Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the melody that is used for “Story of Tonight” when he was 16 years old.
First, the opening verses of “Alexander Hamilton” were originally going to be a monologue by Burr, and it was only when Lin-Manuel Miranda realized he could turn his idea into a musical that it became the opening of the show.
Also, one of the inspirations for having all of the characters on stage before Hamilton’s entrance was the prologue of Sweeney Todd.
Lin wrote the music and lyrics for Hamilton in so many different places — he wrote “Wait for It” on the A train, “You’ll Be Back” on his honeymoon, and “Dear Theodosia” in the Dominican Republic.
Hugh Laurie actually came up with the phrase “You’ll be back” when talking to Lin about King George’s relationship with the colonies.
After the first performances of Hamilton at the Public Theater, two extra bars of music were added after the “Immigrants. We get the job done” line in “Yorktown” because the applause was so loud it drowned out the next verse.
Also, the last section of “Dear Theodosia” was originally going to be sung by the entire company, not just Hamilton and Burr.
In “Your Obedient Servant,” the line “Here’s an itemized list of 30 years of disagreements” is an homage to Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation.
There was originally a song called “Congratulations” that came between “The Reynolds Pamphlet” and “Burn” — some of the lines from the song are included in Angelica’s portion of “The Reynolds Pamphlet.”
Both “Cabinet Battle #1” and “Cabinet Battle #2” were inspired by 8 Mile and Jay Z’s The Blueprint.
In “My Shot,” the cadence of how Hamilton, Lafayette, Mulligan, and Laurens spell “Alexander” is reminiscent of Notorious B.I.G. spelling his own name in the song “Going Back to Cali.”
Lin actually wrote the melody that is used for “Story of Tonight” when he was 16 years old — he used it for a song he had written at the time and realized it worked perfectly for this moment.
“Helpless” and “Satisfied” were both already written before Lin came up with “The Schuyler Sisters” — the song became a way to see the sisters in a “non-romantic place” and show off their intelligence.
The original name for “Helpless” was “This One’s Mine” — the final version was Lin’s second attempt at the song.
In fact, Lin explained that the only line that remains from “This One’s Mine” is the phrase “Grab my sister, and whisper, ‘Yo, this one’s mine.'”
The structure of “Helpless” was inspired by Ashanti and Ja Rule’s songs, which usually consisted of “two verses, two choruses, a guest rap feature, then back to the chorus and around.”
The line “If it takes fighting a war for us to meet, it will have been worth it” in “Helpless” and “Satisfied” is actually a haiku — Lin explained that Hamilton had to win over Eliza fast, so only a haiku would do.
The music for “Satisfied” actually came from a song Lin wrote years prior alongside Karen Olivo for a project that never happened.
Daveed Diggs actually improvised Jefferson’s “Uh…France” line during “What’d I Miss” and they decided to keep it in.
There was originally a different Macbeth quote in “Take a Break,” but Lin changed it after a lot of people said it was “too obscure.”
“Say No to This” originally started with “When I’m alone in my room, sometimes I stare at the wall,” which is a lyric from LL Cool J’s “I Need Love.”
The line “Nobody needs to know” at the end of “Say No to This” is a reference to the song from The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown.
Jefferson’s verse that starts with “I’m in the cabinet I am complicit in” during “Washington on Your Side” was inspired by Kendrick Lamar.
And finally, Burr was originally going to narrate “It’s Quiet Uptown,” but Lin realized it would be better for Angelica to be part of this Hamilton and Eliza moment.