Anyone who's watched Hamilton knows that there are few song (in the world) as tear-jerking, if not bawl-inducing, as "It's Quiet Uptown." The song, which fully documents the grief surrounding Alexander and Eliza Hamilton in the wake of losing their son, was a must-have for the release of the Hamilton Mixtape, especially if you have an emotional masochistic streak. And now that iTunes is giving away Kelly Clarkson's cover of "It's Quiet Uptown" when you pre-order the mixtape, it's heartbreaking all over again, but in a fresh new soul-crushing way. And it goes deeper than a different musical arrangement: it's all about Clarkson being the perfect match-up for this song about loss and love at this point in her life and career.
Though it's not necessarily her M.O. — she doesn't go full Adele on every poppy number — Clarkson has the capability to move people to tears. Her final performance on American Idol had the entire arena in hysterics, with even Clarkson getting verklempt through the course of "Piece By Piece." "It's just a touching song for me because I wrote it about my little girl when I was pregnant and now I'm pregnant with my little boy, which I hope comes out very soon," She said at the time.
It isn't difficult to understand why Clarkson, who just had her second child back in April, would understand the emotional resonance of the track. She has penned songs on child-parent relationships since "Because Of You" debuted as a song lamenting her father. And, while "Piece By Piece" continues on that train of resentment, it also speaks of how she's able to see paternal love and receive real support through her husband, Brandon Blackstock. In 2015, Clarkson spoke to Huffington Post about how marriage and motherhood had shaped her world:
"A lot of the reason why I wrote ‘Piece by Piece’ was I guess I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation until I had a child of my own, and until I experienced love like I do with Brandon on the daily, I guess you don’t realize something is missing until you feel it. I can’t imagine walking away from my little girl. I can’t imagine not having that love anymore."
Clarkson is no longer in that bitter child role; she's switched over. Even though her experiences between child and parent separation are vastly, vastly different than what Alexander and Eliza go through, she can understand the trauma of having her own children taken away from her, and radiates with same unconditional love, the same spousal support. The Kelly Clarkson of 2006 could belt this track out as good as anyone, but she couldn't nail "It's Quiet Uptown" on a soul level. This Kelly Clarkson can, and does.
So long as you have a box of tissues at the ready, feel free to pre-order the Hamilton Mixtape and bawl your eyes out.
Images: Giphy (2)