Monday, February 17, 2020

The Best Line from Every Hamilton Song, Act 1

This week marks the 5th anniversary of Hamilton's opening! And it's President's Day, to boot! To celebrate, here are the best lines from every single song from Hamilton. (For Act 2, see here.)

“Alexander Hamilton”
And me, I'm the damn fool that shot him.

It's a gut punch right from the beginning. The villain narrator is a fun twist that goes back to Pippin, Into the Woods, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar.

“Aaron Burr, Sir”
I may have punched him. It’s a blur, sir. He handles the financials?
You punched the bursar?

Great use of rhyme and humor.

“My Shot”
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!
The whole song is a masterpiece, so it's hard to choose one line. But I love singing this particular section.

“The Story of Tonight”
Tomorrow there'll be more of us!
The whole song is great, and there's not much variety to the lyrics. But this particular line is just so full of hope and faith.

The Schuyler Sisters
And Peggy!
This just makes me laugh. And I love the gif! (See above.)

“Farmer Refuted”
Is he in Jersey?
I'm a New Jersey native. I approve of this.

“You’ll Be Back”
I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love.
First, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius. Second, Jonathan Groff is a genius. Third, this whole song is genius. Fourth, this line is genius.

“Right Hand Man”
Hamilton, come in, have you met Burr?
Yes, sir. We keep meeting.
Solid characterization + Humor = Good entertainment

“A Winter’s Ball”
Martha Washington named her feral tomcat after him. (That's true!)
What a fun and obscure piece of trivia to include! But more importantly, it still serves to build Hamilton's character as a tomcat, who prowls after ladies.

I’m just sayin’, if you really loved me, you would share him. (Ha!)
Funny. Cute. And it's a funny way of showing Angelica's love for Hamilton.

Peach fuzz, and he can't even grow it.
I just really like this line. 🍑

“The Story of Tonight (Reprise)”
You are the worst, Burr.
I would have chosen Hamilton's curse, but I didn't think that would be appropriate here. So I'm settling for this second best line.

“Wait For It”
I am inimitable. I am an original.
What a great line. I want a shirt with this lyric on it. (Maybe Burr isn't such a bad guy. See here for more on that...)

“Stay Alive”
I’m a General. Whee!!!
A funny way to characterize General Charles Lee. And fun to sing!

“Ten Duel Commandments”
You pay him in advance, you treat him with civility.
You have him turn around so he can have deniability!
I don't know, I just really like Leslie Odom Jr.'s delivery on this. It's funny, but it's also a practical part of dueling (I guess).

“Meet Me Inside”
Call me son one more time—
This is an intense line with an intense delivery by Miranda. He said it to the General, to Washington himself, to his mentor and the future First President. Hamilton always spoke his mind. Plus, the line is filled with Hamilton's backstory of being an orphan and growing up buckwild.

“That Would Be Enough”
And if this child shares a fraction of your smile or a fragment of your mind, look out world! That would be enough.
This is just a beautifully written lyric. It definitely captures the essence of a parent's love for their unborn child, as well as for their spouse.

“Guns and Ships”
No one has more resilience or matches my practical tactical brilliance!
Daveed Diggs is an extremely talented actor, singer, and rapper. This song (along with "Washington on Your Side") lets him shine. He just makes the lyrics bounce!

“History Has Its Eyes on You”
History has its eyes on you!
If you're just reading this, you need to listen to the audio clip. This line is repeated a lot, but the particular one I've chosen is the one that ends the song. The lyric is nice, but it's the closing harmonies that make this one shine.

“Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)”
Immigrants, we get the job done!
I mean, this is a bold and inspiring lyric. It was so popular and got such applause that Lin-Manuel Miranda had to add a few extra notes after the line to account for the applause literally stopping the show.

“What Comes Next?”
Awesome. Wow.
Deadpan delivery. Anachronistic lyric. Instantly meme-able.

“Dear Theodosia”
My father wasn't around.
My father wasn't around.
The echoing sadness of this line is both haunting and reassuring. It's one of the first times we see an actual emotional connection between Hamilton and Burr. They both grew up without a father, and that spurred them to make a better life for their children. Plus it just sounds beautiful.

Hamilton wrote the other fifty-one!
There are lots of great lines in the Act I closer: “I practiced the law, I practic’ly perfected it.” “Yo, who the F is this?” Burr's soaring “I’ll keep all my plans close to my chest!” along with Washington's soaring “History has its eyes on you!” Or Hamilton's pompously earned interruptions of “Treasury or State?” But we will go with the frustrated line from Burr, intensely delivered by Odom.

For the best lines from Act 2, see here.

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