In black as well, Angelica, a close outsider like Burr, takes over the narration for a moment. “There are moments that the words don’t reach/There is suffering too terrible to name,” she sings as the parents stand stunned and silent in black, barely lit in dark purple. The phrases of the song – “working through” and “going through” and “trying to do,” paired with “unimaginable,” seem vague, but actually emphasize that Hamilton the great writer has no words here. It’s something “too terrible to name.” The empty streets emphasize how this is a private moment, one so intimate he can’t even share his thoughts. Hamilton has envisioned his own death repeatedly, but never this. Freeman adds:
It’s just crushing to Hamilton. His friends talked about how it was stamped on his face, the tragedy of that duel and of Phillips death, that he never recovered from it. But you can actually see that in the portraits of him that were painted at that time.
“His hair has gone grey. He passes every day/They say he walks the length of the city,” the ensemble sing. The bustling visions of New York have turned empty and isolated, down to the lights and music. Only a pair of strings plays. The ensemble put arms around each other and walk. In an early draft Burr sang “It’s Quiet Uptown, but Miranda explains, “Not only is Angelica the only choice to narrate this moment, it completes her arc in the most unexpected, satisfying way possible. For her to bear witness to the lives of Alexander and Eliza is the role she chose in “Satisfied”… she fulfills it here, at their lowest moment” (Hamilton: The Revolution, 203).
Historically, he found Hamilton tickets at Pantages theater around this time, and this is reflected in the line “and I pray/that never used to happen before.”