Senior Peer Reviewer
the world is wide enough

Message to Readers

Disclaimer: I do not try to impose any way of living; I am trying to put into words my beliefs and the thoughts the song has evoked in me. Do note that as with creative works, facts have been liberally adjusted to suit the musical thematically.

This piece ended up being longer than expected, but I hope that this piece is not too strongly worded. If you enjoyed Hamilton, I hope it has been food for your soul. If you haven't listened to Hamilton, I hope this perked your interest.

Most importantly, thank you for reading this. :')

The Noblest of Writers

July 2, 2017

PROMPT: Living in Music

There are days I question myself what it means to be a writer. Alexander Hamilton is well-known for being one of the founding fathers of America (and now, for the musical), but I would say that he is who I would aspire to be in another universe.

The piece I choose is "Non-Stop" from Hamilton the musical [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au1gEvV9vxQ]. Hamilton is relentless, idealistic, driven (hence the title) and it is awe-inspiring that he would devote all that tenacity of life towards making others' lives better. In today's day and age where everyone is one man for his own, this is the spirit we need. Even though I am not American, even though Singapore has her own inspiring founding father the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew (and his musical "The LKY Musical"), I eventually chose this because I was drawn to this song for its rhythm, lyrics and emotions. 


Burr, as Hamilton's total opposite in character, poses these questions to him in quick succession:
Why do you write like you're running out of time?
Write day and night like you're running out of time?
Ev'ry day you write like you're running out of time

The relentless, persistent, urgent need to write is what I believe every writer faces. But who can write non-stop? I, who sometimes admittedly wait for inspiration, would like to live in the alternate reality where there is such a noble reason to write. Writing laws and amending constitutions is dry and dull, yet Hamilton never lets the monotony of what he does obscure the vision he sees for America's tomorrow. In fact, he offends a fair number of people going about his ways.


Burr laments:
Why do you always say what you believe? x2

"It's going great!"
"I'm fine." 
Some days, we lie.
These are the days you deserve a pat on the back for getting through another day.

Other days, we dip tentatively into the whirlpool that exists in our brains.
These are the days you deserve a pat on the back for being brave.

Not everyone can handle the truth, and not everyone will state it. Just look at the way "fake news" has impacted the journalism sector, and how "post-truth" was the Oxford word of the year in 2016. What has the ethos of this century become? 

I look at calls claiming that "climate change is a hoax", or politicians appealing to emotions during campaigns with unsupported promises. Do you truly believe what you say? If you are somehow blinded by the facts of reality, ask yourself this: Whose lives are you trying to help? Whose lives do you ruin? What will the next generation say?


Part narrator, Burr states:
Hamilton wrote the other fifty-one [essays]!

As writers, we write. On Write the World, we write mostly creative fiction. Hamilton wrote essays, better known as the Federalist Papers. Neither type is more important to the other; what is important is to recognise that both nourishes different aspects of humanity. Both are necessary. To write one after another after another — in another reality, I would live a life where my writing changes the world for the better.


As a writer, I believe:
History has its eyes on you.

In future, be it distant or near, people will judge you by what you believe and consequently, what you write. Do it for a (noble) reason. Do it for the betterment of humanity. Don't do it to get back at others. Don't stoop to their level. Don't throw your talents away like that. You only have one life and —

I am not throwin' away my shot!
The lyrics would doubtlessly mean more with background information, but here is some contextual information that may help: 

Aaron Burr: a man Hamilton once admired, until he realises that Burr works without beliefs 
Angelica: not so much historically correct but in the musical, she is the one he connects with on an intellectual level. The one he could've married. ((The one that got away.)) 
Eliza: his wife, who tries to help him see what he misses: the flower of life, his son, his family 
George Washington: the man Hamilton follows, the leader he admires


See History
  • July 2, 2017 - 9:04am (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • yapyapxy

    So glad you liked it!! (and Hamilton as well hehe)

    over 3 years ago
  • RedWriter

    Thank you so much! I didn't know about this before and now I am hooked.

    over 3 years ago