My Shot – The Anthem of Revolution and Resilience


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Lin-Manuel Miranda's My Shot at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Breaking Down Hamilton’s Ambition: The Call to Arms
  5. The Revolutionary Energy: Reflecting America’s Fight for Freedom
  6. A Diamond in the Rough: The Hidden Meaning in Hamilton’s Struggle
  7. Voicing the Voiceless: Memorable Lines that Resonate
  8. Beyond Broadway: Why ‘My Shot’ Still Hits Hard

Lyrics

I am not throwin’ away my shot
I am not throwin’ away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot

I’ma get a scholarship to King’s College
I probably shouldn’t brag, but dang, I amaze and astonish
The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish
I gotta holler just to be heard
With every word, I drop knowledge
I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal
Tryna reach my goal my power of speech, unimpeachable
Only nineteen but my mind is older
These New York City streets get colder, I shoulder
Every burden, every disadvantage
I have learned to manage, I don’t have a gun to brandish
I walk these streets famished
The plan is to fan this spark into a flame
But damn, it’s getting dark, so let me spell out my name
I am the A-L-E-X-A-N-D-E-R we are meant to be

A colony that runs independently
Meanwhile, Britain keeps shittin’ on us endlessly
Essentially, they tax us relentlessly
Then King George turns around, runs a spendin’ spree
He ain’t ever gonna set his descendants free
So there will be a revolution in this century
Enter me (he says in parentheses)

Don’t be shocked when your history book mentions me
I will lay down my life if it sets us free
Eventually, you’ll see my ascendancy

And I am not throwin’ away my shot (my shot)
I am not throwin’ away my shot (my shot)
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot

I am not throwin’ away my shot
I am not throwin’ away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot
It’s time to take a shot

I dream of life without a monarchy
The unrest in France will lead to anarchy?
Anarchy how you say, how you, oh, anarchy?
When I fight, I make the other side panicky
With my, shot

Yo, I’m a tailor’s apprentice
And I got y’all knuckleheads in loco parentis (loco parentis)
I’m joining the rebellion ’cause I know it’s my chance
To socially advance, instead of sewin’ some pants (woo)
I’m gonna take a shot

And but we’ll never be truly free
Until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me
You and I
Do or die
Wait ’til I sally in on a stallion
With the first black battalion
Have another shot

Geniuses, lower your voices
You keep out of trouble and you double your choices
I’m with you, but the situation is fraught
You’ve got to be carefully taught
If you talk, you’re gonna get shot

Burr, check what we got
Mister Lafayette, hard rock like Lancelot
I think your pants look hot
Laurens, I like you a lot
Let’s hatch a plot blacker than the kettle callin’ the pot
What are the odds the gods would put us all in one spot
Poppin’ a squat on conventional wisdom, like it or not
A bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists?
Give me a position, show me where the ammunition is

Oh, am I talkin’ too loud?
Sometimes I get over excited, shoot off at the mouth
I never had a group of friends before
I promise that I’ll make y’all proud

Let’s get this guy in front of a crowd

I am not throwin’ away my shot
I am not throwin’ away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot

I am not throwin’ away my shot
I am not throwin’ away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot

Everybody sing
Whoa, whoa, whoa
Ayy, whoa (woo), whoa
Should let ’em hear ya (yeah)

Let’s go

Whoa, whoa, whoa
I said shout it to the rooftops
Whoa, whoa, whoa
Said, to the rooftops
Whoa, whoa, whoa

A-come on (yeah)
Come on, let’s go

Rise up
When you’re living on your knees, you rise up
Tell your brother that he’s gotta rise up
Tell your sister that she’s gotta rise up

When are these colonies gonna rise up? (Whoa, whoa)
When are these colonies gonna rise up? (Whoa)
When are these colonies gonna rise up? (Whoa)
When are these colonies gonna rise up?

Rise up
I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory
When’s it gonna get me?
In my sleep, seven feet ahead of me?
If I see it comin’, do I run or do I let it be?
Is it like a beat without a melody?
See, I never thought I’d live past twenty
Where I come from some get half as many
Ask anybody why we livin’ fast and we laugh, reach for a flask
We have to make this moment last, that’s plenty

Scratch that this is not a moment, it’s the movement
Where all the hungriest brothers with something to prove went?
Foes oppose us, we take an honest stand
We roll like Moses, claimin’ our promised land
And? If we win our independence?
Is that a guarantee of freedom for our descendants?
Or will the blood we shed begin an endless cycle of vengeance and death with no defendants?
I know the action in the street is excitin’
But Jesus, between all the bleedin’ ‘n’ fightin’
I’ve been readin’ ‘n’ writin’
We need to handle our financial situation
Are we a nation of states? What’s the state of our nation?
I’m past patiently waitin’ I’m passionately mashin’ every expectation
Every action’s an act of creation
I’m laughin’ in the face of casualties and sorrow
For the first time, I’m thinkin’ past tomorrow

And I am not throwin’ away my shot
I am not throwin’ away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot

We’re gonna rise up
I am not throwin’ away my shot (time to take a shot)
We’re gonna rise up
I am not throwin’ away my shot (time to take a shot)
We’re gonna, rise up, rise up

It’s time to take a shot
Rise up, rise up
It’s time to take a shot
Rise up, it’s time to take a shot
Rise up, take a shot, shot, shot
Ay, yo, it’s time to take a shot, time to take a shot
And I am not throwin’ away my
Not throwin’ away my shot

Full Lyrics

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘My Shot’ is more than just a catchy tune; it’s a powerful manifesto of ambition, resilience, and defiance that resonates with anyone who’s ever had a dream they refuse to let go. As a pivotal song from the award-winning musical ‘Hamilton,’ it encapsulates the spirit of Alexander Hamilton, a young immigrant in revolutionary America determined to make his mark.

Through a blend of hip-hop, soul, and show tune flair, ‘My Shot’ delivers a narrative punch that transcends the story of Hamilton and becomes a universal anthem for seizing opportunities. Analyzing the intricate lyrics reveals layers of meaning that might be lost in the whirlwind of Miranda’s rapid-fire delivery.

Breaking Down Hamilton’s Ambition: The Call to Arms

At the core of ‘My Shot’ lies Hamilton’s insatiable hunger for success – it’s a musical embodiment of determination. Miranda crafts the character of Hamilton as a reflection of America’s own ‘rags to riches’ tales, drawing a parallel with the nation’s fight for independence. But beyond historical context, ‘My Shot’ symbolizes every individual’s internal battle to overcome personal limitations and societal constraints.

The persistent refrain of ‘I am not throwin’ away my shot’ encapsulates the fierce urgency to grasp every opportunity. Miranda is employing Hamilton as a mouthpiece to speak to anyone who’s faced adversity yet yearns for greatness. This refrain becomes a rallying cry, reverberating with the electric promise of youth and potential.

The Revolutionary Energy: Reflecting America’s Fight for Freedom

Analyzed within the broader context of the American Revolution, ‘My Shot’ is a microcosm of the colonial defiance against British tyranny. Miranda’s Hamilton expresses a profound sense of frustration with the oppressive regime, illustrating that the drive for personal success is inseparable from the collective struggle for liberation.

The historical references to taxation and King George’s ‘spendin’ spree’ ground the narrative in reality, while also allowing the lyrics to transcend time. Listeners are reminded that the trials of Hamilton’s era are not so different from contemporary battles for justice and equality – the song is a timeless testament to insurgence.

A Diamond in the Rough: The Hidden Meaning in Hamilton’s Struggle

While the overt narrative of ‘My Shot’ recounts a historical barrage against colonial powers, there’s a more subtle subtext interwoven throughout. The ‘diamond in the rough’ represents the untapped potential within each individual, awaiting a chance to shine. It’s a profound reminder that brilliance often goes unnoticed without the opportunity for expression.

Hamilton’s admission of being ‘just like my country, young, scrappy, and hungry’ reflects the inherent value in the underestimated and overlooked. It’s a powerful affirmation that coming from a place of disadvantage doesn’t dictate one’s destiny – a sentiment as relevant today as it was in the 18th century.

Voicing the Voiceless: Memorable Lines that Resonate

Miranda’s talent shines in his ability to craft verses that stick. ‘I’ma get a scholarship to King’s College, I probably shouldn’t brag, but dang, I amaze and astonish,’ reflects the impish wit and charming confidence that make the character relatable. Lines like these pack a motivational punch, illustrating that self-belief is a cornerstone of success.

‘I am the A-L-E-X-A-N-D-E-R we are meant to be’ further cements Hamilton’s identity and claim to his place in history. This line deftly serves both as a self-introduction and a defiant claim to destiny, marrying individual determination with a greater historical narrative.

Beyond Broadway: Why ‘My Shot’ Still Hits Hard

‘My Shot’ extends its reach beyond the stage, infiltrating pop culture and the collective consciousness as a modern hymn of aspiration. It resonates with those who see themselves on the fringes, pushing against barriers yet to break through. Miranda’s mastery of rhyme and rhythm delivers a message that stirs the soul and continues to inspire even after the curtain falls.

The enduring power of ‘My Shot’ rests in its universal appeal. Whether it’s an artist seeking their big break, a student striving for an education, or anyone pursuing a passion against all odds, ‘My Shot’ echoes the timeless human yearning for a chance to prove oneself. It’s a reminder that history has its eyes on all of us, and we have but one life to make it count.

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