Who needs an actual person to converse with on a run? I can wear my earbuds instead and hang out with my new friends Hamilton, Laurens, Lafayette and, best of all, HERCULES MULLIGAN. (Those obsessed with the musical will understand the all caps. I promise my cat didn’t step on the keyboard when I wasn’t looking.)
If you haven’t listened to the soundtrack of Broadway’s Hamilton yet, I suggest you find it on Spotify now. I was skeptical when a friend forced me to listen to the highlights during a visit in December, but I got sucked into the vortex pretty quickly. While driving home for the holidays, I listened through all 2 hours and 22 minutes of the musical—and cried for those last 22 minutes. But it wasn’t until recently that I went running to my favorite upbeat tracks and found myself picking up the pace. General Washington is just so. darn. empowering.
I’m convinced the right songs will also put a pep in your step. Plus, everyone could use a little hip-hop history lesson. That’s why I’ve selected five songs from the soundtrack that will power up Hamilton lovers and newbies alike. Let’s start a running revolution!
1. “My Shot”
This is the song that first hooked me. Alexander Hamilton’s determination is contagious as he sings, “Hey, yo, I’m just like my country / I’m young, scrappy and hungry / And I’m not throwin’ away my shot!” It’ll make you feel scrappier on your run, too. Promise.
2. “The Schuyler Sisters”
In a musical focused on the founding fathers, there has to be some girl power. Enter Angelica Schuyler. The quick-witted oldest sister puts things straight and critiques the exclusion of women from the Declaration of Independence, saying, “And when I meet Thomas Jefferson / I’mma compel him to include women in the sequel.” Preach.
3. “Right Hand Man”
Here comes General George Washington! Something about this song supercharges me. Washington is such a baller, and there’s something hilariously satisfying about hearing him say, “Can I be real a second? For just a millisecond?” He imparts wisdom later in the cautionary History Has Its Eyes On You, but that track is best listened to off the running trail.
4. “Guns and Ships”
Everyone give it up for America’s favorite rapping Frenchman: Lafayette. This explosive song drives home his key role in securing guns, ships and resources from France for the American Revolution. As he’s “takin this horse by the reins makin’ Redcoats redder with bloodstains” you might even find yourself running down a street named after him.
After the war, Hamilton uses his mad lawyer skills to defend the young U.S. Constitution, unsuccessfully asking Aaron Burr for help: “Burr, we studied and we fought and we killed / For the notion of a nation we now get to build / For once in your life, take a stand with pride / I don’t understand how you stand to the side.” Some of his non-stop drive will rub off on you as you hear the origin story of the Federalist Papers.
YOUR TURN: Are you obsessed with Hamilton yet? Which songs are your favorites?
Main image from “Hamilton” playbill