This was a hard list to write, and even harder to sort. But here goes:
15. The Schuyler Sisters – I’m always awed by the harmonized vocal runs in this song. Also, there’s always a Peggy. WORK!
14. You’ll be Back – King George, ostensibly channeling British pop star Mika, singing to the colonies as though they’re his estranged lover?? Say no more. (Well, just one thing more: “Da da da da daaaaaaaaaa da, da da da di-ya da, da da da da di-ya da…”)
13. Farmer Refuted – Some might consider this song a lightweight. But I love the hell out of it, and I’ll tell you why: A) Samuel Seabury’s increasing frustration with Alexander’s interruptions, B) his utter dependence on his prepared notes (with which he will not break eye contact), C) the juxtaposition of his outcry of “For shame!” with the rebels’ “For the revolution!”, D) Hercules’ and Alexander’s sick burns (“Oh my God, tear this dude apart” and “My dog speaks more eloquently than thee,” respectively), E) “Don’t modulate the key then not debate with me! Why should a tiny island across the sea regulate the price of tea?!” and F), perhaps the best line in the entire musical, “I’d rather be divisive than indecisive.”
12. One Last Time – Excerpts of Hamilton’s brilliant speech-writing and Christopher Jackson’s pipes are on full display here, and it is a beautiful thing. Also, maybe weirdly, George Washington telling Alexander “Relax, have a drink with me” is one of my favorite moments in the whole musical.
11. Non-Stop – I love the frantic, ground-covering pace of this song, and Burr’s soliloquy on the Federalist Papers is always moving. Favorite line from this song: “Burr, we studied, we fought, and we killed, for the notion of a nation we now get to build.” Most quoted line from this song: “Lezzgo.”
10. Ten Duel Commandments – The first time we heard this song, we knew there was going to be a tragic reprise later on. But the obvious foreshadowing doesn’t damper our enthusiasm for this morbid count-down (count-up?). I can even forgive it for supplying the tongue-twistiest line in the entire play: “’Specially ‘tween recruits.” It almost always comes out “’tween we-cwoots” for me.
9. Say No to This –This song has it all: Flattery, intrigue, scandal, crippling guilt, a pimp husband, extortion, and the delightful line “Uh oh! You made the wrong sucker a cuckold!” Also, Maria Reynolds’ soulful alto voice is downright SEXY. There, I said it.
8. It’s Quiet Uptown – This is a hard listen. I usually skip it when it comes up on shuffle, but always look forward to ugly-crying along to it when listening to the entire musical. Forgiveness: Can you imagine?
7. Cabinet Battle #1 – I love the Cabinet Battles almost equally. However, it wouldn’t do to have them both on the list. While the line “Do whatever you want, I’m super dead!!” is certainly persuasive, ultimately Cabinet Battle #1 won the coveted spot on my list, thanks to Hamilton’s spectacular takedown of Jefferson re: slavery, and the delicious use of the word “intransigent.”
6. Dear Theodosia – If this stripped-down lullaby from founding fathers to their newborn babies immediately following the Revolutionary War doesn’t move you, then you’re a Death Eater.
5. Washington on Your Side – Just from the first couple of notes, you know this song is furtive, conspiratorial, and enticing. It’s a slow-burn with massively appealing harmonies, it builds to a big pay-off, and ends on a cliff-hanger. Of the two uncensored F-bombs in the musical, this one is by far the most satisfying.
4. Wait for It – Hey! It turns out I was mishearing my favorite line from this song: I always thought it was “I am indomitable, I am an original” when apparently it’s “inimitable.” They both work. I sort of like it better my way. This song is great.
3. Yorktown – Immigrants get the job done, and I cry every time – usually during the almost-reverent drinking song, but if not then, always during the back-and-forth shouts of “We won!” at the very end. Because America.
2. Alexander Hamilton – If you’re not hooked after the incredible, full-body-chills-inducing opening number, Hamilton just isn’t for you. Move along.
1. Guns and Ships – Enough said. Yes, I have it memorized.
Any egregious omissions? (I would imagine most fans would have “My Shot” and/or “Room Where it Happens” on this list.) Any major re-orderings?
Choosing only 15 out of 46 is really, really hard you guys.