‘We’re just two grown men saying goodbye’
British singer-songwriter James Blunt is best known for his sentimental heartbreak ballads “You’re Beautiful” and “Goodbye My Lover,” but his latest single “Monsters,” a tribute to his ailing father, is his rawest and most poignant yet.
In his devastating new “Monsters” music video, an anguished Blunt, in an extreme close-up reminiscent of Sinead O’Connor’s iconic, one-take “Nothing Compares 2 U” clip, stares down the lens, his eyes welling up with tears, as he sings: “I’m not your son, you’re not my father/We’re just two grown men saying goodbye… So Daddy, won’t you just close your eyes?/Don’t be afraid, it’s my turn/To chase the monsters away.”
Blunt struggles to maintain his composure throughout the first half of video, so much much so that it’s almost uncomfortable to witness. And when the camera finally cuts to a wider shot, it becomes clear why he is so distraught, that he isn’t acting, and that his tears are very real. Sitting stoically beside him is his real-life dad, former cavalry officer Colonel Charles Blount, who is battling stage 4 chronic kidney disease.
Last year on Good Morning Britain, Blunt spoke of his father’s serious illness and made a plea to possible organ donors, saying: “I’ve come on here to ask you what blood group you are. Some things have been going on in my life that I needed to write about. My father has not been very well, actually. He needs a new kidney and a kidney donor. And I’ve come on here to ask you what blood group you are. If you are an O-positive, I’ll take it off you.” (Blunt revealed that, sadly, he is not a match.)
On the same U.K. morning program, Blunt spoke of the experience of writing “Monsters” after learning of his father’s kidney disease, explaining: “Really that has been an amazing moment, because when you realize your father’s mortality, it’s a great opportunity to say the things I’d like to say to him.”
Fans, particularly those who have lost a parent or who are preparing to say goodbye to a sick parent, have taken to social media to praise the touching video, which went viral after William Shatner tweeted it to his 2.5 million followers.
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