Driving home from Washington DC last week, our family decided to listen to the Hamilton soundtrack, performed by the original cast.
This meant we would be listening to the show in full.
In the midst of the penultimate song, wherein Hamilton dies in his duel with Burr, I began to get teary-eyed. I subtly wiped away the tears, admittedly feeling a little silly for becoming emotional over the soundtrack to a Broadway show playing through the sound system of a Honda Odyssey minivan.
I’ve seen Hamilton live. I’ve watched it more than once on Disney’s streaming service. I’ve listened to the soundtrack many times. Driving through western Connecticut was hardly the place to become emotional over a song.
Truthfully, I’d become pretty unhinged three songs earlier during “It’s Quiet Uptown” but had managed to hold it together through that awful moment in Hamiton’s life. But “The World Was Wide Enough” ruins me every time. The combination of the finality of death, the tragedy of dying so young, and an inexplicable connection that I feel to Hamilton (at least as he’s presented in the musical) crushes my heart whenever I hear that song.
Even while driving my family home from vacation.
But I managed to pull myself together. Clear-eyed and resolved, I continued to listen, steeling myself against the emotions threatening to wash over me.
But then the final song, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Stories,” began to play, and that was it for me. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. As Hamilton’s wife, Eliza, sings about her husband’s legacy and her own, I couldn’t hold back anymore. As the first tear splashed on my cheek, I heard a sniffle.
I looked over to Elysha. She was crying, too. “I can’t…” she said, fluttering her hands in front of her face as if to try to brush the emotions away. “I can’t… this song…”
My instantaneous thought:
When you find someone who, like you, weeps at the end of the soundtrack to Hamilton while crawling through traffic on the interstate, you have absolutely, positively married the right person.
Just like Hamilton.