“Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us” by Lin-Manuel Miranda (ft. Anthony Ramos & Phillipa Soo)
“Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us” as you may already know, is derived from a Broadway play entitled Hamilton. Unlike others that we have covered thus far from the same project, this one was not featured on the official soundtrack to the play.
This is a decision which the creator of the show, Lin-Manuel Miranda, made himself. And one of the reasons he did so, according to Miranda, is because this is actually “the only scene in [the] show”.
And we get where he’s coming from, because despite being set to music, what this song actually encapsulates is a dialogue.
More specifically, it is intended to mark the moment in time when Alexander Hamilton, the American Founding Father which the play centers on, learns of the death of John Laurens (1754-1782), who was perhaps the best friend he had in his entire life.
If you’ve ever studied American history you’ve undoubtedly heard of Alexander Hamilton – but as for John Laurens, not as much so. And that latter reality is the reason why Miranda decided to make him one of the main characters in the play. We would also presume his reason for doing so was inspired by the fact that Laurens was one of the prominent abolitionists and civil rights’ champions of his day.
Dialogue of “Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us”
And as for the featured dialogue, it is nothing complicated or extended. It centers on Hamilton’s wife, Eliza(beth), informing him that she has received a letter from Laurens’ dad. Up until that point, Alexander thinks that the note is rather from John himself and therefore doesn’t perceive it as anything urgent, as the two of them communicated in such a manner frequently.
But upon his wife informing him that it’s rather from John’s father, Alex’s concern is significantly raised.
In the message, John’s dad recounts that Laurens met his fate “on Tuesday the 27th… in a gunfight against British troops”. He also notes that his son’s grand vision of “emancipating and recruiting 3,000 men for the first all-Black military regiment”.
But with the demise of John, “his dream of freedom for these men (died) with him”. And according to Wikipedia/Google all of the above is historically correct with the day of Laurens’ passing, 27 August 1782, being a Tuesday.
However, it has also been noted that his plan for a 3,000 strong all-Black regiment was actually shot down before his passing. Indeed it was actually denied three times, between 1779 and 1782, by the South Carolina House of Representatives. But by the looks of things, Laurens wasn’t the type to give up until it was actually approved, that is of course until his passing.
Meanwhile, what is apparently the ghost of John Laurens also interjects here and there in the dialogue. It is actually he who drops the line “tomorrow there’ll be more of us”. And apparently what that statement means, comprehensively, is that the struggle for civil rights that he and Alexander Hamilton was involved in would continue beyond his passing, indeed even beyond the life of Hamilton himself.
And as noted by history, Hamilton was not as zealous about this cause as Laurens was. But reportedly he is depicted as so in the play and has erroneously been considered in such regard during the 21st century.
Yet ultimately, whether or not Alexander Hamilton was truly pro-Black is sort of beside the point as far as this song is concerned. More pressing would be the idea that the death of John Laurens shocked and emotionally-devastated him. And according to history, that aspect of the piece is definitely true.
“Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us” Facts
Artist(s): Lin-Manuel Miranda (ft. Phillipa Soo & Anthony Ramos)
Writing/Production: This was authored and produced by Miranda himself
Release: October 11 of 2015
Album/EP: “Hamilton Apocrypha”
Genre(s): Show tune
Was “Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us” a single release?
Tomorrow There’ll Be More Of Us
Tomorrow There’ll Be More Of Us is the 23rd song from Act I of the cast album to the 2015 American musical Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda composed the song.
Miranda wrote the music, lyrics, and book for Hamilton, based entirely on Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, published in 2004. It featured recording stars including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo, and Daveed Diggs.
Billboard praised the cast album as an “eye-popping debut,” awarding it a 5-star rating and placing it second on the magazine’s list of the 50 Best Albums of 2015. It was rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by Rolling Stone and ranked number 8 on the magazine’s Top 50 Albums of 2015. It has been certified seven times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold over 1.97 million copies.
Characters in the play thus, John Laurens, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, and Alexander Hamilton, were supposed to use Tomorrow They’ll Be More Of Us for their acting roles. However, the scene in which the song would have been was not included in the musical. Miranda has explained that he deliberately decided not to include the song because he felt that the song could be acted out than to sing and that its impact, when acted out, will be felt at its fullest.
John Laurens’ Death and Its Impact on Alexander Hamilton
John Laurens was an American who served in the American Revolutionary War closely to President George Washington. Though born in America, he pursued his education in England.
In 1777, he returned home to serve in the Washington army. During his years serving as Washington’s confidential secretary, he met Alexander Hamilton.
Hamilton was one of the founding fathers of the United States. He was the secretary of the treasury in George Washington’s government. John and Hamilton met at Washington’s camp. John and Hamilton had an openly homosocial relationship
The two were apart for some time when Lauren was captured by the British and was on parole. They wrote letters to each other in a very intense emotional language that caused many to suspect if there was any form of sexual relation between them. Around this time, Homosexuality was a capital offense.
John Laurens was shot dead on 27th August 1782 during the Battle of the Combahee River. When the news reached Alexander Hamilton, witnesses attested to his sheer devastation.
As a man of many words, Hamilton’s letter of grief had just seven lines. No one knew Alexander Hamilton as well as John Lauren did. After John’s death, Hamilton never opened up to anyone ever again.