Song of the Day #2,851: ‘Helpless’ – Phillipa Soo, Hamilton cast

hamiltonHamilton might be about the Founding Father, but Lin-Manuel Miranda pays proper attention to the women in his life, particularly his wife Elizabeth Schuyler, and her sister Angelica.

The Schuyler Sisters (along with little-seen Peggy) are introduced in a rousing number set in the streets of New York, but they meet Hamilton a little bit later, through a couple of songs that play with time and space in interesting ways.

Today’s SOTD, ‘Helpless,’ is the first of those songs, in which Hamilton’s future wife (played by Phillipa Soo) meets and falls in love with young Alexander. Miranda says he wrote this track with Beyoncé’s vocal style in mind.

My favorite moment in this buoyant track comes during Miranda’s verse, when he growls out “And long as I’m alive, Eliza, swear to God you’ll never feel so helpless…”

[ELIZA]
Ohh, I do I do I do I
Dooo! Hey!
Ohh, I do I do I do I
Dooo! Boy you got me

[ELIZA AND WOMEN]
Helpless!
Look into your eyes, and the sky’s the limit I’m helpless!
Down for the count, and I’m drownin’ in ‘em

[ELIZA]
I have never been the type to try and grab the spotlight
We were at a revel with some rebels on a hot night
Laughin’ at my sister as she’s dazzling the room
Then you walked in and my heart went “Boom!”
Tryin’ to catch your eye from the side of the ballroom
Everybody’s dancin’ and the band’s top volume

[ELIZA AND WOMEN]
Grind to the rhythm as we wine and dine

[ELIZA]
Grab my sister, and
Whisper, “Yo, this
One’s mine.”

My sister made her way across the room to you
And I got nervous, thinking “What’s she gonna do?”
She grabbed you by the arm, I’m thinkin’ “I’m through”
Then you look back at me and suddenly I’m
Helpless!

Oh, look at those eyes

Oh!
Yeah, I’m
Helpless, I know
I’m so into you
I am so into you
I know I’m down for the count
And I’m drownin’ in ‘em.

[HAMILTON]
Where are you taking me?

[ANGELICA]
I’m about to change your life

[HAMILTON]
Then by all means, lead the way

[ELIZA]
Elizabeth Schuyler. It’s a pleasure to meet you

[HAMILTON]
Schuyler?

[ANGELICA]
My sister

[ELIZA]
Thank you for all your service

[HAMILTON]
If it takes fighting a war for us to meet, it will have been worth it

[ANGELICA]
I’ll leave you to it

[ELIZA AND WOMEN]
One week later

[ELIZA]
I’m writin’ a letter nightly
Now my life gets better, every letter that you write me
Laughin’ at my sister, cuz she wants to form a harem

[ANGELICA]
I’m just sayin’, if you really loved me, you would share him

[ELIZA]
Ha!
Two weeks later
In the living room stressin’
My father’s stone-faced
While you’re asking for his blessin’
I’m dying inside, as
You wine
And dine
And I’m tryin’ not to cry
‘cause there’s nothing that your mind can’t do
My father makes his way across the room
To you
I panic for a second, thinking
“we’re through”
But then he shakes your hand and says
“Be true”
And you turn back to me, smiling, and I’m
Helpless!

That boy is mine
That boy is mine!
Helpless! Helpless!
Down for the count
And I’m drownin’ in em

[HAMILTON]
Eliza, I don’t have a dollar to my name
An acre of land, a troop to command, a dollop of fame
All I have’s my honor, a tolerance for pain
A couple of college credits and my top-notch brain
Insane, your family brings out a different side of me
Peggy confides in me, Angelica tried to take a bite of me
No stress, my love for you is never in doubt
We’ll get a little place in Harlem and we’ll figure it out
I’ve been livin’ without a family since I was a child
My father left, my mother died, I grew up buckwild
But I’ll never forget my mother’s face, that was real
And long as I’m alive, Eliza, swear to God
You’ll never feel so…

[ALL WOMEN]
In New York, you can be a new man…
In New York, you can be a new man…
In New York, you can be a new man…

[ELIZA]
Helpless

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,851: ‘Helpless’ – Phillipa Soo, Hamilton cast

  1. Dana says:

    Definitely hear the Beyoncé influence now that you mention it.

  2. Amy says:

    Isn’t there going to be a cover album of these songs, or did I dream that? If so, Beyoncé has her song!

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