Sunday, May 19, 2019

Weekend Diversion: Someone You Loved

The video above is “Someone You Loved” by 22-year-old Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi. It’s not particularly new, but I only started seeing on our free-to-air video channel recently, and often since then. It’s a moving video, starring Peter Capaldi, who’s probably best known as the 12th incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who. I like the song, and the video, which together make a powerfully emotional thing. I’ve noticed that this kind of pop music synergy—symbiosis, really—is becoming increasingly common.

The Wikipedia entry for the song sums up the video well:
The video was made in partnership with charity organisation Live Life Give Life in order to raise awareness for the issue of organ donation. It contains a powerful message of loss and hope, telling a story of a husband who is trying to cope with the death of his wife. She became the heart donor for the young mother of another family, saving her life. Eventually the two families are brought together and the main character knows that his wife's heart continues to live on.
I read that the Capaldis are second cousins once removed, which apparently means that one is the child of the other's second cousin, or else is one's parent's second cousin. The first sounds more plausible to me, though I have no idea. Still, it made me look up what the relationship is and that's—well, a thing, though not necessarily all that interesting or particularly useful. If I need to find out again, I know I'll have to look it up again.

While the song was originally released as a digital download in November, 2018, and the video was released in February 2019, it was some time before it started being played on our screens. Maybe the NZ release was delayed?

In any case, as of today, the song as hit Number 7 in Australia, 64 in Canada, 7 in New Zealand (Gold), Number 1 in the UK (Platinum), and 8 on the USA’s Billboard “Bubbling on the Hot 100 Singles” chart, and also 22 on the Billboard “Adult Contemporary” chart. This is one of the few times that I’ve shared a song while it’s chart performance isn’t finished.

This song struck a chord with because of the video, and it’s not the first time that’s happened. When I was young, there was no such thing as a “music video”, though music bits on the 1960s US TV show The Monkees were surprisingly close to what some music videos would be. As I grew up, I started listening to the radio, and that alone determined whether I liked a song or not.

And then, on August 1, 1981, along came MTV. Everything changed.

I’ve written several times about how music videos influenced the music I bought, and sometimes the videos of some of those songs from the 1980s resonate as powerfully with me—or more so—than the songs themselves do. Nowadays, I often only encounter new pop music as music videos, and I may not purchase it—in fact, I can’t remember what the last music I bought was, or how long ago.

This song fits into that new reality: I really liked the song because of the video. And that’s what I meant when I talked about pop music synergy or symbiosis: It now pretty much determines whether I like a new pop song or not. Not always, of course, but often enough for it to be a “thing” for me.

At least now if I want to hear this song, I won’t have to wait for it to come up in rotation in the music video channel; I can just go to this post. That much is a relatively new thing, and, for me, a good one.

And so is this video and song.

Related: "Someone You Loved" lyrics.


rogerogreen said...

Lewis told the Record: “My dad and my aunties told me we were related to Peter a while ago, I think he’s my dad’s second cousin." Which means Lewis' dad and Peter have common great-grandparents. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/music/music-news/rising-scottish-star-lewis-capaldi-12079123

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

Makes sense—insofar as any of that sort of stuff does. I can't work it out without a chart. Or software. Especially software.