This was one of two songs that were included, in the form of surprisingly well-sung demos by composer Cy Coleman, on the CD re-release of the Barnum cast album, and were so obviously lovely that fans immediately wondered why they had ever been cut. Granted, both this and “So Little Time” (the other song in question) were ballads, which are often trimmed because they tend to slow down the pace of the show, especially in large numbers. But frankly, Barnum was an unbelievably frantic and exuberant show that actually could have used a few more ballads to provide the audience with a chance to catch its breath. And like most of the ballads in the finished show, this song is actually pretty extroverted as old-style Musical-Comedy ballads go. It serves as a kind of counterpart to the explosively joyous “Out There” at the end of the first act (this song was supposed to be the second-act opener). Both are songs about risk, but “Out There” is an exhilarating anthem about how life without risks is not really living, whereas “At Least I Tried” is the ‘no regrets’ philosophy of a man who has to face the consequences of his failed gamble. And given that this was ultimately replaced by a reprise of the show’s weakest song, “Love Makes Such Fools of Us All”, it might have actually been wiser to keep it. In fact, since Barnum isn’t one of those all-time classics that it would be sacrilege to tamper with, I’d argue that the next revival should try re-inserting this one, and see what happens.