, Sir because they both

Despite the tragedies Hamilton

have similar traits. Both are

still manages to work hard and is

considered to be in the same genre

motivated, “In New York you can

of rap. In Aaron Burr, Sir Hamilton

be a new man.” The musical is a

has a rapid-fire rap style in contrast

history lesson of not only

to Burr singing for the most part.

Hamilton’s life, but American

Both songs introduce who Hamilton


is by repeating his name. Also they