How Well Do You Know The Lyrics to Hamilton (Act 1)?

By: Abi Luftig
Image: Youtube

About This Quiz

You might listen to the soundtrack every day, but how well do you remember the words? Find out by taking this quiz!

When he was _____, his father split, full of it, debt-ridden

While Hamilton's exact birth date is not known, it is generally accepted that he was born in 1755. This would have made him ten years old at the time his father, James Hamilton abandoned his Alexander, his brother James Jr, and their mother Rachel Faucette.

The ship is in the harbor now, see if you can spot him. _______ coming up from the bottom.

While it's true that Hamilton was not from the American continent or the British isle itself, he was, in fact, no more of an immigrant than any other colonist. Hamilton was born in Charlestown, the capital city of Nevis, an island that is part of the British West Indies. Therefore, his status as a British colonist should have been the same as any other British subject who sailed to The New World.

Lock up your daughters and horses! Of course, it's hard to have intercourse over ____ sets of corsets.

Show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has gone on record as saying that "Historically, he definitely does not f*#k horses; however, I thought this was a pretty funny line. I always think of the line in the “¡Three Amigos!” where Chevy Chase is with all these Mexican gang members and goes: “And we’ll rape the horses.” It probably came from “¡Three Amigos!” in my brain."

Burr, the revolution's _________, what do you stall for?

While the musical somewhat accurately portrays Burr as overly cautious and hesitant, in this instance, it is incorrect. Records indicate that Burr signed up for the Continental Army in 1775 and had become a commissioned officer by 1776 when this song takes place. This is long before Laurens and Lafayette joined the cause.

Imma get a scholarship to _________, I prob'ley shouldn't brag but dag, I amaze and astonish.

King's College went on to become Columbia University. Some records show Hamilton officially graduating from King's College in 1774 and others state 1777, both of which show further liberties taken with historical accuracy. In truth, by 1776, when the song is being sung, the college suspended all classes due to heavy fighting in New York.

Wait til I ______ in on a stallion with the first black battalion.

John Laurens did, in fact, sally in on a stallion with a black battalion, though it is unclear if it was the first of its kind. He created a brigade of 3,000 black soldiers by promising them freedom from slavery after the war. He died in battle before he was able to fulfill this promise.

And when ________ tell our story, they'll tell the story of tonight!

While it was certainly not the only one, the first biography of Alexander Hamilton was written by his son, John Church Hamilton. John was one of Alexander and Eliza's eight children.

Raise a glass to freedom, something ________________ away

"The Story Of Tonight" is arguably one of the most beautifully crafted songs of the first act, but it is historically inaccurate. By 1776, Hamilton had only met Hercules Mulligan. He did not meet Laurens or Lafayette until a few years later, once the war began.

Uh-oh, but little does he know that his daughters, _______, ______, _____, sneak into the city just to watch all the guys at work

For the rest of the musical, the sisters are introduced in their birth order of Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy. However, for the sake of false-rhyming "Eliza" with "guys", the order was rearranged. As it happens, this is the order in which the sisters died (Peggy in 1801, Angelica in 1814, and Eliza in 1854).

And when I meet Thomas Jefferson, Ima compel him to include ______ in the sequel

Ironically, Angelica did go on to meet and befriend Thomas Jefferson. They began writing letters to each others in the late 1780s and remained pen pals for the rest of their lives.

My name is Samuel Seabury and I present _____________ on the Procedings of the Continental Congress!

The song is titled "Farmer Refuted" because Samuel Seabury published his essay under the psyeudonym A. W. Farmer. Hamilton published a pamphlet in response entitled "The Farmer Refuted." While the song suggests a face-to-face debate, there is no evidence such a meeting ever actually took place.

Chaos and bloodshed already haunt us, honestly, you shouldn't even talk. And what about _________?

Boston was the sight of many important moments leading up to the American Revolution, such as the Boston Tea Party and the start of The Intolerable Acts. Hamilton is likely referring to the Boston Massacre of 1770.

You cry in your tea which you _____ in the sea when you see me go by.

George is singing about the Boston Tea Party, which took place on December 16, 1773. It was in direct defiance of the Tea Act, which was issued on May 10, 1773. In an attempt to recoup the financial damages of the destruction of the tea, England created the Intolerable Acts and The Stamp Tax, which only served to further aggravate the colonists.

We put a stop to the bleeding as the British take Brooklyn, ____________ but look

This line has both wordplay and chess metaphors. The "knight" refers to British nobles and their assertion of power over the colonists, portrayed as the rook, a very valuable piece. Many chess games turn on a move of a knight taking a rook. Miranda also includes a subtle pun by calling the colonists "rooks", or rookies. Most soldiers in the Continental Army were inexperienced rookies.

Don't get me wrong, you're a young man of great reknown. I know you stole British ______ when we were still downtown.

While some of the details have been slightly fudged (the theft occurred in August 1775, a year before the Battle of Brooklyn), Hamilton, Mulligan and approximately 100 comrades did band together to steal British cannons. They managed to haul away 21 of the 24 British cannons positioned at the Battery, while dodging heavy fire from the British.

Washington hires Hamilton right on sight, but Hamilton still wants to fight _________

As discussed in the previous song, "Right Hand Man", Hamilton wants to fight in the trenches, but Washington values his intellect and writing prowess. Hamilton felt sidelined, and in reality threatened to resign his position if not given military command. Washington eventually relented and gave Hamilton a light infantry battalion.

Two weeks later, in ____________ stressin, My father's stone faced while you're asking for his blessin'.

Hamilton met Elizabeth "Eliza" Schuyler when he was stationed in Morristown, NJ, in the winters of 1779. They spent the next year communicating by letters, and once her father gave his blessing, Alexander and Eliza were married on December 14, 1780.

Your family brings out a different side of me, _______ confides in me.

Peggy and Alexander were historically good friends. He often sat by her beside when she was sick. She died on March 14, 1801 after nearly two years of illness. Hence, this is the last time Peggy is mentioned in the musical.

It's the feeling of freedom, of seein' the light, it's Ben Franklin _____________________.

Angelica had a knack for choosing idols she would go on to meet. Much like Jefferson, she eventually met and befriended Ben Franklin, who was U.S. Ambassador to France. Her husband John was acting as a U.S. envoy to the French Government.

So I'm the oldest and the wittiest and the ______ in New York City is insidious.

"Satisfied" is a unique song in that it begins with one set dressing, changes to another for a flashback, and then comes back to the original for the ending. Prerecorded snatches of song and a brief instrumental interlude helps buy time for the crew to reset the stage to how it looked in "Helpless". The stage turns in a counterclockwise motion to help subliminally suggest to the audience that they are going back in time by suggested the backwards winding of a clock.

Ignore them. Congrats to you, __________.

Aaron Burr was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on June 27, 1777. He has previously distinguished himself by way of his military service (he really had been a Captain under General Montgomery in Quebec). His heath problems caused him to officially resign from the army in March of 1779, but he still assisted unofficially when he could.

My grandfather was a fire and brimstone preacher, but there are things the __________ and hymns won't teach ya.

Burr saying that his grandfather "was a preacher" is a bit of an understatement. His grandfather, Jonathan Edwards, led the Great Awakening of the colonial era and essentially helped to form modern American Christianity as we know it. He delivered the famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", an essay that is still discussed in historical and theological circles to this day.

And if there's a reason I'm still alive, ________

While it seems like hyperbole, it is easy to understand why Burr feels this way. His parents died before he turned two years old. He and his sister went to live with their maternal grandparents, who also died within a year of the children's arrival. While it hadn't yet happened when Burr is singing this song, his beloved Theodosia would also go on to die twelve years into their marriage. Their daughter, Theodosia, or "Theo" would go on to be lost at sea at age 29. Poor Burr just couldn't catch a break!

Congress writes, "George, attack the British forces." I ____________, "we have resorted to eating our horses."

Recovered memoirs from soliders confirm that the Continental Army did, in fact, eat their horses (note: they did not KILL the horses, they ate ones that had starved to death). That wasn't even the worst of the indignities. One such memoir transcribed into the book "Voices of Revolution" (Carol Sue Humprey) describes the horrendous conditions: "We are absolutely, literally starved. I do solemnly declare that I did not put a single morsel of victuals into my mouth for four days and as many nights, except for a little black birch bark which I gnawed off a stick of wood. I saw several men roast their old shoes and eat them, and I was afterward informed by one of the officer’s waiters, that some of the officers killed a favorite little dog that belonged to one of them.

Washington can not be left alone to his devices, _______ from crisis to crisis

General Charles Lee did badmouth General Washington quite a bit, but in a more indirect way, as he was trying to redeem his own image more than damage Washington's. Laurens finally challenged Lee to a duel for Washington's honor after Lee published two articles calling out Washington for his "dangerous" military tactics.

You pay him in advance, you treat him with civility, you have him ___________ so he can have deniability.

Despite it's prevalence and general acceptance among the public, dueling was technically illegal, and those with foreknowledge of a duel who did not act to stop it could be prosecuted. Medical journals of the time advised doctors how to avoid such a situation with tips of how far away to stand from the duel.

Hang on, how many men died because Lee was inexperienced and ruinous?

Despite Laurens and Hamilton's low opinions of him, General Charles Lee was actually very experienced. He had a long and glorious military history, spanning several decades of service. He had, in fact, expected to be put in charge of the Continental Army (as did many others) and that slight may have motivated his campaign against Washington.

You shot him in the ________, yes he yields!

Once again, Miranda took some historical liberties, the first of which being that Burr was not Lee's second for this duel. Lee's actual second Major Evan Edwards published an account of the duel that purports that Lee was ready to yield after the first shot, saying that his wound was a scratch. Hamilton and Evans eventually talked Lee and Laurens down and the duel ended with one round.

And if this child shares a fraction of your smile, or __________ of your mind,

"That Would Be Enough" is mostly sung by Eliza (with a few interjections by Alexander). The role of Eliza was originated by Phillipa Soo, who earned a Tony nomination for her portrayal. Soo's final performance as Eliza was on July 9th, 2016.

Let __________________ be the first chapter, where you decide to stay.

"That Would Be Enough" is the first time Eliza mentions "the narrative", but is not the last time. In this song, she begs Alexander to "let me be a part of the narrative", and will later declare in "Burn" that she will "erase myself from the narrative". She comes full circle in "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story" by stating "I put myself back in the narrative."

He's constantly __________________ the British henchmen, everyone give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman!

Lafayette actually did confuse and confound the British forces on several occasions, most notably at the Battle of Barren Hill in 1778 outside Philadelphia. Oneida Iroquois forces fighting alongside Lafayette let him know of an all-but-forgotten hunting trail that could be used as an escape. Lafayette left a small force behind to attack a nearby British scouting party, which served as enough of a distraction that the rest of the troops successfully crept away and evaded capture.

Sir, he knows what to do in a trench, ____________, and fluent in French

When Lin-Manuel Miranda appeared on Carpool Karaoke with James Cordon, this is one of the songs they sang along to. Cordon rapped the part of Lafayette and flubs the line on this very word.

I witnessed their deaths firsthand. I made every mistake and felt the ___________ rise in me.

The "massacre" to which Washington is referring is likely The Battle of Fort Necessity, which took place near what is now Farmington, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1754. Reports state that one hundred soldiers ended up dead or wounded, which was nearly one-third of Washington's forces. This was his only military surrender and he was so humiliated that he resigned his commission. It is widely believed that this battle essentially started the French and Indian War.

We lower our guns as he frantically waves a white ____________.

The practice of waving a white flag or piece of cloth dates back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD). There is no definitive answer as to why a white flag was used, but the commonly accepted theory is that it was costly and difficult to dye cloth back then, so a white cloth was readily available in most circumstances and it was a matter of convenience.

Well, despite our estrangement, I've got ___________________ for you.

"What Comes Next" is the only one of King George's three songs that features only his voice. In "You'll Be Back", he invites the company (and the audience) to sing along with him. In "I Know Him", a servant is heard whispering furtively. It is likely that this song features only George's voice to highlight how cut-off Britain now is from America and serve as a metaphor for the separation.

You will come of age with our ______ nation.

The year is not specifically stated, but the musical says that "Dear Theodosia" takes place "shortly after the revolution". Philip Hamilton was born January 22, 1782, in Albany, NY. Theodosia Burr was born June 21, 1783, also in Albany.

Burr, we studied and we fought and we killed for this _____ of a nation that we get to build.

The idea of an American democracy was a novelty at the time. Most major nations were monarchies and the world wasn't sure how to run a nation without a king at the helm. Therefore, America was somewhat more of a notion than a nation.

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