Song of the Day #2,860: ‘The World Was Wide Enough’ – Hamilton cast

hamiltonAfter the sex scandal, Hamilton’s political career is on the rocks but it’s on a personal level that he is truly rocked when his son dies in a duel. The musical takes a somber turn as he and Eliza deal with the loss and eventually reconcile.

Then it’s back to politics, and Hamilton’s fateful decision to support Thomas Jefferson over Aaron Burr in the 1800 election. Jefferson wins, Burr is consumed with jealous rage and pins all of his failures on Hamilton, whom he challenges to a duel. You all know how that turns out.

‘The World is Wide Enough’ dramatizes that duel, Hamilton’s final moments and Burr’s remorse. It isn’t the final song in the musical (there’s one more) but it’s the emotional climax. It’s also the track that could convince Tony voters to give the lead acting nod to Leslie Odom Jr. over Lin-Manuel Miranda.

So that’s Hamilton in (very) abbreviated form. Tomorrow night my family and I will get to drink it all in in person.

Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.

One two three four

Five six seven eight nine—

There are ten things you need to know

Number one!

We rowed across the Hudson at dawn
My friend, William P. Van Ness signed on as my—

Number two!

Hamilton arrived with his crew:
Nathaniel Pendleton and a doctor that he knew

Number three!

I watched Hamilton examine the terrain
I wish I could tell you what was happ’ning in his brain
This man has poisoned my political pursuits!

Most disputes die and no one shoots!
Number four!

Hamilton drew first position
Looking, to the world, like a man on a mission
This is a soldier with a marksman’s ability
The doctor turned around so he could have deniability


Now I didn’t know this at the time
But we were—

Near the same spot
Your son died, is that


He examined his gun with such rigor?
I watched as he methodically fiddled with the trigger


Confession time? Here’s what I got:
My fellow soldiers’ll tell you I’m a terrible shot

Number eight!

Your last chance to negotiate
Send in your seconds, see if they can set the record straight

They won’t teach you this in your classes
But look it up, Hamilton was wearing his glasses
Why? If not to take deadly aim?
It’s him or me, the world will never be the same
I had only one thought before the slaughter:
This man will not make an orphan of my daughter

Number nine!

Look him in the eye, aim no higher
Summon all the courage you require
Then count:

One two three four five six seven eight nine
Number ten paces! Fire!—

I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory
Is this where it gets me, on my feet, sev’ral feet ahead of me?
I see it coming, do I run or fire my gun or let it be?
There is no beat, no melody
Burr, my first friend, my enemy
Maybe the last face I ever see
If I throw away my shot, is this how you’ll remember me?
What if this bullet is my legacy?

Legacy. What is a legacy?
It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see
I wrote some notes at the beginning of a song someone will sing for me
America, you great unfinished symphony, you sent for me
You let me make a difference
A place where even orphan immigrants
Can leave their fingerprints and rise up
I’m running out of time. I’m running, and my time’s up
Wise up. Eyes up
I catch a glimpse of the other side
Laurens leads a soldiers’ chorus on the other side
My son is on the other side
He’s with my mother on the other side
Washington is watching from the other side

Teach me how to say goodbye

Rise up, rise up, rise up

My love, take your time
I’ll see you on the other side
Raise a glass to freedom…

He aims his pistol at the sky—


I strike him right between his ribs
I walk towards him, but I am ushered away
They row him back across the Hudson
I get a drink


I hear wailing in the streets


Somebody tells me, “You’d better hide.”


They say

Angelica and Eliza—

Were both at his side when he died
Death doesn’t discriminate
Between the sinners and the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
History obliterates
In every picture it paints
It paints me and all my mistakes
When Alexander aimed
At the sky
He may have been the first one to die
But I’m the one who paid for it

I survived, but I paid for it

Now I’m the villain in your history
I was too young and blind to see…
I should’ve known
I should’ve known
The world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me
The world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me

One thought on “Song of the Day #2,860: ‘The World Was Wide Enough’ – Hamilton cast

  1. Dana says:

    I didn’t think it was jealousy that led to the duel, but clearly the trading of insults and accusations, and a refusal to apologize, was far more life threatening than it is in today’s political landscape.

    Meanwhile, on the Tony front, I suspect Odom will take the award, as Lin will be winning in other categories.

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