Top 12 Hamilton Songs You MUST Listen To
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
On July 3, Disney+ released the recording of the Broadway spectacular Hamilton! We absolutely love Broadway and have been to several shows in Norfolk, Virginia; London, England; and, of course, New York City. Hamilton has always been close to our hearts due to our love of history, so here are our Top 12 Hamilton songs!
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In Satisfied, we see Angelica Schuyler meet Hamilton and begin to fall for him, however, she knows that she can not be with him due to his low status and the fact that her sister is helplessly in love with him. Angelica knows better than to tell her sister and this song tells us why. Angelica stands by three fundamental truths, that she needs to marry rich for her family, Alexander is only after her for her status, and that her sister is the kindest person she has ever known so she owes it to her to let her have Alexander. She tells the audience that she knows Alexander will never be satisfied, which keys us into his constant desire for more.
11. Who lives, Who dies, Who tells your story
For being the final song in the show, it sure makes an impact. The song tells us what happened after Hamilton's death, which is important considering that one of the themes of the show is leaving behind a legacy. This song allows you to hear what all of Hamilton’s friends and enemies really thought of him. From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton left the lasting impact that he so desired. We get some closure and see Eliza as she tells Alexander all she did throughout her lifetime and how she honored the memory of her late husband, including how she went through his writings and attempted to do all that he wanted to accomplish and more. The song ends with Eliza’s last breath, as she goes on to join her husband. This song is an emotional masterpiece and leaves everyone wishing there was more to the show!
10. You'll be Back
You'll be Back is completely different from the rest of the show. The song itself is sung by King George III and it highlights the true difference between Britain and the Colonies. The song itself is designed to be a threatening message to the American Colonies from the King which leaves us with some pretty amazing lyrics. With an upbeat, catchy tune that makes it extremely difficult not to sing along, there was no way that this song could not be a favorite!
9. Alexander Hamilton
As the opening number of the show, we were expecting a powerful anthem that would set the stage for the rest of the performance, and that is exactly what we got. Alexander Hamilton is sung by the incredible cast as they tell Alexander's story. We get to see why he immigrated to America and all the events that shaped him into the young, scrappy, and hungry man he is. How his mother died, how he made a name for himself, and how he eventually ended up in New York City. This song allows us to see inside Hamilton's life and gives the audience more of a connection to the character.
In Helpless, we get the chance to see Alexander and Eliza’s love story all in one perfectly set up musical number! Starting with when they first meet and ending with their marriage, Helpless provides some insight to both characters and their relationship. The song is sung from the perspective of Eliza and we get to see just how love struck she is. From writing letters, to romantic confessions, Helpless beautifully depicts Eliza’s devoted love for Alexander.
7. Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)
This song holds major significance, in both the performance and in history. Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) retells the exact moment when everything changed, the minute when America broke away from Britain. This is the very moment when America gained their independence, which these characters had been fighting and obsessing over for the majority of Act 1. This was the moment in history when America was allowed the opportunity to become the powerhouse of a nation it is today. This performance is action packed and leaves the audience feeling extremely patriotic, and almost as if they could start a revolution themselves.
Non-stop discussed the events following the revolutionary war. It follows both Hamilton and Burr as they try to help America get on her feet and attempt to build a government. We see George Washington become president, the writing of the Federalists papers, and even the Constitutional Convention. This song brings us through history and shows us the intricate and fragile relationship between Hamilton and Burr. It also allows us to see Hamilton’s true dedication to his work, and how he is viewed by the other characters. A perfect ending to Act 1, it leaves the audience with a perfect feeling of the show's theme, and has them anxiously awaiting Act 2.
5. Dear Theodosia
Dear Theodosia is a beautifully simple ballad sung by both Hamilton and Burr. The two men are singing to their newly born children, Burr's daughter Theodosia, and Hamilton's son Phillip. The way that they promise to be there for their children pulls at the heart strings in ways we didn’t think were possible. This song is a promise to their children that they will make a better world for them and that these two opinionated men will try their best to fight for the freedom of their families. It highlights the similarities between Hamilton and Burr, and how love unites us all in more ways than we’ll ever know.
4. The Schuyler Sisters
This is the moment where we are introduced to the Schuyler sisters. These three girls, Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy, play a major part in Alexander's life. The song has the three girls in downtown Manhattan looking for, what Angelica calls, a mind at work. Through this song we learn about the girls and their opinions on the revolution and the politics surrounding it. Whether it is reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine or critiquing Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, these girls are not afraid to speak (or sing) their mind which makes this song all the more entertaining!
3. The World Was Wide Enough
In The World was Wide Enough we witness Alexander’s death. We see the preparation for the duel between Hamilton and Burr, Hamilton’s inner thoughts before death, and the aftermath. We see Hamilton coping with the idea of death and his apologies to his wife. Hamilton realizes that Eliza is his legacy and decides that ultimately he is ready to die and reunite with his son and friends. It is heartbreaking to watch him tell Eliza to take her time, as he prepares to leave her. After Hamilton dies, the song switches to Burr's perspective and we see just how much he regrets his choice. He is devastated that he is now the villain and that he will go down in history for his mistakes rather than his accomplishments.
2. One Last Time
One Last Time is one of the most emotional songs in Hamilton. This song shows the process of Alexander Hamilton and George Washington writing Washington’s famous farewell address. Washington is explaining to Hamilton that he needs to step down so that the nation can learn to move on and continue to prosper when he isn’t there to lead. Washington is reflecting on his time during his presidency, what he has learned, the mistakes he made, and the wisdom he has gained. He talks about how he wants to be a citizen of the nation he fought for and created. They sing part of his actual address which adds to the beauty of the song. You can hear and feel the raw emotion Washington must have felt in both the play and real life. This song is beautifully written and executed, which is why it is so high on our list!
1. Wait for It
Finally, our number one song from Hamilton is Wait for It. This song is sung by Aaron Burr as he reflects on his life and we discover the reason he envies Alexander and why he keeps his opinion quiet. The emotion that fills this song is overwhelming and genuine. You can hear Burr's inner battle with himself and the world, he is questioning the way the world works while knowing full and well that not everything is fair. He is justifying his actions by telling the audience that he is willing to wait for his time to come and is not going to actively seek it like Hamilton. It allows you to connect with and sympathize with Burr’s character. This song is a masterpiece and leaves the entire audience in awe, and craving more.