'Your Obedient Servant' sounded pretty different in the early days

By Christian Holub
January 20, 2017 at 01:53 PM EST
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Hamilton (Broadway)

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It’s an eventful day in America, as President Barack Obama gives way to President Donald Trump. But it’s also been a big day for Hamilton fans — the musical’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, tweeted out several rough draft versions of iconic songs from the musical on Friday.

Miranda started with “Right Hand Man,” the song that introduces George Washington. Washington was originally played by Christopher Jackson, but the demo (posted on Soundcloud) is Miranda himself working through the lyrics over a very raw version of the beat. The lyrics are slightly changed from the final version — Aaron Burr lists his Princeton credentials while talking to Washington in this version, and Washington’s conversation with Alexander Hamilton is also slightly different. According to Miranda, this song was written in Montauk in 2010.

Miranda also shared a much shorter version of “The Story of Tonight,” where Miranda doing all four parts on the camaraderie drinking song makes it sound a bit like an a cappella cover. He also shared his original draft of “Congratulations,” the song that was sung by Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler during Hamilton‘s Public Theater run only to be cut from later versions, with a cover by Dessa included on The Hamilton Mixtape. “Congratulations” is an emotional kiss-off delivered by Angelica after the revelation that Hamilton cheated on her sister Eliza, and in this version it has an additional burn: “Alexander, you’ve never even met sacrifice.”

Miranda also shared an early version of “Your Obedient Servant,” probably the one most different from its final incarnation. It still tells the story of Hamilton and Burr’s exchange of fiery letters before their fateful duel, but the letters are almost completely different. Burr’s first, for instance, mentions “a letter from Dr. Charles Cooper who was kind enough to give me his approval to reprint a letter that he sent in confidence.” There’s a few more dates and numbers and names, and the flow is generally clunkier. Plus, Hamilton still signs his letter as “A. Hamilton,” not the catchier “A. Ham” emblazoned on Hamilton-branded shirts and hats these days.

When a curious follower asked Miranda if he would also be tweeting out any Moana demos, he responded that “those are the property of Disney but I think they might have a treat for you on the Blu-Ray.”

Want to see Hamilton on Broadway? Get tickets here!

Hamilton (Broadway)

Genre: Musical; Starring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Christopher Jackson, Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry; Director: Thomas Kail; Author: Lin-Manuel Miranda; Opening Date: 08/06/15
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  • Thomas Kail

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