Prepared

Collaborator: N/A

Song Type: , ,

Associated Artists: Tituss Burgess, Jeremy Jordan

Several of you have written to me requesting more information about how “Prepared” was meant to function in THE DANGER YEAR. There’s a character (ADAM) who is a young man (29) raised by a single mom. And she’s been seriously ill for a long time, so a lot of his 20s have been about taking care of her and having to pass up on the kinds of things young men might otherwise be able to do (taking a job in another city, not coming home at night, being reckless in any way…). Earlier in the show he’s wrestled with that, but he’s always been there for his mom. And then, rather unexpectedly, she dies. I mean, he’s expected it because she was so sick, but he didn’t expect it that day, that week, that moment. This song was written to be what he says at her funeral, from a podium, to a gathering of loved ones that includes the girlfriend he couldn’t follow when she moved to another city. She came home for the funeral and he’s surprised — but happy — to see her there. There’s this horrible sadness about what he’s lost, but also the possibility for his own freedom for the first time in a long time. So he’s working through all of that, in front of other people, and it’s all very heightened and emotional.
Obviously you can interpret the song however you find it works best for you, but hopefully that backstory will give you someplace to start. The song is very definitely about loss and how you can’t know until you experience it just what it’s going to feel like.

LYRICS:
ALL OF HER PAPERS WERE IN ORDER;
NOTHING WAS LEFT UNSIGNED.
WE HAD THE HARD CONVERSATIONS
ABOUT WHAT SHE WAS LEAVING BEHIND.
THERE WERE SOME MOMENTS OF LAUGHTER.
SHE PROMISED SHE WASN’T SCARED,
BUT I WASN’T PREPARED.
I WASN’T PREPARED.

WE TALKED TO THE DOCTORS AND LAWYERS.
I MADE SURE HER WISHES WERE KNOWN.
WE CRIED AND WE PRAYED TOGETHER,
AND THEN I WAS CRYING ALONE.
NOTHING COMPARES TO THE SILENCE,
ERASING THE LIFE WE SHARED.
YOU CAN’T BE PREPARED.
YOU CAN’T BE PREPARED.

EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT LOSS
LIKE IT’S PART OF A STORY —
A GAME WE MUST PLAY.
THERE’S DEATH AND DESPAIR IN THE NEWS EVERY DAY.
HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T CATCH YOUR EYE-
HUNDREDS OF STRANGERS WHO QUIETLY DIE-
ONE SOLE COMPANION
YOU NEVER IMAGINED WOULD GO.
BUT WHAT DID YOU KNOW?

STRANGE HOW THE SUN KEEPS ON SHINING.
WHAT A FALSE MESSAGE IT SENDS.
PART OF THE SAGA OF LIVING
IS LEARNING THAT EVERYTHING ENDS.
SHE ASKED ME TO LET HER GO QUICKLY,
SAID THAT’S WHAT I’D DO IF I CARED.
BUT I’M UNPREPARED.
I’M SO UNPREPARED.

YOU’RE NEVER PREPARED.
YOU’RE NEVER PREPARED.