Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dancy's Dream

Yesterday, we looked at a case where a music video enhanced a song and made it even more memorable. Today, we're going to deal with the flipside and examine a case where a music video actually detracts from a song. I have a particular interest here, since the song in question is one of my favorites. However, the video almost ruins it.

Restless Heart was a band that had a fair amount of success on the country charts, but they were pop-tinged country. While I'd be hard-pressed to pick my choice for their best song, one that always stood out to me was "Dancy's Dream". I'm grateful I never got to see the video until just a couple of years ago. It takes the tale spun by the lyrics and stands it on its head.

In the song itself, the story seems pretty clear to me. The titular Dancy is a good, church-going man with a secret. His secret is a woman from his past that he can't forget. With the references to both "sins" and his "pretty hometown bride", the implication is that he had a one-night stand with her. Apparently, it was just a single indiscretion, but it still haunts him.

Then we see the video, and, uh, it doesn't play out the way the song describes. The performance aspect is fine, but I knew we were in trouble when the song references a church and we find ourselves in a revival tent. Dancy is an old man, which wasn't quite what I gathered from the song but no big deal. However, those flashbacks. That's not really the story. It doesn't even make much sense!

My feeling is that this video was crafted in this way to placate a segment of the theoretical audience. The message it seems to communicate is that it's OK to show murder, but God forbid we depict adultery. Or even worse, two people have meaningless, passionate sex. Can't have that. Better to have a crazy guy with a knife get killed!

"Dancy's Dream" is a great song, and Restless Heart was/is a great band. But the video for "Dancy's Dream"? It's not one I especially like. Too bad.

"Dancy's Dream" by Restless Heart

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