By: Emily Miller, Alicia Hayes & Alicia Whavers
Hamilton is one of the greatest works of art ever created. Though it premiered on Broadway in 2015, it continues to BLOW US ALL AWAY. It leaves us HELPLESS yet SATISFIED no matter how many times we may TAKE A BREAK from it.
After listening to the album NON-STOP for the last week, I decided to write a definitive ranking of every song in Hamilton from great to perfect. I asked the two foremost Hamilton experts named Alicia (Hayes & Whavers) to help out with the list. Thankfully they did not SAY NO TO THIS.
So in the words of Alexander Hamilton when he finds out he’s running the treasury:
46. “The Best of Wives and Best of Women”
As the shortest song in the show, “The Best of Wives and Best of Women” falls a little bit short of the rest of the songs both literally and figuratively. The song serves as the interlude between the Burr/Hamilton duel being arranged, and the actual duel itself. It also allows Hamilton and Eliza to have one final interaction. While the sentiment of Hamilton saying aloud that Eliza is the best of wives and women (she is!) it gets undercut when he ignores her final piece of advice, resulting in his death. -Emily Miller (E.M.)
Devastating Lyric: “Come back to bed, that would be enough.”
45. “The Adams Administration”
In all honesty, the lyrics are pretty good for this song. It’s gossip-filled, but not as much as “The Reynolds Pamphlet”, and I can’t lie…I love the music because of the trail of the same 2 minute bit throughout the show. But because we have so many other of the same songs, this one kind of blends in. Though I will say, it contains one of the best verbal burns in the entire musical. -Alicia Whavers (A.W.)
Devastating Lyric: “Sit down, John, you fat MOTHERF-”
44. “Blow Us All Away”
I think I speak for everyone when I say that NO ONE WAS PREPARED FOR HOW EMOTIONALLY DEVASTATING THIS SONG IS. I only listen to it when I’m committed to going through the whole album. -Alicia Hayes (A.H.)
Devastating Lyric: “One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven – *shot*”
43. “Schuyler Defeated”
This is another song that draws heavily on the notes of another, in this case the epic “Schuyler Sisters”. Here’s the thing…I don’t care about this Philip. I don’t care that he was defeated. I have no emotional connection to him. And knowing Aaron Burr took his place only spurs on the action of the play, so I am quite happy with the forward momentum this song provides. But that’s just about it. But I do think that this song has a very telling section about American politics. There are three lines, spoken by Hamilton and Burr respectively that encompass it all. See below. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “No one knows who you are or what you do / They don’t need to know me / They don’t like you”
42. “We Know”
Jefferson, Madison and Burr confront Hamilton over the mysterious payments he made to James Reynolds. They mistake the payments as Hamilton embezzling funds from the country, and he is forced to disclose the true nature of the checks. (His affair with Reynolds’ wife Maria, more on that later.) The first half of the song is a brilliant play on music from old detective movies as the trio of men interrogate their suspect. The second half has a tonal shift as Hamilton confesses to a vastly different crime. It’s still good, it just doesn’t quite match the sheer glee and triumph of the first half of the song as Jefferson, Madison and Burr taunt Hamilton that they know. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “I hope you saved some money for your daughter and sons”
41. “Stay Alive (Reprise)”
Phillipa Soo deserved a Tony for her performance as Eliza. While the obvious piece of evidence is Soo’s solo song “Burn” (more on that much later) I would argue that “Stay Alive (Reprise)” is the correct choice to advocate why she deserved Best Actress. After Eliza and Alexander’s son Phillip is shot in a duel, the parents beg him to stay alive. This is familiar territory for Eliza. She first sang this song to her husband as he fought in the Revolutionary War. That time her loved one managed to stay alive and come back to her. This time she wasn’t so lucky. The song is her realization that her son isn’t going to survive this. It’s Soo’s gut wrenching emotion that elevates this song from just a typical reprise. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “Is he breathing, is he going to survive this? (Stay alive)”
40. “Your Obedient Servant”
This one was actually higher up on my personal list but I have no hard feelings. This is one of my favorite songs from the show. You can feel Burr’s disdain and frustration and anger in this song. Pit his lyrics against the upbeat chorus, and the back and forth with Hamilton, and you have got a wonderful song! As a female, most of this song sits below my natural register and its one of the deeper songs that Burr sings; I attribute it to his broodiness. So it’s a song I often sing to warm up my lower register. The very opening of the lines displays Burr’s current state of mind perfectly. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “How does Hamilton, an arrogant immigrant, orphan / Bastard, whore’s son / Somehow endorse Thomas Jefferson, his enemy / A man he’s despised since the beginning / Just to keep me from winning?”
39. “Cabinet Battle #2”
This is one of the most underrated songs on the album, in my opinion. I don’t know why you would reprise perfection, but Lin did just that and created a song that sets up the resentment of Hamilton’s peers. -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “Did you forget about Lafayette?”
38. “What Comes Next”
I like this song. I appreciate it. Out of the three songs King George does, this is my least favorite, but it’s still a good song. For some reason, whenever I listen to it I imagine Georgie in his purple, ermine robe, looking at a letter and reading the decision, not unlike someone might look at the flaming comments under a YouTube post. But it’s also one of the best breakup songs I have ever heard. Breaking up with your boyfriend is hard, but breaking up with an entire country while fighting two major powers might not be easy. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “When your people say they hate you/ Don’t come crawling back to me”
37. “I Know Him”
I Know Him is the unsung hero of the King George trilogy. It is the comedic pick me up that the show DESPERATELY needs, and the lyrics are so brilliant. -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “All alone, watch them run, they will tear each other into pieces, Jesus Christ this will be fun!”
36. “The Reynolds Pamphlet”
Hamilton decides to publish his own account of his affair with Maria Reynolds before his political rivals can use it to their advantage. However, in a rare misstep, Hamilton miscalculates the ramifications of the publication. This song deals with the immediate aftermath. Perhaps the most energized, frenetic song in the entire show, it brilliantly centers around an electronic ominous beat that pulsates throughout the song. The best parts are when Jefferson and Madison triumphantly celebrate the end of Hamilton, and when the song briefly reprises “Satisfied” from the first Act. The song’s only negative is it doesn’t tell us anything new. It literally repeats reading the letter from “Say No To This.” I just wish there was more new information revealed here. -E.M.
Actual Devastating Lyric: “You could never be satisfied / God, I hope you’re satisfied”
Devastating Lyric Because Of This GIF: “Well, he’s never gon’ be President now”
35. “Take a Break”
Full disclosure, I really only like parts of this song that contain Philip. Why? Because the rest of this song is about two women trying to take care of a man who put them both beneath his own work, not even to mention that he is emotionally cheating on his wife with his wife’s sister! Talk about sisterhood. The most relatable part of this song is when Angelica analyzes the comma in the letter that Hamilton sends her. It’s the 18th century equivalent of looking at how many “y’s” are in “Hey” -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “I noticed a comma in the middle of a phrase/ It changed the meaning, did you intend this”
Once Jefferson, Madison and Burr learn about the Maria Reynolds affair Hamilton knows he must do something. “Hurricane” is Hamilton thinking out loud. Simply put, it’s one of the smartest written songs in the show. It allows the audience to fully understand Hamilton’s thought process, even though he comes to the wrong conclusion. Hamilton deduces that he has written his way out of every problem in his life, this one shouldn’t be any different. In theory, he’s not wrong. All of his writing did advance him in life. That’s why this song is so heartbreaking. He thoughtfully comes to a solid conclusion, he just should have known better. He should have realized publishing his letters with the woman he had an affair with would have dire consequences. The song is equal parts fascinating and infuriating, but always written to perfection. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “I was twelve when my mother died / She was holding me / We were sick and she was holding me / I couldn’t seem to die”
33. “Meet Me Inside”
There are some songs that are just as much fun to sing a long to as they are to act to. You know what I mean? This is one of them. -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “CALL ME SON ONE MORE TIME”
32. “The Story of Tonight (Reprise)”
This is just a fun drinking number between buddies. Yes, we find out that Burr is carrying on in an affair with a wife of the enemy, but he is in love. But besides that, this is an OG bachelor party. And it also shows the progression of the world these characters live in. The first time they sang “The Story of Tonight” it was about trying to make an impact, to better their country, to make a name for themselves. The fact that they are using the same song to talk about Alexander’s marriage shows that they have been able to make positive steps in that direction. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “If Alexander can get married / There’s hope for our ass, after all”
31. “A Winter’s Ball”
This song is another bro song. It’s fun and light-hearted. Completely sexist, but it gets its own against Hamilton. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “Martha Washington named her feral tomcat after him”
30. “One Last Time”
Washington surprises Hamilton, after a particularly difficult cabinet meeting, by telling him he’s stepping down from being President after his second term. Hamilton is gobsmacked and upset. Washington however, is triumphant. He’s realized that in order for this country to be a democracy, they can’t have a king like president. Therefore he has to step down and let others run. While the song could be sad in nature, as it is about things ending and saying goodbye, Washington is instead proud and content. He knows he’s doing what’s best for his country, and he and Hamilton will set the precedent for Presidents saying goodbye. It’s a wonderful contrast. It also lightly references the song “What’d I Miss.” In that song, the chorus chants in a sinister tone “Thomas Jefferson’s coming home” as our villain for Act 2 makes his entrance. But here as the chorus sings “George Washington’s coming home” it has a triumphant peaceful quality. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “Mr. President, they will say you’re weak / No, they will see we’re strong”
29. “The World Was Wide Enough”
Utterly devastating. I somehow knew so little about Hamilton that I didn’t even know that this was the end of his life. I just spent the whole first half of the song in dread. And then. The bullet. My ex-boyfriend said, “I didn’t expect Hamilton to eulogize himself” and that’s the best way to express how shaken I was. The song, I think, is best summed up by the below quote. -A.H
Devastating Lyric: “What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see”
28. “Farmer Refuted”
I’ve said that a couple of these songs are underrated, but this is THE underrated song of the album, in my opinion. It also holds a special place in my heart as the lyrics “Look at the cost and all that we’ve lost” were on my sign for March for Our Lives. -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “Look at the cost and all that we’ve lost”
27. “Say No To This”
While Hamilton’s two loves (Eliza & Angelica) are away, he reaches his breaking point. That’s when Maria Reynolds walked into his life. Hamilton, in an act of desperation begins an affair with her, and continues sleeping with her even after her husband finds out and blackmails him. Therefore this song has a lot to accomplish. It not only has to describe the affair in great detail, as it becomes a huge plot point later on in the show, but it has to make this difficult story line believable. The whole musical has been highlighting the best aspects of Hamilton’s character and his love story with Eliza. It’s quite a drastic shift to turn him into an adulterer. However the brilliance of the song is that it mostly works. The slow R&B jam is like no other song in this show, making it wholly unique like his affair. The tonal shift, backed with impressive vocals by Jasmine Cephas-Jones makes the actions of the song credible and validates everything that comes next. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “Uh oh, you made the wrong sucker a cuckold / So time to pay the piper for the pants you unbuckled”
26. “It’s Quiet Uptown”
After Eliza and Hamilton lose their son Philip in a duel, their marriage and lives fall apart. This song depicts the horrific aftermath and it’s written to perfection. Miranda has never lost a child, and wasn’t even a parent yet when he wrote the song. Therefore he doesn’t attempt to write about the emotions behind it. Instead he cleverly assigns that job to the chorus and Angelica as outsiders looking in. They try to imagine ‘the unimaginable’ as Hamilton and Eliza take solace uptown. They observe for the first time, the loud and brash Hamilton taking comfort in the quiet. When he’s finally ready to work on his marriage, he surprisingly doesn’t use his own words to win Eliza back. Instead he quotes her words back to her from the song “That Would Be Enough.” Before this song, this man always used his own intelligence and wit to write his way out of any problem. Now he’s learned from his mistakes. Not only does this song showcase his personal growth, but it does so while handling one of the most difficult topics, the loss of a child. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “There are moments that the words don’t reach / There is suffering too terrible to name / You hold your child as tight as you can / And push away the unimaginable”
25. “Stay Alive”
This was the second song in the soundtrack that I learned by heart. We see the pieces start to fall together in the war for America’s independence. We see the struggle and horror that these men had to overcome. The song covers an entire battle, ending with Laurens throwing down a gauntlet since Hamilton was not able to. And the beat is just amazing. And the lyrics are just so clever. The very first few lines hit you with the gravity of the situation: -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “Congress writes, ‘George, attack the British forces.’ / I shoot back, we have resorted to eating our horses / Local merchants deny us equipment, assistance / They only take British money, so sing a song of sixpence”
24. “The Election of 1800”
I call this the unofficial official reprise of “Washington On Your Side” for obvious reasons. This also sets the stage for “Your Obedient Servant”. I would say this is the maybe the fifth song that I learned by heart from the soundtrack. Hearing the different sides of the political parties with the people making the chorus. Hamilton coming in for a featured rap stanza that obliterates Burr. And the killer, Jefferson rubbing his victory in Burr’s face while stating he will change the laws so that Burr will not be vice president. But above all, I like how this song really illustrates how much the public relies on public figures to help them make a decision. The power of one shines through in this song. –A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “Dear My. Hamilton / Your fellow Federalists would like to know how you’ll be voting / (It’s quiet uptown) Dear Mr. Hamilton / John Adams doesn’t stand a chance, so who are you promoting?”
23. “The Story of Tonight”
I really think this song speaks for itself through its wonderful words. You have Hamilton, Laurens, Mulligan and Lafayette raising their glasses to the journey they are about to take. And this song comes early on in the musical so its placement is pretty fitting. There is hope and determination and camaraderie. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “I may not live to see our glory! / But I will gladly join the fight! / And when our children tell our story / They’ll tell the story of tonight”
22. “That Would Be Enough”
I love this song because you can really sense the intimacy and adoration in Eliza and Alexander’s relationship. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “Let this moment be the first chapter / Where you decide to stay / And I could be enough”
21. “Washington On Your Side”
After another unsuccessful cabinet meeting in which President Washington favored Hamilton, the Democratic-Republicans begin to lament about their unfair situation. Jefferson, Madison and Burr muse what it would be like to have Washington on their side. The result is a raucous, catchy tune that bounces back and forth between uproarious and bitter. On the first listen, it would be easy to classify this just as a villain’s song. However upon further listening it becomes apparent that while these guys may be whining, they can’t be simply classified as villains. Their points brought against Hamilton are valid and credible. This whole musical we’ve been taught to believe that Hamilton got a lot farther by being a lot smarter, however this song gives us pause. Maybe Hamilton wasn’t always the smartest in the room. Maybe he had luck on his side too, and one powerful ally. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “Let’s show these Federalists who they’re up against! / Southern motherfuckin’—Democratic-Republicans!”
20. “History Has Its Eyes On You”
This is a song that guts me every single time. The minute I heard this song I was filled with hope and sadness all at once. You have a war-beaten Washington talking to young Hamilton about what the world expects of him. That you have no control over anyone’s actions but your own. I have no idea if Washington ever said something like this to anyone, but I take it to heart. As long as you learn and grow and progress, that is all you can do. That is all that matters. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “You have no control / Who lives / Who dies / Who tells your story”
19. “Dear Theodosia”
After the war, both Burr and Hamilton finally take a moment to stop everything and stand still, as they both become dads for the first time. In a musical with epic rap battles, loud duels and a deathly war, this soft sentimental song is a standout. Burr sings a song to his newborn daughter Theodosia as Hamilton sings the same song to his newborn son Phillip. While the musical up until this point has done a wonderful job of showcasing how different these two men are, this sweet sentimental song reminds us that these two men aren’t all that different. They both sing in harmony that their fathers weren’t around but they promise they will be. It’s a beautiful heartbreaking sentiment. It is especially powerful knowing that when Hamilton proudly sings to his son Phillip that “he’ll blow us all away’ he’s actually foreshadowing to his son getting blown away in a duel. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “You will come of age with our young nation / We’ll bleed and fight for you, we’ll make it right for you / If we lay a strong enough foundation / We’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world to you / And you’ll blow us all away”
18. “Aaron Burr, Sir”
I hated this song when I first heard it. I felt it was a let down from the epic opening that is “Alexander Hamilton”. It was such a shift in gears that it threw me and I would skip it whenever it came on. Slowly but surely I found myself humming “Pardon me/ Are you Aaron Burr/Sir?” over and over and over again. Then I found myself not skipping it anymore. Then I found myself singing it. Then I found myself putting voices to each of the characters and before you knew it, I loved the song. It sets the stage of their contention. It also introduces all of the other characters and gives them personality, which is great because none of them have their own solo song. It is the origin story of the 4 amigos and the beginning of the relationship between Burr and Hamilton. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “You can’t be serious? / You want to get ahead? / Fools who run their mouth off wind up dead”
17. “The Ten Duel Commandments”
Because I didn’t know much of anything about Hamilton before this musical, most of the information was a brand new learning experience. However, this was the first song that took something I was already familiar with, and EDUCATED me. -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “Most Disputes die and no one shoots”
16. “Cabinet Battle #1”
It’s only been (almost) 4 years since the release of the OBCR of Hamilton, and it was such a drastic game changer. But now that it’s swept pop culture, I think we forget exactly how unprecedented this was. I remember saying to my (then) 15 year old brother, “Oh, they made a new musical about Alexander Hamilton”, and intentionally playing this song. Sure enough, he made a puzzled expression, turned to me and just said, “What?” -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “Yeah, keep ranting, we know who’s really doing the planting”
15. “Guns and Ships”
I LOVE Burr’s opening to this song. It’s so hype and it doesn’t disappoint. Honestly, it still hasn’t gotten old. And who can forget the Carpool Karaoke of James Corden owning this song with Lin Manuel just being so thrilled the whole time? Not me, anyway. -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “I’m taking this horse by the reigns, making red coats redder with blood stains”
14. “The Room Where It Happens”
It feels like such a basic take to say that this song is brilliant because…duh. To be honest, while crazy catchy and fun, everyone I know who has seen Hamilton says this song is a wild and show-stopping in a way that the recording just couldn’t capture. One of these days I hope I can confirm this. -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “God help and forgive me, I want to build something that’s gonna outlive me”
Eliza reads all about her husband’s affair with Maria Reynolds in the Reynolds Pamphlet, which includes all the gory details and the pair’s love letters to each other. Out of her own self preservation, and out of anger and spite towards Hamilton, she decides to burn all of the letters she wrote to Hamilton to remove herself from the narrative. (T Swift took her cues from Eliza.) She literally burns the letters as she sings that she figuratively wishes he burns. It’s a drastic shift from the girl we first met in “Helpless” but Miranda makes this development every bit earned and believable. It also showcases a depth and understanding that Hamilton never had. He believed that every problem could be solved by writing his way out, and he wrote everything like he was running out of time. Yet it was Eliza who stopped to think how historians would judge her fifty years from now; and it is Eliza, not Hamilton, who decides to take matters into her own hands. She burns her letters so she could “Let future historians wonder how Eliza / Reacted when you broke her heart.” It’s a foresight that Hamilton never had. Also, Soo’s understated performance on this track is simply divine. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “I hope that you burn”
12. “Right Hand Man”
I sat up and paid attention when the beat dropped. And it is quite educational. And it introduces our first president before he was president, and Hamilton before he really began to make an impact. It’s funny because even though the title of the song is about Hamilton, the song is about both Washington and Hamilton. There is raw and blunt storytelling here between Hamilton detailing his past and Washington stating how he fears they will lose this war. I couldn’t choose just one lyric, but two, both of which are delivered by Washington: -A.W.
Devastating Lyrics: “We are outgunned / Outmanned / Outnumbered / Outplanned”
“Any hope of success is is fleeting / How can I keep leading when the people I’m leading keep retreating? / We put a stop to the bleeding as the British take Brooklyn / Knight takes rook, but look”
11. “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)”
The American and British troops face off in the ultimate battle for American Independence. The song is a brilliant kaleidoscope of every musical element and thematic device in the show. It’s only about four minutes long but it covers a lot of ground. It showcases Hamilton finally taking command, his friends helping out in their own way to advance the fight for independence, and the timid realization that the war is over. It incredibly and perfectly combines the urgency of the battle with rap lyrics, and the stilted British battle with a raging fiddle. The conclusion of the song is the chorus hauntingly singing a real life colonist song that Miranda made a melody to, “The world turned upside down” to show the gravity of the situation. In any other musical this powerful multi layered song would be the conclusion of the first act. But Miranda knew if he did that then Revolution story line would start to consume the musical, so he ended it at the perfect time in the show, with the perfect song. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction / when you knock me down I get the fuck back up again!”
Devastating Lyric Because of this Gif:
10. “What I’d Miss”
Aside from the witty lyrics (“I guess I missed the 80s”) and catchy jazz tune, What I’d Miss is an amazing example utilizing music style to show character and tone shift. Jefferson was not in the United States during the war and his entrance in Act II perfectly sets up exactly why Hamilton is not his biggest fan. -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “Looking at the rolling fields / I can’t believe that we are free / Ready to face whatever’s awaiting / Me in NYC”
9. “You’ll Be Back”
King George has the best breakup song (excluding “Burn”) and love song in the musical. I was slow at first, trying to figure out who the king was talking to. In my mind I was thinking, “Who is this chick he is going to send an army for? Helen?!”. It clicked about halfway through the song. King George provides some comedic relief in all of the levity the musical has. And I think it might be the catchiest song in the play, what with all the “Da da da da dat dat dat da da da dai ya da’s” His pompous words and childish behavior offsets both Hamilton and Washington. Of course in any basic European History class you learn that there was so much more besides George throwing his armies around, but it is extremely fun to see what it all kinda boils down to. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “Cause when push comes to shove / I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love”
I’m going to be a tad more vulnerable in this one. This song reminds me of what it’s like to fall in love. Not just because it’s literally about two people falling in love but because I remember standing on a subway platform, listening to this song on repeat, trying not to smile like a crazy person while I thought about the man that I was falling for. We had met on a dating site, he lived in another state, so when we initially started messaging each other, the messages were long. Much like letters. “Now my life gets better with every letter that you write me” resonated with me in a way I never would have. I connect this song to him so much that after we broke up it took me almost a year before I stopped skipping over it. But now it makes me smile. -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “Now my life gets better with every letter that you write me”
7. “Wait For It”
Aaron Burr is set up to be the villain in the very first song of the play singing, “and I’m the damn fool that shot him.” Burr is the man destined to kill his rival Alexander Hamilton. We see the two meet and they couldn’t be more opposite. Hamilton is loud, brash, arrogant and impulsive but in all the best ways. Burr is content to just wait on the sidelines, which frustrates Hamilton and audiences alike. Then Miranda gives Burr a song to explain himself and the result is stunning. He explains “I’m not falling behind or running late / I’m not standing still / I am lying in wait” And just like that we have a brand new understanding and respect for our villain. Here he is humanized far more than history ever did for him. Even though we know he will eventually kill our hero, we still can’t help but love him and root for him. This song features some of the best lyrics in the show, blended with a stunning chorus that builds and rises up from the up beat tempo. Never has taking your time felt so rebellious and good. It’s truly a testament to Miranda’s writing, when he can get us to sympathize with the man who shoots our hero. Also, my personal favorite song in the show. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “My mother was a genius / My father commanded respect. /
When they died they left no instructions. / Just a legacy to protect.”
6. “Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story”
THIS ENTIRE SONG! I listened to the whole soundtrack while commuting by bus to and from NY: the first act there, the second act back. I was about 10 minutes home when I heard Washington begin this song and I was holding back tears. The woman sitting next to me gave me odd looks. I had weird feelings about this song initially because it wasn’t the big choral finish that I would have expected from this musical, especially not when you compare it to the first song. Then when I thought about it, it mirrors Hamilton’s life. The song sort of explains its musical tone. Jefferson and Madison admit that no one gave him enough credit. Eliza, his wife, took up his mantle to keep his flame alive. And throughout my education we talked a crap ton about Washington, Jefferson, both Adams…and Hamilton was a footnote. And that was another great thing about this song. Eliza takes action, true action. This and “Burn” are where she truly shines as the formidable woman she is. It makes me think about what she would have been like if she had the freedom that women have today. But someone cared to write his story. And someone cared to make it into the biggest musical the world has seen in years. A phenomenon. Which goes to show that you really: -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “Have no control / Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?”
This was THE standout song for me when I first listened to the album. I don’t even have words, it just was one of those songs that felt SO PLEASING to listen to. Especially the ending where all the music converges into a complete explosion. Ugh. It’s still my favorite song, to be honest. It’s such a good hype song that I always wind up punching the air at some point. I can’t even pick one favorite lyric, it’s a song jam-packed with solid one-liners. -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “It’s full of contradictions! / So is independence!”
4. “The Schuyler Sisters”
This song reminds me of when I worked in the city. I was working for a small theatre company in mid-town and all the enchantment of the city was quickly sucked away by tourists and public transit. But, occasionally, I would walk through mid-town, listening to this song, look around and remind myself that “history is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world.” -A.H.
Devastating Lyric: “You want a revolution? I want a revelation.”
3. “My Shot”
If the spirit, the energy, the story, and the music of Hamilton could be summed up in one song, it would be “My Shot.” As Hamilton gathers around his new found friends he discloses all of his insecurities, his doubts and his motivations. It’s a beast of a song, coming it at six minutes long, yet it never overstays its welcome. It’s too busy wowing us with every brilliant rhyming couplet, every urgent life or death moment. Miranda said he spent a year writing and perfecting this song and it shows. It’s so good, I almost feel like Alexander Hamilton himself wrote these lyrics. RISE UP. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “I’m past patiently waitin’! I’m passionately smashin’ every expectation / Every action’s an act of creation / I’m laughin’ in the face of casualties and sorrow / For the first time, I’m thinkin’ past tomorrow”
There are a lot of emotional moments in this show, but there is nothing quite like the one-two punch of “Helpless” & “Satisfied” We watch Hamilton and Eliza meet and fall in love with each other through Eliza’s perspective in “Helpless” Then immediately after at their wedding, we flash back in time to get a different perspective on that night, told through her sister, Angelica. We realize that Angelica was in love with Hamilton, but knowing her sister also loves him, swallows her feelings and introduces the two, thus starting their love story. The song is gut wrenching. She gave up her happiness for her own sister, and laments that both herself and Hamilton will never be satisfied. Miranda does an incredible job of showcasing this couple. Angelica really is more alike to Hamilton than Eliza ever will be, and he displays that not only in his brilliant lyrics, but with how Angelica expresses herself. While Eliza sings slowly to an upbeat du wop melody, Angelica raps and, perhaps, at an even faster pace than Hamilton himself. It closely resembles Hamilton’s own song of desires and fears, “My Shot.” Though we will never know what would have happened if Angelica hadn’t sized Hamilton up so quickly, this song will always make us wonder. It is unforgettable and truly haunting. -E.M.
Devastating Lyric: “But when I fantasize at night / It’s Alexander’s eyes / As I romanticize what might / Have been if I hadn’t sized him / Up so quickly / At least my dear Eliza’s his wife / At least I keep his eyes in my life”
1. “Alexander Hamilton”
I am honored to have this song! I was not interested in the musical at all when it first came out. I worked down the street from the theatre and I was annoyed by the crowds I had to constantly battle just to get to my office. And then my friend wanted to wait in line to see the cast. And I saw Phillipa Soo, Daveed Diggs (mentioned I liked his Oaklandish hat), Okieriete Onaodowan, and said hi to Jonathan Groff who came out after everyone else and unchained his bike from a pole and rode away. RuPaul walked out from the side doors and he is at least 8 feet tall. I was excited but I hadn’t heard any of the songs. The next day I listened to the soundtrack.
I should have taken pictures when I had the chance.
This song got my attention hook, line and sinker. It is a wonderful and dramatic opening to a wonderful and dramatic musical, where we get to meet just about all of the characters. We get to hear exactly what the next 2 ½ hours will be about. Alexander Hamilton, and the shaping of America. And listening to everything that happened, a LOT of what went down during those years are still in effect today. You would think that laws and rules and the way the world works and thinks would be different. You know, besides the duels. But this was the song that made me fall in love with this show. And it was the first song I had memorized by heart. If I could put the whole song down as my quote but I will settle for my favorite lines. -A.W.
Devastating Lyric: “The ship is in the harbor now, see if you can spot him / Another immigrant coming up from the bottom / His enemies destroyed his rep, America forgot him / We fought with him / Me? I died for him / Me? I trusted him / Me? I loved him / And me? I’m the damn fool that shot him / There’s a million thing I haven’t done / But just you wait / What’s your name man? / Alexander Hamilton!”