Well, I’m back! This time, I bring you the songs of “Hamilton”. I’m going to describe and summarize all 47 and give some quotes. This post took at least a week and a half to write.
By the way, I know “Hamilton” has been in the limelight recently due to the remarks some of the cast made to Vice-President elect Mike Pence when he visited the show. #BoycottHamilton is trending, especially among conservatives. While I do not consider myself a liberal, I don’t believe there was anything wrong in what the cast did. They spoke in a manner that was very respectful and thanked the future VP for attending. Trump then began an angry campaign against them and said that they had harassed Pence. Really? That word seems a bit strong to me. I am not a Trump supporter, never have been. As a girl with a disabled brother, I could never support the candidate due to some of the things he has said. His redeeming quality, in my eyes, was that he seemed less corrupt (to me) than Hillary. So while I do not support Trump, I do support America, and I hope he’ll be a good president for us. And I sure as heck support “Hamilton”. This show changed my life. It changed the way I look at the world, at our history, and at other people. I love “Hamilton”. I am not going to throw all that aside even if I don’t believe the address was entirely appropriate to give. It was still delivered in an appropriate way. Besides, we have freedom of speech. So I stand with my fandom and I probably always will. We Hamilton lovers stick together. Just needed to get that off my chest. I am not throwing away my shot!
Now, to the songs…
This is the first song in the musical, where Alexander’s friends (and enemies) all describe his place in the life, and the other events are foreshadowed or outright described. Alexander arrives in America in this song.
Important quotes: “How does a b******, orphan, son of a w**** and a scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence impoverished and squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?” – Aaron Burr (Sorry, I hate to post mild language, but it’s one of the most important quotes in the show and I just couldn’t leave it out.)
“Alexander Hamilton. My name is Alexander Hamilton.” – Alexander Hamilton
“The world will never be the same.” – Entire cast
Aaron Burr, Sir
Arguably the two most important people in the show are Alexander and Burr, so they are the first two songs. In this song, Alexander tracks down Burr for some advice, but then he meets John, Lafayette, and HERCULES MULLIGAN after they give their introductions, and decides that they’re cooler than Burr. He starts hanging with them instead.
“‘Fools who run their mouths off wind up dead.’ ‘A ya yao yo yao yo what time is it? Showtime!'” – Aaron Burr and John Laurens (This is what we call foreshadowing, children.)
The song that is maybe the most important in the show – and the most quoted – is this one. Alexander describes his ambitions to his friends and they all talk about the revolution. Here, we also learn about Alexander’s past and the hopes for his future. He declares boldly throughout the song, “I am not throwing away my shot!” Remember that. It’s going to be important.
“Hey yo I’m just like my country, I’m young, scrappy, and I’m not throwin’ away my shot!” – Alexander Hamilton (Foreshadowing, again.)
The Story of Tonight
Alexander and his friends sing about their hope. “Raise a glass to freedom”, says John, “Something they can never take away.” There’s lots of bromance and, I am told, lots of hugging if you see the stage version.
“Raise a glass to the four of us, tomorrow there’ll be more of us.” – Alexander Hamilton & Co. (Meaning his squad. Meaning John, Herc, and Laffy Taffy.)
The Schuyler Sisters
Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy sneak out of their house and into New York city to roam the streets. Angelica is excited by the prospect of a revolution, and hopes she can find someone smart enough to match her wits. Burr thinks maybe he’s that person. No way. Sorry, Burr.
“Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.” – Eliza Schuyler
A man named Samuel Seabury stands on a box and proclaims his Tory beliefs to the people of New York. He thinks that Congress is betraying Britain, and says he prays that the king will show his mercy to them. Yeah, like anyone cares. Alexander jumps up and verbally tears the guy to pieces. He had it coming!!! My sister and I identify as Samuel Seabury and Alexander Hamilton respectively, and I always try to get her to do this song with me.
“‘I pray the king shows you his mercy.’ ‘Is he in Jersey?'” – Samuel Seabury and Alexander Hamilton.
You’ll Be Back
Here comes King George with a love letter to the colonies. Hello, why did you break up with me? Yes, you do realize that I am the best you will ever get? Well, whatever. You’ll be back, so I’ll just wait for you to come to your senses here. And I’ll kill your friends if that’s what it takes. (He’s a bit of a yandere if you hadn’t noticed.)
“Oceans rise, empires fall!” – King George III
“I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love.” – King George III
Right Hand Man
It’s all well and good to trash Samuel Seabury and join a revolutionary squad, but Alexander wants to see some action. Meanwhile, General Washington is swamped, exhausted, and plain overwhelmed with work. Trying to lead an army and work with congress at the same time is not easy. He needs some help. Enter Hamilton. He has brains, talent, and three whole friends. Problem solved.
“I cannot be everywhere at once, people!” – George Washington
“I have some friends. Laurens, Mulligan, Marquis de Lafayette – okay, what else?” – Alexander Hamilton
A Winter’s Ball
Suddenly, Alex is popular. He works for George Washington, so he gets a lot of special attention. But he’s still poor. However, here, at a ball, there are three pretty girls who are rich, and two of them are interested in him. Sounds good.
“We’re reliable with the LAAAADIIEEES!!!” – All men
“If you can marry a sister, you’re rich, son.” – Aaron Burr to Alexander Hamilton.
Eliza falls head over heels from the minute Alexander walks in the door. She’s a little shy, but luckily, Angelica introduces them, and soon they’re writing letters back and forth. Eliza is breathless, desperately in love, and completely helpless. Soon, they’re married. She can’t even believe her luck. She is the happiest girl in the world.
“Boy, you got me helpless.” – Eliza Schuyler (now Hamilton.)
Alexander and Eliza are married. Everything’s good, right?
Wrong. Angelica loved Alexander first. He caught her eye almost right away, and then she found out how smart he was. Finally, she has an equal in everything… except wealth. She’s the oldest. She can’t marry someone as poor as Alexander. But maybe Eliza could, and then, at least, Angelica can be happy for her sister. All the same, she is not satisfied, and never will be.
“And I know, she’ll be happy as his bride. And I know… He will never be satisfied. I will never be satisfied…” – Angelica Schuyler
The Story of Tonight (Reprise)
Time for the squad! Alexander’s friends goof off and tease him about his new marriage, all the while growing steadily drunker. (Is that a word?) Then in comes Burr. Burr made it to Alexander’s wedding party… and according to John, Burr has a girlfriend too. Alexander can tell Burr isn’t comfortable around his friends, so he sends them off and talks to Burr alone. Yes, Burr has a girlfriend, but, (oh no) she’s married. To a British officer. Oh dear. (By the way, the workshop version of this song is hilarious. They’re all ten times drunker and twenty times cuter. If drunker isn’t a word, I’m making it a word. You’re welcome, America.)
“Welllll, well I heard, ya got a special someone on the side, Burrr….” – Drunk John Laurens
“I will never understand you. If you love this woman, go get her. What are you waiting for?” – Alexander Hamilton to Aaron Burr.
Wait For It
This is when Burr starts to get some character development. He is in love with a woman who is married to one of his nation’s enemies. Still, he is willing to wait for her. And that shows the biggest difference between Burr and Hamilton. Where Alexander wants to go and get everything he wants, Aaron Burr will sit around and wait for it to come to him. I keep trying to find a way to describe this song and… I can’t. You just have to listen to it. This is my favorite song in the entire production. It is so powerful. I’m sure I’ve done a terrible job explaining it, but there are literally no words to do so. Just… listen to it. Please.
“I am the one thing in life I can control. I am inimitable, I am an original.” – Aaron Burr
“Love/Death/Life doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints. It takes and it takes and it takes.” – Aaron Burr
Hamilton returns to war, and things are not looking good. The army can’t get supplies, and they’re about to go into a very dangerous battle. Washington promotes Charles Lee. Unfortunately, Lee is a terrible general and messes up Washington’s orders, so George puts Lafayette in charge. Angered, Lee starts saying bad things about Washington. That is SO not okay. John challenges Lee to a duel and asks Alexander to come and be his second. They get this adorable moment where John tells Alexander that he’s his closest friend. H.G. loses her mind and goes to write fic.
“I’m a general! WHEEEEE!!!” – Charles Lee
“‘Alexander, you’re the closest friend I’ve got.’ ‘Laurens, do not throw away your shot…'”
Ten Duel Commandments
Charles Lee v. John Laurens. This should be good. Alexander is John’s second, and guess who’s Lee’s? Burr. In this song, we learn what the ten commandments are when it comes to dueling. This is important, as there are two other duels in the show besides this one. This song is a ton of fun to listen to, as the tune is dramatic and suspensful. Burr asks Alexander if they can agree that duels are dumb (foreshadowing again, children) but Alexander wants John to fight Lee, so the duel is still on. Wonder how it will turn out?
“Pick a place to die where it’s high and dry.” – Ensemble
“Leave a note for your next of kin, tell ’em where you’ve been. Pray that hell or heaven lets you in.” – Alexander Hamilton.
Meet Me Inside
And the winner is John! John shoots Lee in the side, but oh no. Here comes Washington. They are in soooo much trouble…
Washington yells at Hamilton, angry with him for doing something so immature. Alex replies sarcastically that maybe John should have shot Lee in the mouth to shut him up. George, he was defending your honor. Alexander again asks for a command. Washington is furious and tells Alexander to go home.
“‘Your wife needs you alive, son, I need you alive -‘ ‘CALL ME SON ONE MORE TIME!'” – George Washington and Alexander Hamilton.
That Would Be Enough
Alexander comes home to discover that Eliza is pregnant. Suddenly, he is humbled, and concerned that he won’t be enough for her and this child. Eliza tells him that he is more than enough for her, as long as he will make time for her and let her into the legacy he has created for himself. It’s a very sweet, romantic song. It’s hard not to love Eliza after hearing this. Apparently Alicia Keys is covering this song soon…
“‘Will you relish being a poor man’s wife, unable to provide for your life?’ ‘I relish being your wife.'” – Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Hamilton
“We don’t need a legacy. We don’t need money. If I could grant you peace of mind, if you could let me inside your heart…” – Eliza Hamilton
Guns and Ships
LAFAYETTE!!! This is where America’s favorite fighting frenchman takes control of your heart, and Washington’s. As one of Alexander’s best friends, Lafayette knows that he would be a good leader, so he presses Washington to give a command to Hamilton and basically brags about how great he and his friend are. This is the fastest rap in Broadway history – the song is 334 words in just two minutes. Let that sink in. Anyway, it’s an amazing song, and Lafayette is a cinnamon roll, and I would totally marry him if I could.
“I’m takin’ this horse by the reins, makin’ redcoats redder with bloodstains!” – Lafayette
“No one has more resilience or matches my practical tactical brilliance!” – Lafayette about Alexander Hamilton
History Has It’s Eyes On You
Washington gives Alexander a command (about time!). He reminds him, however, that their story isn’t going to end when the war does – they’re making history, and the things they do will be told throughout the ages. Don’t forget that, Alex. The Hamilsquad harmonizing in the background makes this song even better. I could listen to Christopher Jackson’s voice all day. He’s like the Morgan Freeman of singing. So calming…
“I know that we can win. I know that greatness lies in you. Just remember, from here on in, History has it’s eyes on you.”
Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)
Lafayette and Hamilton both congratulate each other on making it this far and give themselves a pat on the back. And then they say goodbye (even though they don’t realize it’s goodbye). The two never speak to each other in the play again, since pretty soon, Act One ends and Lafayette’s actor plays Jefferson instead. Before that, though, Hamilton makes a promise to Lafayette that if he ever needs him, he’ll make sure America sends aid. Remember that. After that, Hamilton takes his battalion and gets ready for the battle of Yorktown. Lafayette goes on ahead to Chesapeake Bay, and John goes to South Carolina. HERCULES MULLIGAN does his awesome spy tricks, and so we’re clear, this plan is great, the redcoats are deadcoats. Woot. After a week of fighting a young man in a redcoat stand on a pillow pet (parapet, sorry) and waves a white flag. The British have surrendered, and America is free. This song always gets me pumped. It’s so patriotic and exciting and amazing and wow I love it. I love it so gosh darn much.
“Immigrants: we get the job done.” – Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton.
“Gotta start a new nation, gotta meet my son!” – Alexander Hamilton
“We’ll never be free until we end slavery.” – John Laurens
“Freedom for America, freedom for France!” – Lafayette (this is his last line in the show, aside from “We won”.)
What Comes Next?
King George is sad. America has officially broken up with him. He is dejected that they weren’t willing to come back, and asks them what they plan to do now. Freedom is tough, especially if you don’t know how to use it. Leading a country is even tougher. It’s scary how right he will turn out to be.
“Do you know how hard it is to lead? You’re on you’re own. Awesome, wow!” – King George
“When your people say they hate you, don’t come crawling back to me…” – King George
Now that the war is over, Hamilton and Burr can both just… breathe. What’s more, they both have families now. They are both fathers. Burr’s daughter is named Theodosia, and Alexander’s son is Philip. In this song, they commit to raise their children and promise to make the world safe for them. It’s a sweet, beautiful song and one of my favorites.
“We’ll bleed and fight for you. We’ll make it right for you.” – Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton
Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us
You thought everything was going to be okay now that the war’s over? You were wrong. Alexander is at home, when Eliza comes in with a letter. “It’s from John Laurens,” Alexander says, but Eliza replies that it is not. It’s from his father. John stands on the other side of the stage and watches as Eliza reads the letter to her husband. “Lieutenant Colonel John Laurens was killed in a gunfight against British troops in South Carolina.” And for once, Alexander has nothing to say. He gives a quick reply about having work to do, chokes back a sob, and flees the room. Everyone cries. John deserved so much better than this…
This song is not in the album, but you can listen to it on YouTube. Watch an animatic for tears and ugly sobbing.
“‘Tomorrow there’ll be more of us…’ ‘Alexander, are you alright?’ ‘…I have so much work to do.'” – John Laurens, Eliza Hamilton, and Alexander Hamilton
We’re a little more than halfway in here. Act One wraps up with a song about Alexander moving on after the war. He joins forces with John Jay and James Madison (we’ll meet him soon) to write a series of essays to defend the Constitution. And he writes 51 essays. In six months. Seriously, who even does that!? Anyway, after that amazing feat, Washington asks Alexander to be the Secretary of the Treasury. This is distressing to both Eliza and Angelica (who has just moved to London with her new husband), since it means a lot of work for Alex and less family time. But still, he’s ready to buckle down and get things done for America. Alexander is not throwing away his shot. Or so he thinks…
“I was chosen for the constitutional convention!!!” – Alexander Hamilton
“HAMILTON WROTE THE OTHER FIFTY-ONE.” – Aaron Burr
“He will never be satisfied…” – Angelica Schuyler (technically now she’s Angelica Church, but I’m gonna keep calling her Schuyler.)
What’d I Miss
Oh, hello, Daveed Diggs is back, only this time he’s wearing a fuschia jacket and has his hair down. No more Lafayette. Well, we will hear more about him later on… ANYWAY! Thomas Jefferson is back in America after going as the Ambassador to France, and the minute he gets home, he finds out that he’s been appointed Secretary of State. He sails up to New York, where his friend James Madison pulls him aside and warns that Alexander Hamilton has a new financial plan that neither of them will agree with. Jefferson is introduced to Hamilton, and then they get down to business.
“‘Where have you been?’ ‘Uh… France?'” – James Madison and Thomas Jefferson
“So what’d I miss?” – Thomas Jefferson
Cabinet Battle #1
Alexander has a banking system plan. Jefferson hates it. Rock paper scissors? Flip a coin? Nahhhh. Rap battle, obviously! The two secretaries each try to convince Washington why their idea is right. Alexander’s plan is going to involve assuming debt, however, and Jefferson doesn’t think it’s fair that the South should have to pitch in, since all their debts are paid. Alexander reminds him that that’s only because they have slave labor. Burn.
“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We fought for these ideals, we shouldn’t settle for less. These are wise words, enterprising men quote ’em, DON’T ACT SURPRISED, YOU GUYS, ‘CAUSE I WROTE ‘EM!” – Thomas Jefferson
“A civics lesson from a slaver. Hey, neighbor, your debts are paid ’cause you don’t pay for labor.” – Alexander Hamilton
Take a Break
Eliza wants to take a vacation upstate and visit her father, but Alexander isn’t sure he can make it away. Philip has just turned nine (yeah, some time has passed) and is writing poetry. Alexander and Angelica have been writing each other flirtatious letters across the ocean. When Angelica actually arrives to go on their holiday with them, she finds out Alexander isn’t coming. They beg and plead and sing amazingly, but to no avail. Alexander has to stay behind to work on his plan.
“My daddy’s tryin’ to start America’s bank! Un, deux, tois, quatre, cing!” – Philip Hamilton
“It says ‘My dearest, Angelica.’ With a comma after dearest.” – Angelica about Alexander’s letter
Say No To This
Eliza’s gone. So is Angelica. Alexander is weak and lonely… and vulnerable. Enter Maria Reynolds with a sob story about her abusive husband. Alexander offers to walk her home and then the next thing you know… affair. Bad. And then worse when her husband sends a letter to Alexander for blackmail – pay or Eliza finds out. Maria pleads with Alexander to stay, says she didn’t know any better, and essentially seduces him… but really, she’s just a young helpless girl who actually doesn’t know any better, so I forgive her. Like it would matter if I didn’t.
“I didn’t know about any letter! I didn’t know any better. Please don’t leave me, I am helpless.” – Maria Reynolds (She’s using Eliza’s phrase, if you didn’t notice.)
“How could I do this?!” – Alexander Hamilton
“Just give him what he wants and you can have me! Whatever he wants, if you pay, you can staaaaaay…” – Maria Reynolds
The Room Where it Happens
Alexander is still hard at work to get his plan through to Congress. Jefferson and Madison have decided that they’d like it if the U.S. Capital were in the South. So, the three decide to get together and compromise over dinner. Burr is annoyed that he’s being left out, and then angry when Alexander goes along with them so that the capital will be down south like they want. He begins to realize that he always seems to be left out of the picture. Hmm.
“Two Virginians and an immigrant walk into a room, diametric’lly opposed, foes.” – Aaron Burr
“I wanna be in the room where it happens, the room where it happens, the room where it happens…” – Aaron Burr
Burr tries to get accepted by becoming a senator, but this makes Alexander angry. Burr switches parties to replace Philip Schuyler, who is Alexander’s father in law. Annoyed, Burr insults Alexander for being so prideful. Philip is in this song. Philip is adorable. His actor left….
“I swear, your pride will be the death of us all. Beware, it goeth before the fall!” – Aaron Burr
Cabinet Battle #2
Remember when I said we’d hear more about Lafayette?
Remember when Lafayette and Alexander were bros?
Remember when Alexander promised to help Lafayette in his revolution?
Well. Turns out Alexander is very bad at keeping promises. In this cabinet battle, the issue on the table is France. They’re on the verge of war with England. Jefferson believes America should send funds to help out, but Alexander convinces Washington otherwise. Jefferson then asks him if he’s forgotten Lafayette. Since Jefferson and Lafayette are both played by Daveed Diggs, it essentially means that Alexander is betraying Lafayette… right in front of Lafayette’s face. So this really breaks my heart, especially since I learned that Lafayette had been thrown in prison at this time. It’s okay, Laffy Taffy, I still love you even if Alexander doesn’t…
“Did you forget Lafayette?” – Thomas Jefferson
“Lafayette’s a smart man, he’ll be fine. And before his was your friend, he was mine.” – Alexander Hamilton about Lafayette.
Washington on Your Side
Jefferson, Madison, and Burr are annoyed that Alexander can basically do whatever he wants. The president listens to him and hardly pays any attention to any of them, since Alexander sort of has him in his pocket. The only thing to do is to wreck Alexander. Since he’s the Secretary of the Treasury, they decide to find out how he’s spending the money – see if there are any misdeeds of his that they can report. Let’s show these federalists who they’re up against… I’m not saying what comes next…
“I’m in the cabinet, I am complicit in watchin’ him grabbin at power and kiss it. If Washington isn’t gon listen to disciplined dissidents, this is the difference, this kid is out!” – Thomas Jefferson
“OH! This immigrant isn’t somebody we chose… OH! This immigrant’s keepin’ us all on our toes…”
One Last Time
Jefferson resigns. Alexander is surprised, then angry, then excited because he thinks it means he can say whatever he wants about Jefferson now. Washington then explains that Jefferson is stepping down to run for president – and Washington is stepping down from running for president. Alexander is shocked, and certain this will only have bad outcomes, but Washington knows that stepping down can help the country to move on and learn to continue without him. Alexander writes a farewell address for the president. Washington steps down and moves on.
“‘He’s stepping down so he can run for president.’ ‘Ha! Good luck defeating you, sir.’ ‘I’m stepping down, I’m not running for president.’ ‘I’m sorry, what?'” – George Washington and Alexander Hamilton
“I want to sit under my own vine, and fig tree, a moment alone in the shade. At home in this nation we’ve made… one last time.” – George Washington
I Know Him
King George is back on the scene with plenty of opinions to offer. He doesn’t exactly understand the way American government works – are they just going to keep switching around whoever’s in power? And who’s next? John Adams, apparently. King George is sure that the Americans are going to rip Adams apart and then destroy their nation from the inside out. This is going to be fun for him to watch. At the end, he does this maniac laugh to show that at this point, he’s not entirely stable. Groffsauce (Jonathan Groff, actor who plays King George, ray of sunshine, and national treasure) pulls it off so well.
“I’m perplexed…” – King George
“There’s nobody else in their “country” who looms quite as large…” – King George
The Adams Administration
George Washington is gone. Unfortunately, George Washington is the only thing that keeps Hamilton under control.
Hamilton loses control. Adams says some slightly unkind (okay, pretty nasty) things about him in private, so Hamilton publishes an even nastier response that I am NOT going to repeat here for many, many reasons. Jefferson, Burr, and Madison are gleeful, and decide to let Hamilton know what they’ve discovered while doing their detective work.
“Say what.” – Thomas Jefferson
“This is great! He’s out of power, he holds no office, and he just destroyed President John Adams.” – James Madison
Strangely, this is one of my favorite songs, even not too much happens. There are five notes that play in between the lyrics, but aside from that, there isn’t too much music in it. Still, it has a sort of suspenseful feeling, like the three Democratic-Republicans are circling Hamilton. Essentially, they go and tell him that they think he’s stealing from the Treasury fund to give to James Reynolds for whatever reason. Hamilton explains that, well no, he wasn’t doing that – what he was doing was cheating on his wife and letting himself get blackmailed. Wait, whaaaat? Well, um, wow. At least the three can leave knowing that there’s no way Hamilton can mess up any more badly, right? Right?
“‘Dear sir, I hope this letter finds you in good health, and in a prosperous enough position to put wealth in the pockets of people like me, down on their luck. You see, that was my wife you decided -‘ ‘WHAAAAAAAT?'” – Aaron Burr reading a letter from James Reynolds, and Thomas Jefferson reacting
“I never spent a cent that wasn’t mine. You sent the dogs after my scent, that’s FINE.” – Alexander Hamilton
“The people won’t know what we know.
WRONG. Hamilton decides that if the American people think he’s stealing from them, he has to come clean and show them that he was always honest with their money. And the only way to do that would be to tell everyone in the country about the affair. Tell everyone in the country about the affair, it is!
“I wrote my way out, wrote everything down far as I could see…” – Alexander Hamilton
The Reynolds Pamphlet
All hell breaks loose when Alexander publishes a pamphlet detailing his affair, including letters from James and Maria and the places that he met with her (his own house, mainly.) The world goes nuts. Loud music plays, lights flash, papers go flying. The entire cast fills the stage to toss pamphlets everywhere – even King George comes and throws a handful in Alexander’s face. I wish I could go back in time and join in. As much as I love Alexander, it would be pretty fun… Also, Angelica arrives and turns her back on Alexander – she loves Eliza far more than she ever loved him. This was not the effect Alexander expected, but there are far worse things to come. His poor wife. Jefferson is overjoyed right now. He’s never been happier. Once you listen to this, you will never get it out of your head – it is far too catchy for it’s own good.
I love this song, in case you couldn’t tell.🙂
“Well he’s never gon be president now, that’s one less thing to worry about.” – Thomas Jefferson and James Madison
“I love my sister more than anything in this life, I will choose her happiness over mine. Every time. Put what we had aside. I’m standing at her side. You could never be satisfied, god I hope you’re satisfied…” – Angelica Schuyler to Alexander Hamilton.
Poor Eliza shows up. She is finding out about this at the same time as the whole world – he’s been stringing her along and lying for years. And she in all her goodness never suspected a thing. Not only did he have an affair, he told the entire world about it and humiliated her in front of… well, everyone. She is heartbroken and outraged. And this is where the cute, loving Eliza retreats and Fire Girl bursts out. Eliza bashes Hamilton, burns his letters, and banishes him from their room. She is very scary when angry, and deserved so much better than him. What’s amazing about Eliza is that she doesn’t blame Maria at all. She calls Maria a girl, indicating that Alexander is wholly responsible. Because, yeah, he is. You go, Eliza. We all love you, Eliza.
“She said, ‘Be careful with that one, love. He will do what it takes to survive.'” -Eliza Hamilton about Angelica
“How they perceive you… you, you, YOU… I’m erasing myself from the narrative. Let future historians wonder how Eliza reacted, when you broke her heart…” – Eliza Hamilton
“I hope that you burn.” – Eliza Hamilton
Blow Us All Away
Philip is now 19, smart, fresh out of college, and reliable with the ladies – he’s like his father was at the beginning of the musical. Philip looks up to Alexander, so when he hears someone named George Eacker saying bad things about his father… well, that’s not okay. Philip has to make his father proud, which means no one can talk trash about him and get away with it. Philip challenges Eacker to a duel, then instantly becomes scared and unsure of what to do. He goes to Alexander for advice, and Alexander tells him to fire his gun into the air to show he means no real harm. Eacker will probably follow suit and do the same thing, and they can all go home unharmed. So, Philip goes to the dueling ground and aims into the air like the honorable guy he is.
And then Eacker shoots him in the side.
“I doubt you would have let it slide, and I was not about to.” – Philip Hamilton to Alexander Hamilton
Stay Alive (Reprise)
Alexander arrives at the doctor’s, where Philip lies dying on a table, still not entirely sure what went wrong. Alexander runs to his side and listens as Philip says that he did exactly as his father said. Eliza arrives in time for Philip to say goodbye and apologize, still thinking he must have made a mistake somehow. Eliza tries to soothe him by reminding him of his childhood and singing the same French counting song they’d use when he was nine. Philip tries to sing along, but at three his heart stops and he lays back. He dies. Eliza screams, and our hearts all shatter.
Since he’s played by the same actor as John Laurens, Anthony Ramos, it means we have to watch him die not once, but twice, and cry both times.
“I held my head up high.” – Philip Hamilton
“Un deux trois…” – Philip Hamilton
It’s Quiet Uptown
The Hamiltons move uptown. Alexander stops worrying about his work and walks the streets, heartbroken. Angelica watches and narrates as he slowly comes to realize and admit all of his mistakes, and he and Eliza eventually grow back together. Take pity on them. Out of the unending goodness in her, Eliza forgives Alexander.
“We push away what we can never understand, we push away the unimaginable.” – Angelica Schuyler
The Election of 1800
After all that sorrow, time for the dynamic duo of Jefferson and Madison to come back. The Presidential Election is just around the corner, and once again, T.J. is in the running. John Adams wasn’t great, so he has practically no chance. Which means that the election is Jefferson v… Burr? So Burr is running for president. Madison suggests that he try to get an endorsement from Hamilton, and Jefferson begrudgingly agrees that this could be a good plan. To everyone’s surprise and Burr’s chagrin, Hamilton does. Jefferson wins and then decides he doesn’t really want Burr as VP, since back then, the runner-up would get that. Poor Burr. Even though he’s about to…
“It might be nice, it might be nice, to get Hamilton on your side.” – James Madison to Thomas Jefferson
“I have never agreed with Jefferson once. We have fought on like seventy-five different fronts. But when all is said, and when all is done, Jefferson has beliefs. Burr has none.” – Alexander Hamilton
Your Obedient Servant
Burr isn’t just annoyed now. He’s angry. Once again, Hamilton was in his way – but this time, he sided with his enemy rather than with Burr, who used to be his friend. This can’t go on. Burr writes to Alexander and expresses his grievance. Rather than be polite, Alexander sends back a list of thirty years of arguments they’ve had – I don’t know which time you’re referring to, here’s every single one. Now Burr is furious and demands an answer. Alexander replies that he only did what was right, and he’s officially crossed the line. Burr challenges him to a duel. Hamilton accepts.
“I wanna be in the room where it happens, the room where it happens, the room where it happens. You’ve kept me from the room where it happens for the last time.” – Aaron Burr about Alexander Hamilton
“Careful how you proceed, good man. Intemperate indeed, good man. Answer for the accusations I lay at your feet or prepare to bleed, good man.” – Aaron Burr
“‘Weehawken. Dawn. Guns drawn.’ ‘You’re on.'” – Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton
Best of Wives and Best of Women
I believe this is the shortest song in the album, but it packs a lot of emotion. Alexander doesn’t tell Eliza about his duel. She finds him awake early in the morning – he’s writing his goodbyes, even though she doesn’t know it – and asks him to come back to bed. Alexander tells her he has a meeting out of town and then kisses her hand as she goes back to bed. This is the last time he’ll see her while he’s alive. We’re getting close to the moment… breathe, H.G., breathe.
“I’ll be back before you know I’m gone.” – Alexander Hamilton
“Hey. Best of wives and best of women…” – Alexander Hamilton to Eliza Hamilton
The World Was Wide Enough
Burr and Hamilton arrive in Weehawken. At first it’s standard procedure, the two of them examining the terrain (and each other) trying to figure out what to do, and what the other person will do. Burr grows steadily angrier throughout the song. At this part, it’s sung to the same tune as “Ten Duel Commandments”, and many of the lines in that song are repeated here, such as “Most disputes die and no one shoots”. Both men recall that they are standing in almost the exact same spot where Philip died. Burr notices Hamilton examining the gun and begins to get nervous. Then Alexander puts on his glasses, and Burr panics. Alexander is a good shot, and why would he put on his glasses if not to take aim? Then Burr thinks of Theodosia, and decides he can’t let Alexander make her an orphan. So he makes his choice. And fires.
Then everything freezes, and Alexander takes over. The world revolves in slow motion as he stares at that bullet that’s coming closer and closer, and reflects on his life and the choice he has to make now that he’s facing the end of it. If he dies, will he take Burr with him? There’s still time for him to shoot. As he contemplates all of this, Alexander catches a glimpse of heaven. He sees John (who, remember, was very close to him and died young) and Philip beside him. Washington is also there, having died a few years earlier, and Alexander is on the verge of tears. Suddenly he snaps back to reality with the thought of Eliza. There is a brief moment of absolute stillness, and the only sound is Alexander breathing. And then he says to Eliza, “my love, take your time. I’ll see you on the other side.” He raises his gun and then whispers, “Raise a glass to freedom…”
Alexander throws away his shot.
“WAIT!” Burr screams, but it’s too late. The bullet hits Alexander directly between his ribs. Burr stumbles towards him, but he is ushered away, and Alexander is brought back across the Hudson. Burr wanders and hears people crying in the streets. Someone comes and advises him to go into hiding, and he discovers Angelica and Eliza were both by Alexander when he died. Aaron Burr is lost in his regret. He may have survived, but he’ll live with guilt and the hatred of others pinned on him – forever.
“This man will not make an orphan of my daughter!” – Aaron Burr
“Burr. My first friend, my enemy?” – Alexander Hamilton
“Laurens leads a soldier’s chorus on the other side, my son is on the other side! He’s with my mother on the other side. Washington is watching from the other side, teach me how to say goodbye. Rise up, rise up, rise up – Eliza…” – Alexander Hamilton
“I survived, but I paid for it…” – Aaron Burr
“I should have known the world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me…” – Aaron Burr
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
The entire cast takes the stage, and Eliza begins to talk. Rather than spend time on tears, she decides to take on Alexander’s legacy and make sure the world will remember him. She interviews every soldier who fought with him, she goes through his pages of writing, she enlists Angelica’s aid to help tell Alexander’s story. Lafayette, Hercules, and John harmonize in the background at one part, and I think that’s usually what gets me. This song is so hard to listen to without crying. Eliza lives for fifty years and never again remarries. She always loves Alexander. She works so hard to make sure he is remembered, and she does more than enough. When her time is up, Alexander comes to bring her to the other side, and the entire company sings as she takes his hand and accepts her passing.
I’d like to point out that now that Eliza is gone, someone else tells Alexander’s story and keeps him alive, and that person is Lin Manuel-Miranda, who created this whole thing and who I adore from the bottom of my soul. *salutes* Thank you, sir. *Salutes Alexander* And thank you. You changed my life. Both of you.
“Who keeps your flame, who tells your story?” – Aaron Burr
“I interview every soldier who fought by your side.” – Eliza Hamilton
“She tells our story…” – Lafayette, Hercules, and John
“The Lord in his kindness, he gives me what you always wanted. He gives me more time.” – Eliza Hamilton
“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story.” – Entire cast.
Now, off to listen to Hamilton!
Next post: Relationships!