For all of its many merits “Hamilton” doesn’t have much to offer fans of good old fashioned show tunes. Leave it to legendary “Cabaret” composer John Kander, one half of Jewish duo Kander and Ebb, to remedy that.
In one of his trademark #HamilDrops show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda released a brand new Hamilton-themed song for fans — it’s superior to the late November tradition of the Turkey Drop. The previously unheard track, “Cheering for Me Now” with music by Kander, comes bundled with a video of Miranda back in boots and breeches as the first Secretary of the Treasury. The tune is pure Kander with jazzy horns and more than a touch of Broadway flare.
Miranda wrote the lyrics to the song, describing a 1788 parade in New York (not Macy’s but the Turkey Day timing is likely no coincidence) celebrating the Empire State’s ratification of the Constitution. Intercut with black and white scenes of modern-day Manhattan the video is a love letter to Miranda and Hamilton’s home city and, on a meta level, a ballad about the Ten Dollar Founding Father finally getting his due in the town that made and eventually undid him.
It took that most American of all mediums — a musical — to do it. We’re glad to see that Kander, now 91, can still write songs that swing and that Miranda can do them justice.
PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at Grisar@Forward.com.