Song of the Day #2,738: ‘My Shot’ – Hamilton Cast

hamiltonBest Songs of 2015 – #6
‘My Shot’ – Hamilton Cast

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway phenomenon Hamilton is the latest obsession in my household. My two daughters, in particular, have played it non-stop for weeks. I can only hope it helps bring up their history grades.

Hamilton is the latest cultural bombshell tossed our way by my niece, a sophomore at Boston’s Emerson College. Her enthusiastic pitch (including a sing-along performance of the opening track in her living room) was plenty incentive to buy the album on the spot.

The groundbreaking musical blends hip hop, doo wop and traditional Broadway styles to tell the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Cast almost entirely with black and Hispanic actors, the play tells a classic American story through the lens of what America looks and sounds like today.

It’s an extraordinary feat of songcraft and performance, not to mention a resonant and tidy history lesson about one of our lesser known Founding Fathers.

The musical’s third song, ‘My Shot,’ is a perfect encapsulation of everything Miranda gets right. It’s chock full of expository information, advances the story lines of several characters, utilizes rap was well as a traditional Broadway chorus, and sticks in your head for days.

[HAMILTON]
I am not throwing away my shot!
I am not throwing away my shot!
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot!
I’m ‘a get a scholarship to King’s College
I prob’ly shouldn’t brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish
The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish
I gotta holler just to be heard
With every word, I drop knowledge!
I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal
Tryin’ to reach my goal. My power of speech: unimpeachable
Only nineteen but my mind is older
These New York City streets get colder, I shoulder
Ev’ry burden, ev’ry disadvantage
I have learned to manage, I don’t have a gun to brandish
I walk these streets famished
The plan is to fan this spark into a flame
But damn, it’s getting dark, so let me spell out the name
I am the—

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/LAURENS]
A-L-E-X-A-N-D
E-R—we are—meant to be…

[HAMILTON]
A colony that runs independently
Meanwhile, Britain keeps shittin’ on us endlessly
Essentially, they tax us relentlessly
Then King George turns around, runs a spending spree
He ain’t ever gonna set his descendants free
So there will be a revolution in this century
Enter me!

[LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/LAURENS]
(He says in parentheses)

[HAMILTON]
Don’t be shocked when your hist’ry book mentions me
I will lay down my life if it sets us free
Eventually, you’ll see my ascendancy

[HAMILTON]
And I am not throwing away
My shot
I am not throwing away
My shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot
[LAURENS]
My shot!

My shot!

And I’m not throwing away my shot.

[HAMILTON/MULLIGAN/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE]
I am not throwing away my shot
I am not throwing away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot
It’s time to take a shot!

[LAFAYETTE]
I dream of life without a monarchy
The unrest in France will lead to ‘onarchy?
‘Onarchy? How you say, how you say, ‘anarchy?’
When I fight, I make the other side panicky
With my—

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]
Shot!

[MULLIGAN]
Yo, I’m a tailor’s apprentice
And I got y’all knuckleheads in loco parentis
I’m joining the rebellion cuz I know it’s my chance
To socially advance, instead of sewin’ some pants!
I’m gonna take a—

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]
Shot!

[LAURENS]
But we’ll never be truly free
Until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me
You and I. Do or die. Wait till I sally in
On a stallion with the first black battalion
Have another—

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]
Shot!

[BURR]
Geniuses, lower your voices
You keep out of trouble and you double your choices
I’m with you, but the situation is fraught
You’ve got to be carefully taught:
If you talk, you’re gonna get shot!

[HAMILTON]
Burr, check what we got
Mister Lafayette, hard rock like Lancelot
I think your pants look hot
Laurens, I like you a lot
Let’s hatch a plot blacker than the kettle callin’ the pot…
What are the odds the gods would put us all in one spot
Poppin’ a squat on conventional wisdom, like it or not
A bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists?
Give me a position, show me where the ammunition is!

Oh, am I talkin’ too loud?
Sometimes I get over excited, shoot off at the mouth
I never had a group of friends before
I promise that I’ll make y’all proud

[LAURENS]
Let’s get this guy in front of a crowd

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/ENSEMBLE]
I am not throwing away my shot
I am not throwing away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot
I am not throwing away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot

[LAURENS]
Ev’rybody sing:
Whoa, whoa, whoa
Hey!
Whoa!
Wooh!!
Whoa!
Ay, let ‘em hear ya!

Let’s go!

I said shout it to the rooftops!
Said, to the rooftops!
Come on!

Come on, let’s go!
[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Whoa!

Whoa!

Yea!

[COMPANY]
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
Whoa!
Whoa!

Yea!

[LAURENS]
Rise up!
When you’re living on your knees, you rise up
Tell your brother that he’s gotta rise up
Tell your sister that she’s gotta rise up

[LAURENS AND ENSEMBLE]
When are these colonies gonna rise up?
When are these colonies gonna rise up?
When are these colonies gonna rise up?
When are these colonies gonna rise up?

Rise up!
[COMPANY]
Whoa! Whoa!
Whoa!
Whoa!
Whoa!

Rise up!

[HAMILTON]
I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory
When’s it gonna get me?
In my sleep? Seven feet ahead of me?
If I see it comin’, do I run or do I let it be?
Is it like a beat without a melody?
See, I never thought I’d live past twenty
Where I come from some get half as many
Ask anybody why we livin’ fast and we laugh, reach for a flask
We have to make this moment last, that’s plenty

Scratch that
This is not a moment, it’s the movement
Where all the hungriest brothers with
Something to prove went?
Foes oppose us, we take an honest stand
We roll like Moses, claimin’ our promised land
And? If we win our independence?
Is that a guarantee of freedom for our descendants?
Or will the blood we shed begin an endless
Cycle of vengeance and death with no defendants?
I know the action in the street is excitin’
But Jesus, between all the bleedin’ ‘n fightin’
I’ve been readin’ ‘n writin’
We need to handle our financial situation
Are we a nation of states? What’s the state of our nation?
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

[HAMILTON AND COMPANY]
And I am not throwing away my shot
I am not throwing away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/
LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]
We’re gonna rise up! Time to take a shot!
We’re gonna rise up! Time to take a shot!
We’re gonna

[HAMILTON]
Time to take a shot!

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS/MULLIGAN]
Time to take a shot!

Time to take a shot!

Take a shot!
Shot!
Shot!
A-yo it’s
Time to take a shot!
Time to take a shot!
And I am—
[ENSEMBLE]
Not throwing away my shot

Not throwing away my shot

We’re gonna

Rise up!
Rise up!
Rise up!
Rise up!
Rise up!
Rise up!
Ri— ri— ri—

Time to take a shot!
Time to take a shot!
And I am—

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/LAURENS]
Not throwin’ away my—

[COMPANY]
Not throwin’ away my shot!

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,738: ‘My Shot’ – Hamilton Cast

  1. Maddie says:

    Yay! 🙂 So glad that I could introduce Hamilton into all of your lives.

  2. Dana says:

    Ditto all you have said, particularly my daughter’s prescient ability to spot the next great thing in music. She seems to get that trait from her uncle.😄

    Hamilton is genius and a delight from start to finish. I.am so looking forward to seeing the show live someday, if we can ever land a ticket for under $500.

  3. Peg says:

    Way to go Maddie! 🙂

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