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Tear Jerker / Ragtime

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  • "Back to Before" is a song that could be seen as a tearjerker. Mother knows that Father's promise of restoring the status quo is impossible, as too much has changed and she will embrace it. Marin Mazzie (the original Mother) really sells the song and was reduced to tears after recording it. Gains new resonance now that Mazzie has passed away, making it possibly even sadder.
  • "Your Daddy's Son", where Sarah expresses the fear and pain she went through as a young, unwed, and pregnant black girl. It becomes clear that what she did to her son was not because she hated him or didn't want him, but was an act of desperation, and she's clearly grateful it didn't succeed.
    Sarah: I buried my heart in the ground!
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  • If you can get through "Till We Reach that Day" without crying, you deserve a medal. Sarah has been brutally murdered, mistaken for a would-be assassin, and not only do we see Coalhouse's pain, the entire community (the New Rochelle family, the citizens of Harlem, and the immigrants) mourn her.
  • "Sarah Brown Eyes." Oh my GOSH. Coalhouse reminisces about the first time he met Sarah, quite some time after she's died. Sarah's actress reappears on stage to help visualize the reenactment, and the two sing a sweet, wholesome Meet Cute duet worthy of an animated Disney film. Then Sarah's actress sings that final, sweet, drawn-out note and disappears into the darkness, leaving Coalhouse to return to his grim reality.

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