On Hamilton, Or Why I Should Think Before I Press Play

Last week, I had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It was one of those days that you just have to get through, and when I went to take Josie for her afternoon walk and was looking for something to listen to, I saw the Hamilton soundtrack. I thought, “yes, this is just what I need, an upbeat soundtrack about persevering and making it and not throwing away anyone’s shot. I’ll sing along in my head and it’ll give me perspective on my own stupid problems and it’ll be great.”

Bad idea. You see, I was halfway through the musical, and you know what happens after the halfway mark? (Spoiler alert, although this shouldn’t be a spoiler for anyone who’s had to take a US History class.) Philip, Hamilton’s son, dies in a duel. And then a terribly sad song comes on (“It’s Quiet Uptown”), and I cried. I know Hamilton’s story, I knew this was coming and I still cried. And I kept walking, and then Hamilton’s own duel happens, and he dies (“The World Was Wide Enough”), and poor Eliza sings “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” and I was trying very hard to not weep while Josie wandered, oblivious, at my feet.

At least no one noticed, and I didn’t have to explain I was crying over something that happened way back in 1804.  Small mercies, I guess.





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