Lin-Manuel Miranda - Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) Lyrics (2024)

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Lin-Manuel Miranda, Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton

About Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)

"Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)" is the twentieth 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 recounts the story of the Battle of Yorktown.


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The battle of Yorktown seventeen-eighty-oneMonsieur HamiltonMonsieur LafayetteIn command where you belongHow you say, no sweatWe're finally on the fieldWe’ve had quite a runImmigrantsWe get the job doneSo what happens if we win?I go back to FranceI bring freedom to my people if I’m given the chanceWe’ll be with you when you doGo lead your menSee you on the other side‘Til we meet again, let’s goI am not throwin’ away my shotI am not throwin’ away my shotHey yo, I’m just like my country, I’m youngScrappy and hungryAnd I’m not throwin’ away my shotI am not throwin’ away my shot‘Til the world turns upside down‘Til the world turns upside downI imagine death so much it feels more like a memoryThis is where it gets me: on my feetThe enemy ahead of meIf this is the end of me, at least I have a friend with meWeapon in my hand, a command, and my men with meThen I remember my Eliza’s expecting meNot only that, my Eliza’s expectingWe gotta go, gotta get the job doneGotta start a new nation, gotta meet my sonTake the bullets out your gun (what?)The bullets out your gun (what?)We move under cover and we move as oneThrough the night, we have one shot to live another dayWe cannot let a stray gunshot give us awayWe will fight up close, seize the moment and stay in itIt’s either that or meet the business end of a bayonetThe code word is ‘Rochambeau,’ dig me?RochambeauYou have your orders now, go, man, goAnd so the American experiment beginsWith my friends all scattered to the windsLaurens is in South Carolina, redefining brav’ryWe’ll never be free until we end slaveryWhen we finally drive the British awayLafayette is there waitingIn Chesapeake BayHow did we know that this plan would work?We had a spy on the insideThat’s rightHercules MulliganA tailor spyin’ on the British governmentI take their measurements, information and then I smuggle it (up)To my brother's revolutionary covenantI’m runnin’ with the Sons of Liberty and I am lovin’ itSee, that’s what happens when you up against the ruffiansWe in the sh*t now, somebody gotta shovel itHercules Mulligan, I need no introductionWhen you knock me down I get the f*ck back up againLeft, right, holdGoWhatWhatWhatAfter a week of fighting, a young man in a red coat stands on a parapetWe lower our guns as he frantically waves a white handkerchiefAnd just like that, it’s overWe tend to our wounded, we count our deadBlack and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedomNot yetWe negotiate the terms of surrenderI see George Washington smileWe escort their men out of YorktownThey stagger home single fileTens of thousands of people flood the streetsThere are screams and church bells ringingAnd as our fallen foes retreatI hear the drinking song they’re singingThe world turned upside downThe world turned upside downThe world turned upside downThe world turned upside downDownDown, down, downFreedom for America, freedom for FranceDown, down, downGotta start a new nationGotta meet my sonDown, down, downWe wonWe wonWe wonWe wonThe world turned upside down

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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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Sheet Music PDF Playlist

Written by: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

12 facts about this song

Historical Influence

The song "Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)" is heavily inspired by the historical event of the Battle of Yorktown. This was the final major battle of the American Revolutionary War, which completed the American victory over the British.

Track Position

It is the 20th song in the first act of the critically acclaimed Broadway musical, "Hamilton," which was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Song Length

The duration of the song is approximately 4 minutes and 4 seconds, making it one of the longer songs in the "Hamilton" musical.

Narrative Role

The story of the song focuses on Alexander Hamilton’s military engagement and leadership during the Battle of Yorktown. It narrates the decisive victory which leads to American Independence.

Musical Style

Despite being set during the American Revolutionary War, the song incorporates modern musical elements including hip-hop, R&B, and rap, indicative of the general fusion of styles that "Hamilton" is renowned for.


The song includes performances from other cast members, including Christopher Jackson (George Washington), Daveed Diggs (Marquis de Lafayette), and Anthony Ramos (John Laurens).

Historical Accuracy

The title of the song is a reference to a (possibly apocryphal) song British troops are said to have played after their surrender at Yorktown, aptly named "The World Turned Upside Down."

Emotional Impact

The song culminates in an emotional high point, with the cast celebrating their victory and newfound freedom, and Hamilton reflecting on his fallen comrades.

Critical Acclaim

Like the rest of the musical, "Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)" was well-received by critics and audiences alike. It was praised for its narrative depth and bold blending of historical events with modern music genres.

Creative Process

Lin-Manuel Miranda, when creating this song, said he read multiple books on the Battle of Yorktown to ensure he was being as historically accurate as possible.

Award Performance

The "Hamilton" cast performed "Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)" at the 70th Tony Awards in 2016, where the musical won 11 awards out of a record-setting 16 nominations.


The story of the Battle of Yorktown and its presentation in the song inspired multiple in-depth discussions about the real event and also helped to popularize the story among younger audiences.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda - Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) Lyrics (2024)


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