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"Alexander Hamilton" is the first song of Act One of the Broadway musical Hamilton. It is the first song of the musical overall.

The song serves to introduce the characters, primarily Hamilton. It also explains Hamilton's backstory and early life. Finally, it brings us into the present as it shows Hamilton arriving in New York City.

Lyrics Edit

[BURR]
How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a
Forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence
Impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

[LAURENS]
The ten-dollar founding father without a father
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder
By being a lot smarter
By being a self-starter
By fourteen, they placed him in charge of a trading charter

[JEFFERSON]
And every day while slaves were being slaughtered and carted
Away across the waves, he struggled and kept his guard up
Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of
The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter

[MADISON]
Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned
Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain
Put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his brain
And he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain

[BURR]
Well, the word got around, they said, “This kid is insane, man”
Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland
“Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came, and
The world is gonna know your name. What’s your name, man?”

[HAMILTON]
Alexander Hamilton
My name is Alexander Hamilton
And there’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait, just you wait...

[ELIZA]
When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden
Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden,
Half-dead sittin' in their own sick, the scent thick

[COMPANY]
And Alex got better but his mother went quick

[WASHINGTON]
Moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide
Left him with nothin’ but ruined pride, something new inside
A voice saying

[WASHINGTON & COMPANY]
Alex, you gotta fend for yourself

[WASHINGTON]
He started retreatin’ and readin’ every treatise on the shelf

[BURR & ENSEMBLE]
There would've been nothin' left to do
For someone less astute
He would've been dead or destitute
Without a cent of restitution
Started workin', clerkin' for his late mother's landlord
Tradin' sugarcane and rum and all the things he can't afford
Scammin' for every book he can get his hands on (Scammin')
Plannin' for the future see him now (Plannin')
As he stands on the bow of a ship (Oooh....)
Headed for a new land
In New York you can be a new man

[ENSEMBLE] & [HAMILTON]
In New York you can be a new man (Just you wait)
In New York you can be a new man (Just you wait)
In New York you can be a new man

[ENSEMBLE]
New York.... (New York...)

[HAMILTON]
Just you wait!

[ENSEMBLE]
Alexander Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton)
We are waiting in the wings for you (Waiting in the wings for you)
You could never back down, you never learned to take your
Time!
Oh, Alexander Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton)
When America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote the game?
The world will never be the same, oh

[BURR] & [ENSEMBLE]
Ship is the harbor now, see if you can spot him (Just you wait)
Another immigrant comin' up from the bottom (Just you wait)
His enemies destroyed his rep
America forgot him

[LAFAYETTE/JEFFERSON & MULLIGAN/MADISON]
We fought with him.

[LAURENS/PHILIP]
Me? I died for him.

[WASHINGTON]
Me? I trusted him.

[ANGELICA, ELIZA, & PEGGY/MARIA]
Me? I loved him.

[BURR]
And me? I'm the damn fool that shot him.

[ENSEMBLE]
There's a million things I haven't done
But just you wait....

[BURR]
What's your name, man?

[HAMILTON + ENSEMBLE]
Alexander Hamilton!

Trivia Edit

  • This song was performed at the 2016 Grammys live from the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City. The performance was broadcast via satellite to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the main ceremony was being held. Hamilton won a Grammy later the same night for Best Musical Theater Album.
  • This is the first song that Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote for the show.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda performed this song at the White House Poetry Jam on May 12, 2009.
  • The cast of Hamilton performed "Alexander Hamilton" and "My Shot" at the White House on March 14, 2016.

Gallery Edit

Songs in Hamilton (Broadway Production)
Act One
Alexander Hamilton
Aaron Burr, Sir
My Shot
The Story of Tonight
The Schuyler Sisters
Farmer Refuted
You'll Be Back
Right Hand Man
A Winter's Ball
Helpless
Satisfied
The Story of Tonight (Reprise)
Wait For It
Stay Alive
Ten Duel Commandments
Meet Me Inside
That Would Be Enough
Guns And Ships
History Has Its Eyes On You
Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)
What Comes Next?
Dear Theodosia
Non-Stop
Act Two
What'd I Miss
Cabinet Battle #1
Take A Break
Say No To This
The Room Where It Happens
Schuyler Defeated
Cabinet Battle #2
Washington On Your Side
One Last Time
I Know Him
The Adams Administration
We Know
Hurricane
The Reynolds Pamphlet
Burn
Blow Us All Away
Stay Alive (Reprise)
It's Quiet Uptown
The Election of 1800
Your Obedient Servant
Best of Wives and Best of Women
The World Was Wide Enough
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

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