Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

America is wild about King George, or at least the one from Hamilton

Illustration for article titled America is wild about King George, or at least the one from Hamilton
Image: National Galleries Of Scotland (Getty Images)

It shouldn’t be particularly surprising to find out that the Hamilton cast recording album has exploded in popularity ever since the musical premiered on Disney+, with Rolling Stone saying its sales went up 1,000 percent between June 26 and July 9 (as compared to the previous two weeks). That merely speaks to the continuing popularity of Hamilton as a media property, since its sudden availability to people beyond those with the ability to actually see it on Broadway (which, for the record, is currently none of us) evidently hasn’t diminished its power. What may be surprising, though, is which specific number on the Hamilton soundtrack has benefited from this bump the most. It’s not Alexander Hamilton, the opening number that introduces the characters and whether or not they fought with him, loved him, died for him, and/or shot him, it’s actually Jonathan Groff’s “You’ll Be Back”—a.k.a. King George’s song. Rolling Stone says its streams went up 400 percent and sales went up 4,000 percent, putting it higher in the charts than any other song on the Hamilton album.


But why? Well, the obvious option is that it’s a good number, with Lin-Manuel Miranda turning it into a more traditional poppy tune as sort of a “British invasion” gag and ending up with, well, a legitimately catchy song about history. That’s boring, though, so here’s another option: King George was right. Americans are starved for strong leadership thanks to the shitty tyrant running things, so they’ve cast a nostalgic eye back to King George III—a slightly more accomplished tyrant. The song is all about how King George thinks America will eventually regret rejecting his love, even if he has to kill everybody to prove it, and it seems like he was on to something. America finally appreciates King George, and it only took 240 years or so. Granted, the real King George didn’t actually write the song, but hey, good for him anyway.

Here it is if you’d like to contribute to its popularity and/or you’re not especially bothered by the British government excessively taxing its colonies while denying them any representation in Parliament.