Raining Hamiltons Jeff Wright and Ben Warheit from Late Night with Seth Meyers compete in a music game where lyrics from the musical Hamilton are changed to be about things you might find depicted on American currency.
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Raining Hamiltons

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Raining Hamiltons

Raining Hamiltons

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JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and - actually, there are no word games in this episode. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here is your host Ophira Eisenberg.


Thanks, Jonathan. We're playing games with writers from "Late Night With Seth Meyers" Jeff Wright and Ben Warheit. Are you ready for another one?



WRIGHT: Excellent.

EISENBERG: OK. So you're in luck because guess what? Jonathan Coulton is going to sing you the clues in this game that involves two beloved things, money and the musical "Hamilton."


COULTON: So in "Hamilton's" opening number, Aaron Burr refers to Hamilton as the $10 Founding Father because his face appears on the $10 bill. Of course, Aaron Burr wouldn't have known that at the time since Hamilton wasn't put on the $10 until about 100 years later. I've just Neil deGrasse Tyson'd (ph) "Hamilton." You're welcome, everybody.


COULTON: Anyway, we rewrote the lyrics to songs from "Hamilton" to make them about things you might find depicted on other American currency. So animals and objects - there are no people mentioned in this game. You only need to tell me the thing that I'm singing about that is on some piece of American currency or the title of the "Hamilton" song that I have ruined. And this is for you, Ben.

(Singing) I make a dish of every fish I slay. I'm the bird of prey of the USA. I may be bald, but I'm perky. It could be worse. After all, I'm not a turkey.

WARHEIT: That is about an eagle.

COULTON: It is. Yes. That is correct. Do you know the "Hamilton" song?

WARHEIT: (Humming). (Singing) The room where it happened.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right. Well done.

WARHEIT: Got it, got it. I got it.

EISENBERG: There's more of them. Did you know that? There's just more eagles.

COULTON: What do you mean, in the world?

EISENBERG: Well, yeah. They're no longer on the endangered species list.

WARHEIT: Really?

COULTON: Well, that's good.

EISENBERG: Yeah. But - yeah, still not allowed to eat them, Ben - still not allowed to eat them.


EISENBERG: Actually, I don't know. Can you - that would be problematic to eat an eagle (laughter).

COULTON: I mean, even if you're allowed to eat one...

EISENBERG: That's not good.

COULTON: ...You probably shouldn't do it. And if you do it, don't mention it on Twitter 'cause you're going to get...

WARHEIT: But if you hit one with your car, I mean, you don't want it to go to waste, right?

WRIGHT: And it's not your fault, too, 'cause an eagle should be way up there. So the fact...

WARHEIT: Right, right, right.

EISENBERG: That's right. Right.

COULTON: Yeah. In some ways, it's the eagle's fault.

WARHEIT: Not my fault.

WRIGHT: Not your fault.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) It's not your fault.

COULTON: All right, Jeff. Here's one for you. OK. (Singing) They're Egyptian history but a mystery. Answer this for me. Tell me did the aliens build these ancient tombs with the strange three-sided treasure rooms?

WRIGHT: Are we talking about pyramids?

COULTON: We are talking about pyramids. That is correct, found the $1 bill. And did you recognize the song from "Hamilton"?

WRIGHT: I did not.

COULTON: That was "The Schuyler Sisters," of course.

WRIGHT: OK, cool.


COULTON: So here's one for you, Ben.

(Singing) Illuminate the darkness. Hold a stick high. Put some fire on it in the darkness. If it won't burn, put some Sterno on it.

WARHEIT: The song is "Helpless."

COULTON: That is correct.

WARHEIT: And the imagery is a torch.

COULTON: A torch - that is correct, found on the $10 bill and the dime. And of course, the Statue of Liberty, which cannot be used as currency.

WARHEIT: It cannot be used as currency...

EISENBERG: Once was.

WARHEIT: ...Even though it's made of green stuff.

COULTON: It's made of copper. That's right. It's probably worth something if you scrapped it. Are you allowed to sell the Statue of Liberty for scrap metal and eat a bald eagle? I'm just asking.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

WRIGHT: Asking for Ben. Asking for Ben.


WARHEIT: You know what I found out by watching a YouTube video yesterday is that - there's a video about, like, the "Up" house that they lift with balloons, right?

COULTON: Yeah. Right.

WARHEIT: If that house was real, it would weigh more than the Statue of Liberty, they were saying.

COULTON: Oh, wow.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah. So the balloon thing doesn't pan out?


WRIGHT: No. But then, in that instance, we can balloon the Statue of Liberty, then, because...



WRIGHT: Yeah, with enough balloons.

EISENBERG: Or enough eagles on strings.

WRIGHT: Fair point.

COULTON: What if we trap a bunch of bald eagles...


COULTON: ...And the ones that we don't eat we use to steal the Statue of Liberty.

WARHEIT: (Laughter).

WRIGHT: The heist is back.

EISENBERG: So we can get it to its buyer for the scrap copper.

COULTON: It's going to be totally worth it.


COULTON: All right, Jeff. This is the last clue. It's for you.



COULTON: (Singing) Endless fight, eternal brawl. And who started it? I can't recall. When our battle must cease, I will send this bit of leafy tree to be a symbol of our peace.

WRIGHT: Olive branch.

COULTON: Yes, olive branch is correct. You got it. Jeff, do you know the name of the song?

WRIGHT: If it's not "You'll Be Back"...


WRIGHT: ...I'm going to be so mad.

COULTON: It is "You'll Be Back." You are correct.



WRIGHT: Oh (laughter, applause).

WARHEIT: Wow, that's great, Jeff.

EISENBERG: Good job. That's right.


EISENBERG: Well done.


WARHEIT: Lovely.

EISENBERG: Jeff Wright and Ben Warheit write for a "Late Night With Seth Meyers." Thank you so much for joining us.

WARHEIT: Thank you. Thanks for having us.

WRIGHT: Thank you for having us.


WRIGHT: I appreciate it. Shout out to Jonathan with the awesome acoustics.


WRIGHT: And shout out to Ophira for the dope questions, the setups and the awesome jokes and entertainment.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: Aw, Jeff. Jeff...

WRIGHT: You just choreographed this whole thing, Ophira. And I just want to say I appreciate you.

EISENBERG: Oh. Thanks, Jeff.

WRIGHT: And shout out to Ben for being the best friend that I didn't know I needed.


COULTON: It's like a Hallmark movie in here.

EISENBERG: I love it.

WRIGHT: Oh, nobody going to shout me out? That's cool.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah. OK. Oh, yeah. OK.

COULTON: Oh, no. You did a good job, too, Jeff. Great.

EISENBERG: Yeah, you were great.

WRIGHT: No. It's not genuine anymore.

[POST-BROADCAST CLARIFICATION: In this episode, we incorrectly say that Aaron Burr refers to Alexander Hamilton as the $10 Founding Father in the musical Hamilton. In fact, the line in the musical is said by the actor who plays John Laurens and Philip Hamilton.]


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