Storyteller

“On a bridge across the Serven on a Saturday night, Susie meets the man of her dreams
He said that he got in trouble and if she doesn’t mind, he doesn’t want the company
But there’s something in the air, they share a look in silence and everything is understood”

 

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Hurts “Wonderful Life” still

They say life is short, if this is so, then aside from living, stories are our only other window to try to explore this magnificently larger-than-life world of wonder.

“Wonderful Life” is a song by English synthpop duo Hurts, in the song, frontman Theo Hutchcraft tells the story of a suicidal man standing on the Serven bridge, ready to jump off but is stopped by the strike of love at first sight when a lady finds him there…

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“Wonderful Life” video still

“They see each other and fall in love, She basically says ‘Come with me, it’s all going to be fine'”

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I think we’ve all come across a quote that goes along the lines of: Money isn’t everything though we all want to find that out ourselves as we strive for gold.
As short as it is, time/life will always find a way to tell  the worst of us to the best of us, i.e the man on the highest of horse of the truth about Earthly treasures and when such happens… it doesn’t always end well. “Wonderful Life” is a perfect example of this, the line “cries into the leather seat” not only implies wealth (despite the sadness) but reminds me of some of my friends who always say it’s much better to cry inside a Rolls-Royce than a VW Polo… but that’s a discussion for another time.

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“Wonderful Life” video still

Stories are everywhere, books, newspapers, movies, pictures, hell, stories fuel us to meeting new people, not only do we get to make new stories and experiences with the people we meet, but we also get to hear their own past stories.

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“Wonderful Life” video still

In the last few years we got to hear quite a few songs that are not only based on stories but songs that actually tell stories in length, I’ll go ahead and mention a few…

With lyrics like: In the night I hear ’em talk, the coldest story ever told, somewhere far along this road he lost his soul… “Heartless” by Kanye West is bound to catch and pull in the listener… there have been a few more with that effect, “Someone Like You” by Adele was a big one, (word was, she “heard” that he settled down… juicy story… well, I don’t know). Ed Sheeren exploded into the scene with “The A Team”, the song (esp the video) tells a story about a crack-addicted prostitute… “How To Love” by Lil Wayne also tells a very interesting story about a social issue us humans would rather not talk about, “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem featuring Rihanna is also an ear novel with a beat and a quarter-third.

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“The River” video still

A story  told locally I’d like to share today is well… a story… actually it’s two separate stories of people who seemingly had no hope, but they both found their hope “down by The River”
sung by Nhlanhla Majozi, “The River” is meant to uplift and pass on the word of God no matter where you are in life and of course let people know that there is hope and an open invitation to a greater story.

“Everyone is invited, and you can come as you are.”

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“The River” video still

Unlike the other songs I’ve mentioned here, Mojazi’s “The River” music video starts off with smiles, though there may be one or two emotionally concerning scenes, happiness seems to be the dominant tone, which makes me question my understanding of the lyrics. The song itself seems to be about a man with a weak liver, he may or may not live to see the next. It also appears to be about a seventeen year old girl who’s forced by her dad to prostitute in order to support the family.

“If she don’t deliver, well then her daddy puts her down”

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“The River” video still

“…And all the make-up can’t protect her eyes from all the evil that she has seen”- Majozi

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“The River” video still

Though it is unclear from the lyrics, the music video (story) does have a happy ending… yes, that’s something we all want to believe in.

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    “The River” video still

Didn’t mention your favourite story telling song?

Feel free to share.

“Stories give shape to experience and allow us to go through life un-blind. Without them, the stuff that happens would float around in some glob and none of it would mean anything. Once you have a version of what happened, all the other good stuff about being human can come into play. You can laugh, feel awe, commit a compassionate act, get pissed and want to change things”

 

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About Ndumiso Mncwabe

When beautiful melodies tell us horrible things and grisly sounds tell us the kind truth. This is where life and music meet. They say music has the power to inspire change, I say music has the power to inspire vibes. Good vibes and bad vibes. It also has the power to inspire thoughts, but most importantly, for it to inspire change, it must inspire conversation. I smell music, I speak music. View all posts by Ndumiso Mncwabe

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