So Jenny is obsessed with Hamilton and has been for months. We got our tickets to see it in Chicago last week, she’s had tickets to see it in New York for months, she’s had the recording on a near-constant loop for quite some time, all that.
Of late, I’ve found myself listening to it pretty often, and something just clicked for me about “The Election of 1800.”
After several scenes of heavy drama surrounding the collapse of Alexander Hamilton’s political career, marriage, and the death of his son, Thomas Jefferson asks, “Can we get back to politics?” It signals a shift in the narrative, that the characters and story are moving on.
The first half or so of the song sets up the conflict between Jefferson and Aaron Burr. The title character finally gets brought in when asked, “Dear Mr. Hamilton: John Adams doesn’t stand a chance so who are you promoting?”
His response? “It’s quiet uptown.”
It’s a callback to the previous scene, in which he and his wife reconcile while mourning their son. It’s also a beautiful sign of how, while the rest of the world has moved on, he has not.