I had intended to talk about a different video today but I feel like there won’t be many more occasions of a new U2 video, so I decided that I should take advantage of the opportunity and write about the promotional video for U2’s new song, “Your Song Saved My Life.” The video is about a handful of young people who have had their lives changed by performing music. I find that in most cases, the strength of a song is somewhat diminished by having to split my attention between the audio and video when I am watching a music video. In this case, however, things are a little different. I think that this song is actually made stronger by the video, which is very moving. I especially identified with Jose, the first young man who was showcased. He says that he suffers from anxiety and, later on, that if his mom was anxious so was he. That last bit really affected me, because I am still the same way now. Not so much with my mom, but with my wife. The two of us have such a strong connection that I can tell immediately if something is even slightly off in her world, and I feel whatever she’s going through. In the same way, I felt for each of these kids in this video. At the end of the video, it was clear that, with the help of music, they had, at least for the moment, overcome their problems and were on their way to becoming functioning human beings.
It is clear that Bono, especially, identifies with these young people because of the difficulties that he faced when he was young. I’m sure that on some parallel world out there, Paul Hewson didn’t survive his teen years because, for whatever reason, he chose not to attend that meeting at Larry’s House in September 1976. Like the song says “I sing it to survive,” and I think that’s Bono in a nutshell. Some people sing or paint, others model or even obsess over an Irish rock band, but most of us have something that gets us through the tough times. Without those things, life would be dreary and lacking in purpose. I have to give high marks to this new video for the reasons that I listed above, but it isn’t perfect. I really wish that we had gotten more of the young people performing the song. Maybe even a slow fade at the end from the U2 version of the track to an instrumental version of the song as performed by the youngsters. That’s a pretty small criticism for such a strong piece of work, and overall I find that the video is one of the most emotionally affecting in all of U2’s videography.
Next week, I’ll be taking a look at the promo video for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” I’ll warn you ahead of time that I have some mixed feelings about it, so don’t expect a glowing recommendation. Until then, have a great week, and thanks for reading.
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