Wait for It (song)

"Wait for It"
Song by Leslie Odom Jr. & the Cast of Hamilton from the album Hamilton
Released 2015 (2015)
Length 3:14
Writer(s) Lin-Manuel Miranda
Composer(s) Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lyricist(s) Lin-Manuel Miranda
Language English
Hamilton track listing

"The Story of Tonight (Reprise)"
"Wait for It"
"Stay Alive"

"Wait for It" is a song from Act 1 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. It speaks of Aaron Burr's undying determination in the face of Hamilton's swift rise to influence and power.[1]


Miranda explained that the song's refrain appeared to him in pretty much its final state while taking the subway to a friend's party. He sang the melodic refrain into his iPhone, briefly attended the party, then completed the song on his trip home.[2]

He has commented that “Wait for It” and “The Room Where It Happens” are "two of the best songs I’ve ever written in my life and [Leslie Odom Jr.] got them both".[3] Miranda further explained the out-of-context significance of the song: "I feel like I have been Burr in my life as many times as I have been Hamilton. I think we’ve all had moments where we’ve seen friends and colleagues zoom past us, either to success, or to marriage, or to homeownership, while we lingered where we were—broke, single, jobless. And you tell yourself, ‘Wait for it.’"[2]


After contemplating his own misfortunes, and Alexander Hamilton's successes, Aaron Burr decides to hang on for now and lie in wait, knowing that his time to shine is coming soon.[4] The AV Club further explains "the song finds sympathy for Burr’s chronic caution; with a legacy and reputation to protect, he can’t risk as much as the ambitious Hamilton, and what will become a murderous rage begins here as mournful jealously over his rival’s ability to openly work for what he wants and believes in".[5]


Pitchfork wrote that the song "moves with a dancehall lilt".[6] Allmusic described it as a "tender pop ballad".[7]

Critical reception

The song has received critical acclaim. The Huffington Post wrote that the song "has perhaps the most profound lyrics of the entire libretto", and praised its ability to present Burr as a tragic hero rather than a villain, noting "it complicates everything that comes after because we find ourselves rooting for him".[8] Jezebel noted that this song is "stand-alone enough outside the narrative that it contains no real spoilers", and further described it as a "rich...post-Gyptian meditation".[9] Vibe wrote that in this song, Burr "lifts his own spirits up,"[4]

The AV Club listed it as one of 20 musical theater numbers from the past 20 years that should become standards, writing that the number, "one of the catchiest, most haunting numbers of an already landmark show...may be the track that best expresses the show’s complex perspective".[5] New York Theatre said it was "one of Odom’s show-stopping numbers in the musical".[10]

The Daily Telegraph said it is an "instant classic anthem".[11] Screen Fellows writes that the "powerful" song "make[s] a moving case for [Burr's] humanity" by portraying him as an "ultimately sympathetic character".[12] DVC Inquirer deemed it a "standout track".[13] Vogue praised the song as being a "Broadway crossover hits [that] sound[s] like bona fide iTunes single".[14]


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