Musical review: Alexander Hamilton

Musical review: Alexander Hamilton

Nevaeh Riojas and Autumn Yoder

Hamilton: An American Musical is a musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of our Founding Fathers. Miranda was inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton written by historian Ron Chernow. The musical incorporates color-blind casting, where it doesn’t matter what race you are or what skin color you have. There are many different music genres used throughout the production, such as soul music, hip hop, rap, etc. The musical has gotten a lot of love and support; however, it’s nearly impossible to buy tickets anymore due to it’s rising popularity, and prices

This is an explanation of every song in the soundtrack. If you’re having trouble understanding any of the songs or you’re just interested in Hamilton, then this is for you.

Song 1: Alexander Hamilton (Explicit language)

The first song in the musical is called Alexander Hamilton. It explains how he started off as a poor kid with no family.  Soon after his hometown was destroyed by a hurricane, he boards a ship that’s heading for New York. The song is sung by several characters that star in the musical such as Aaron Burr, John Laurens, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Eliza Hamilton, and, of course, Alexander Hamilton.   

Song 2: Aaron Burr, Sir (Explicit language)

The song Aaron Burr, Sir is a song that includes more main characters, who Alexander meets at a bar. He acquaints three men named John Laurens, Marquis de Lafayette and Hercules Mulligan. This song helps explain what Alexander wants from moving to new York and how he plans on getting it. Throughout the song, the new characters  question him about his plans. And, after some prideful singing and Hamilton’s surprise to the men, then the next song begins.

Song 3: My Shot  (Explicit language)

My Shot shows Hamilton’s pride in himself, and his consistency in wanting to end Britain’s tyranny. He “wows” the other revolutionary men in the bar with his impressive verbal skills, speaking about his wishes for the future. He includes “don’t be surprised when your history book mentions me” in a sort of “Oh, I WILL be remembered” nudge, adding that he’d give his life for a change.

Song 4: Story of Tonight (Explicit language)

Story of Tonight shows Alexander, Lafayette, Mulligan, and Laurens will to want to end the war. Aaron Burr joins in and gets some surprise from the four men. Hamilton and Burr both talk about their position on how Burr is a  Lieutenant Colonel and that Hamilton mans George’s journal. The ensemble sings “Raise a glass to freedom,” and “They’ll tell the story of tonight,” as a way of explaining that they’ll make the night count. Or die of alcohol poisoning, either way.

Song 5: The Schuyler Sisters 

The fifth song in the musical, The Schuyler Sisters, introduces three new characters. Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy Schuyler. The sisters are the daughters of Philip Schuyler, a US Senator and well known wealthy man. Angelica and Eliza take Peggy downtown, and quote Angelica, “I’m looking for a mind at work.” in reference to a man who’s smart, and always has more to do.

Song 6: Farmer Refuted

The sixth song in the musical, Farmer Refuted, introduces another new character who won’t stay very long. His name is Samuel Seabury, and he’s a Loyalist, loyal to his king in Britain. Seabury walks into the bar and begins to share his opinion on the revolution. As he’s rambling on Hamilton joins in and begins to critique him, refuting all of his ideas and speech. Burr calls him out, the arguing continues until suddenly, a message from the King arrives.

Song 7: You’ll Be Back

You’ll Be Back is the message from King George III sent to the colonies, showing you how the King feels about the start of their Revolution. He, with his head in the clouds, speaking in a selfish manner, continues to say “you’ll be back”, believing that they’ll realize their efforts are fruitless and will fall back under Britain’s control.

Song 8: Right Hand Man (Explicit language)

This song explains what Hamilton wished for as a kid and then george washington cames in to  the scene singing about how america is losing and that he needs a second in command and after a little more singing he ask Hamilton to be his right hand man.

Song 9: A Winter’s Ball (Explicit language)

The song A Winter’s Ball shows more of the lovely Schuyler sisters and the four friends of Hamilton, including Aaron Burr. Burr, near the end of the song, looks at Alexander, and blatantly says “If you could marry a sister, you’re rich son.” Alexander responded with, “is that a question of if, Burr, or which one?”

Song 10: Helpless  

Helpless starts off with Eliza, the second oldest Schuyler sister, seeing this random guy, Alexander Hamilton, at the ball. She immediately falls in love at first sight. She’s attempting to catch his attention until she whispers to her sister, Angelica, “This one’s mine.” and Angelica walks over to Hamilton. After a moment, he looks back at Eliza, and she falls even deeper in love.  

As the song goes on, the two lovebirds write letters to each other, and eventually Hamilton decides to propose to Eliza, but first has to ask for her father’s blessing. After some coaxing he gives Hamilton his blessing.

Song 11: Satisfied

Satisfied is Angelica’s side of the story. Angelica also liked Hamilton a lot- but unfortunately did not get him. The song starts off at her sister’s wedding, with Angelica as the maid of honor. Soon, it spirals into her recalling the night she met Hamilton. She tells it as a magical night, drawn in by his eyes. Hamilton tells her, “You strike me as a woman who has never been satisfied,” and Angelica seems confused by this. He then explains that they’re quite similar, as in they’re both not satisfied.

As Angelica sings more on about, he’s poor, has got no family… but she doesn’t care. Then, as soon as she’s deep into her love for him; she notices Eliza, helpless. She realizes what she’s doing, and that even though her sister would say that it’s okay, Eliza wouldn’t really be okay. So she backs off from the handsome boy, and lets Eliza have him. The song reverts back to their wedding, where she more proudly shouts her words.

Song 12: Story of Tonight (Reprise)

This song takes place after Alexander gets married, at a bar. Him and his little group sing about how they could die during the war and that if Alexander can get married so can they. Soon after Aaron burr shows up and the others tease him because they know he has a lover, and he won’t admit it. Everyone but Hamilton and Burr leave the scene, and they begin to talk about Aaron’s secret lover and how she’s married to a British officer. Alexander expresses his surprise with, “I will never understand you.” They say their goodbyes, and the song ends

Song 13:  Wait For It

Aaron Burr sings how he loves his secret lover named Theodosia and she’s the only person he needs, then he starts to sing about his parents and who there were he compares things like that how he has lived while so many have died and how he’s willing to wait for answers.

Song 14: Stay Alive (Explicit language)

Stay Alive details General Washington’s horror, as his forces have had to resort to eating their horses as Congress keeps telling them to attack the British forces. Local merchants deny selling anything to them, and they’re slowly falling apart. Washington and Hamilton hatch a somewhat viable plan.

Washington then chooses Charles Lee to be his second-in-command– definitely something that Hamilton didn’t agree with. At the Battle of Monmouth, Lee tells their troops to retreat, while the General urges them to fight on. Washington then told Lafayette to take the lead. Lee grows envious and is left behind, telling the people around him that Washington is indecisive and his efforts are quite fruitless.

Song 15: Ten Duel Commandments

This song is about Hamilton’s friend, John Laurens, and how he challenged Charles Lee after Hamilton decided that he was inexperienced and ruinous, his actions killing many of his own men. They, after going through all ten of the duel commandments, end up having to default to a duel. Laurens ends up shooting Lee in the side.

Song 16: Meet Me Inside

Meet Me Inside begins with the direct aftermath of the shooting. Lee yields, and General Washington shows up. After sending Burr off to take Lee to a medic, Washington Shortly after the duel Washington shows up and tells Lee that Alexander and Laurens don’t speak for him, then he tells Alexander he wants to talk inside when Hamilton goes to meet him Washington starts off calling Hamilton his son and being Hamilton he retaliates, Washington and Hamilton talked some more and at the end Washington tells him to go home as an order Hamilton’s done fighting for now

Song 17: That Would Be Enough  

When Alexander gets home he is greeted by his wife Eliza who now is pregnant with a child,  she sings to him how she known and wrote to the general and tells him it’s a miracle he’s alive and how as long as he stays alive that would be enough at the end she tells him they don’t need fame of fortune only each other

Song 18: Guns and Ships

Guns and ships talks about tone of the smartest person in the army Lafayette and how they can win the war but not without the help of Hamilton as Washington’s second in command he then goes write a letter to Hamilton of how soldiers are waiting for him.

Song 19: History Has Its Eyes on You

In this song Washington is singing how what he’d wish he had known and how history is always watching you, documenting you, and he says I was younger than you are now when I was given my first command. I led my men straight into a massacre, I witnessed their deaths firsthand.

I made every mistake, and felt the shame rise in me, and even now I lie awake.” the once again wished he had known what he knows now the the song ends.

Song 20:  Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)

The world turned upside down. The song is where Alexander and his friends are ready to go to war they describe their plan ,where people, what there jobs are and how they one.  

Song 21: What Comes Next

This song is another little beautiful showing of king George who is now singing of how america has there freedom and how hard it is to rule and for them not to go crawling back to him when they fall, (lucky for us that didn’t happen)

Song 22: Dear theodosia  

The song dear theodosia is beautiful song sung by Aaron burr he sing about how grateful he is for her after a little bit if burr singing it switches to Hamilton singing about how lucky he is to have  a son named Philip and how both theodosia and Philip will blow them all away

Song 23: Non-stop

Non-stop a song about how Hamilton i cant and wont stop like he’s running out of time the song start with burr saying “after the war i went back to new York; the Hamilton cuts in repeating what burr said, after it talks a little more on how Alexander is not wanting to stop.

Song 24: What’d I Miss

What’d i miss is a song introducing Thomas Jefferson after he gets home from pairs and everyone is ecstatic about his arrival he travels to his house and finds a letter from the president telling him to come to new York for a cabinet meeting so he does.

Song 25 Cabinet battle #1  (Explicit language)

This is the first battle in rap form in the musical both Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson about whether they should put bills on virginas drinks, as it is Hamilton has some very good comebacks in the song.

Song 26: Take a break

Take a break, is a song where Eliza is saying how her husband needs to relax a little but he of course retaliates that he can’t or he’ll lose his job than Eliza’s older sister angelica shows up agreeing with eliza about the fact he needs to take a break at the end the two sisters sing about how he will never be satisfied…(poor girls and philp)

Song 27: Say no to this (explicit language)

Say no to this. The song has its moments but Aaron burr starts it of saying “There’s nothing like summer in the city Someone under stress meets someone looking pretty There’s trouble in the air, you can smell it And Alexander’s by himself. I’ll let him tell it” Hamilton takes over when he meets Maria Reynolds the woman who happens to ask for help, when Hamilton returns her to her house they cheat. when  miss Hamilton and her kids are with her father.

Song 28: Room when it happens

The room where it happens. Aaron burr and Hamilton are walking and talking about how they renamed clermont street after general mercer and then Hamilton is called to a meeting with James Madison and Thomas Jefferson and Hamilton leaves burr saying “sorry burr I’ve gotta go, but decisions  are happening over dinner” then burr alone says he wants to be in the room where it happen.

Song 29: Schuyler defeated

Schuyler defeated. By this time Eliza and her kids are back from vacation when Eliza and Philip read the news and find that Eliza’s father does not have a cabinet seat any more he has lost it to Aaron burr and decide to go find Hamilton before he finds burr they find him standing with burr and quickly leave with Hamilton after exchanging a few word.

Song 30: Cabinet battle #2  

Cabinet battle #2.this cabinet battle talks about how whether we should help french during their time of need of course it’s between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton wins the case of not helping them when he says “We signed a treaty with a King whose head is now in a basket Would you like to take it out and ask it? Should we honor our treaty, King Louis ‘head? Uh… do whatever you want, I’m super dead” with that Hamilton had won the case with Washington saying to Jefferson “sure when they figure out whos gonna lead them”  then the song ends.

Song 31: Washington on your side (explicit language)

Washington on your side. This song is a song where Aaron burr, Thomas  Jefferson, and James Madison go at Hamilton about how he’s almost always protected by Washington and how it must be nice and how they must take him down.


Song 32: One last time

One last time.(and no it’s not by ariana grande)   This song is about Washington stepping down from president and how he knows that Thomas Jefferson plans on running for president and how Hamilton should watch out but again he retaliates against it but soon gives in.

     Song 33: I know him  

I know him. This song is of course its sung by king George, how fun. He sings about washington’s retirement, and who’s going to replace him which was at the time john adams and how the americans will tear each other apart and how excited he is.         

song 34:  Adams administration

This song is about how Adames fires Hamilton and how Hamilton fires back it also one of the shortest songs in the musical.  

Song 35: We know

 This song explains how they know about hamilton’s affair with ms.Reynolds and how they will take him down but he shows them evidence that he didn’t want to, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madsion agree to keep it a secret so dose Aaron Burr will keep his mouth shut but warns him that the truth will soon get out

Song 36: Hurricane

 Hamilton talks about how he climbed out of trouble and got to greatness and how he now has to tell the world about his affair in hopes of saving his reputation.

Song 37: The reynolds pamphlet

 Alexander hamilton finally admits to his affair to save his reputation but it only ruins his reputation even more and is now disliked by his wife, children, and sister in-law and more people hate him now.

Song 38: Burn (cover of the song)

 this song sung by Eliza Hamilton as she tells us the listener how sad she is and how she missed the part where Alexander left her, she looked threw the letters he wrote her and couldn’t find where he said he was going to leave her telling him he can sleep in his office instead how in saving his reputation he’s ruined they’re lives. 

Song 39: Blow us all away

 The son of Hamilton is back and he is old enough and challenges someone to a gunfight because he disrespected his father ,Philip ask his father for advice and Hamilton gives him advice telling him Eliza can’t have another heartbreak and Philip takes the advice and leaves for the dual.


For more of the songs click these links:

Stay alive (reprise)   

It’s quiet uptown

The election of 1800

Your obedient servant

Best of wives and of women  

The world was wide enough

Who lives, who dies, who tells your story