Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Decemberists have teamed up to present a new song featuring lyrics once cut from the blockbuster musical. The tune, dropping at midnight local time around the world December 15, kicks off Miranda's year-long “#Hamildrop” series.
Miranda originally wrote the lyrics for a Founding Father who never made it to the stage in the final version: Benjamin Franklin. The song, framed as Franklin wooing a group of women in France with a list of his accomplishments, never had a melody, though Miranda envisioned it having a Decemberists-esque tone.
After Miranda sent the lyrics to Colin Meloy of the indie band, the group came back with their own proposed melody. “It absolutely blew me away,” Miranda wrote in a recent Twitter thread about the project. “I weent [sic] BACK to write new lyrics for a bridge for him. He took it to [The Decemberists] & they brought Ben Franklin to life.
Two versions exist: the original, explicit version, and a revised, clean edition. Take a listen to the former below or download here.
“If you’re a Hamilton fan, we hope it will add a new dimension to the world of the show for you—but you can also just enjoy it as a history lesson,” said the Decemberists in a blog post. “Franklin invented bifocals, you know. And the glass harmonica. WHAT A F***ING GUY.”
The #Hamildrop series serves as consolation for the scrapped second volume of The Hamilton Mixtape, feature more covers, remixes, and variations on Hamilton tunes from various artists.
“A year ago this month we released The Hamilton Mixtape. It was the culmination of so many dreams come true,” Miranda said in a recent Twitter thread. “I know I promised you a Hamilton Mixtape Vol. 2, but nothing’s gonna match those songs in that order…ALL THAT BEING SAID…I STILL HAVE ALL THIS DOPE NEW SH*T TO SHARE WITH YOU.”
Miranda promises to release new content every month through December 2018 as part of the series.