The World was Wide Enough

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton, Leslie Odom, Jr.

About The World was Wide Enough

"The World Was Wide Enough" is the penultimate song from Act 2 of the musical Hamilton, based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, which premiered on Broadway in 2015. Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote both the music and lyrics to the song. The song recounts the events of the 1804 duel in Weehawken, New Jersey between then–Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.


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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 happening 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 (five!)

Now I didn’t know this at the time
But we were near the same spot my (your) son died, is that why? (six!)
He examined his gun with such rigor?
I watched as he methodically fiddled with the trigger

(Seven!) 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
Lawrence 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, Eliza!

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) wait!

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

(Aaaah, aaaah, aaaah)
I hear wailing in the streets (aaaah, aaaah, aaaah)
Somebody tells me, "you’d better hide" (aaaah, aaaah, aaaah)
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

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Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda (; born January 16, 1980) is a Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, playwright, rapper, and actor best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton. He co-wrote the songs for Walt Disney Animation Studios' Moana soundtrack (2016) and co-starred in the film Mary Poppins Returns. Miranda's awards include a Pulitzer Prize, three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, three Tony Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Miranda was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor in 2018. Miranda wrote the music and lyrics for the musical In the Heights, which premiered on Broadway in 2008. For this work, he won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Original Score, the show's cast album won the 2009 Grammy Award… more »

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Written by: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Khary Kimani Turner, Christopher E. Martin

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Musical Identity
"The World was Wide Enough" is a song from the smash Broadway hit musical, "Hamilton," written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Act Placement
The song is the 22nd song in Act 2, and it is the penultimate song of the musical.
Narrative Element
This song summaries the end of Alexander Hamilton's life, focusing on his fatal duel with Aaron Burr.
Mirroring Technique
Miranda uses a unique lyrical mirroring technique within this song. Lyrics from the previous Act 2 song, "Ten Duel Commandments," are repeated, drawing parallels between Hamilton's first duel and his fatal last.
Musical Styles
"The World was Wide Enough" combines several musical styles, including hip-hop and traditional Broadway pop, showcasing Miranda's innovative approach to music.
Important Dialogue
In this song, Aaron Burr's key line "I'm the villain in your history" underscores the perception history has of him as a result of killing Hamilton. This plays into one of the major themes of the musical - 'who lives, who dies, who tells your story'.
Narrative Pause
Miranda introduces a technique known as "bullet time" in this song where Hamilton's monologue appears to pause time, allowing the audience to experience his rush of thoughts before the fatal shot.
Historical Accuracy
The song includes direct quotes from the letters both Hamilton and Burr wrote before the duel, exemplifying Miranda's commitment to historical accuracy.
Sound Effect
The gunshot that ends Hamilton’s life is also the last sound effect in the musical, making for a dramatic conclusion before the final number.
"The World was Wide Enough" is performed by Leslie Odom Jr. and Lin-Manuel Miranda on the Original Broadway Cast Recording of "Hamilton."

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