Leslie Odom, Jr., Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson & Original Broadway Cast of "Hamilton" – Guns and Ships Lyrics | Genius Lyrics
[WASHINGTON]
I know

[WASHINGTON AND COMPANY]
Hamilton!

[LAFAYETTE]
Sir, he knows what to do in a trench
Ingenuitive and fluent in French,
I mean—

[WASHINGTON AND COMPANY]
Hamilton!

[LAFAYETTE]
Sir, you’re gonna have to use him eventually
What’s he gonna do on the bench? I mean—

[WASHINGTON AND COMPANY]
Hamilton!

[LAFAYETTE]
No one has more resilience
Or matches my practical tactical brilliance—


[WASHINGTON AND COMPANY]
Hamilton!
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Genius Annotation

“Guns and Ships” holds the honor of being the fastest song in the fastest-paced musical theater production of all time (the whole show fits 20,000 words into 2.5 hours). According to Mental Floss, it’s also right up there for fastest song in musical theater history:

Hamilton may possibly hold the title of fastest-paced Broadway show, but the distinction of single fastest song is still pretty much a toss-up. “Guns and Ships,” the fastest song in Miranda’s show, barrels along at 6.3 words per second, while “Not Getting Married Today” from the Sondheim musical Company comes in at 6.2. Libresco points out that the pacing in “Not Getting Married” is still more of a challenge, as the singer of “Guns and Ships” is granted more breaks to breathe while the ensemble chimes in. Both songs are faster than The Pirates of Penzance’s “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General,” one of the best known patter songs of all time."

Fivethirtyeight.com argues that “Guns and Ships” is the fastest Broadway song of all time, pointing out that this song contains a particularly breakneck moment where 19 words are sung in one 3 second span. They also provide this insight:

In a conventional musical, the only songs that keep pace with Miranda’s lyrics are ones in which a character is hysterical. In “Hamilton,” what would be mania in any other show turns out to be the pulse of revolution.

While Lafayette is rapping faster than anyone else on the Great White Way, in an assumed French accent no less, he’s also jumping around like this:

Ask us a question about this song
How does Daveed rap this fast?
Genius Answer

Diggs talks about this on his appearance on Jimmy Fallon. He and his collaborator Rafael Casal also talk about the basics of how to rap and fast cadences in this interview with Genius.

It’s actually easier to rap fast for him because, like puzzle pieces, when you’re rapping this fast only certain sounds and syllables will fit in your mouth.

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