30 Day Song Challenge: Day 19: A song from your favourite album

28 04 2011

Vanessa Carlton is awesome.

“Who’s To Say” — Vanessa Carlton

28 10 2010

I’ve been listening to this song on repeat for the last week or so, which I don’t normally do with any song.  Whenever I listen to it, I imagine it as a music video that goes along the lines of this:

Stand up straight.
Do your trick, turn on the stars;
Jupiter shines so bright when you’re around

A young guy is at the piano.  He’s lipsynching to the song, singing it.  It’s morning, and everything is oversaturated with whites and yellows, bright colors.  Obviously it’s sunny and it’s morning.

They tell us slow down.
We’re too young, “you need to grow”
Well, speed’s the key,
And they don’t know who we are.

The young guy walks down the street with his boyfriend, while people around him give them looks.  Someone tells them, “you need to grow” and he replies, “Well, speed’s the key.”  They continue walking down the street, content with each other as people look on, ignorant of who they are.

And who’s to say
We’re not good enough?
Who’s to say
that this is not our love?

The young man sits watching the news on TV.  People are protesting same-sex marriage, holding up signs that say gay people don’t deserve it, that they should go to hell, etc.  Mean things.  He watches as new reporters interview some people, who seem really angry and wave their signs around.  Insert some shots of gay people on the street also protesting, holding hands, in tears.

Mother, don’t tell me friends are the ones that I lose
’cause they bleed before you

and sometimes family are the ones you choose.
It’s too late now,
I hold onto this life I’ve found

The young man sits at a dinner table, talking with his mother.  She scolds him about being in a relationship (“Friends are the ones that [you] lose, ’cause they bleed before you”, “sometimes family are the one s you choose”) while he tries to reason with her (“It’s too late now, I hold onto this life I’ve found”).  The camera dips below the table and he’s holding hands with his boyfriend, who is giving him strength even though he’s not there.

And who’s to say we won’t burn it out?
Who’s to say we won’t sink in doubt?
Who’s to say we won’t fade to grey?
Who are they anyway
anyway, they don’t know.

He keeps reasoning with his mother — not in an angry, “why don’t you understand me?!” teenager way, but in a “Well, mom, who’s to say?”  Intercut this with more shots of him and his boyfriend with saturated background, sunlight pouring around them as they lean in with closed eyes and also intercut with more images from the TV of couples holding hands, protesting their right to marry.

And you say we’re too young but maybe you’re too old to remember,
And I try to pretend but I just feel it when we’re together.
And if you don’t believe me you never really knew us.
You never really knew.

The young man at the dinner table still, telling his parents bluntly how they don’t remember what it is like to be young and in love, as they only stare back at him.  At “You never really knew”, they get up from the table and walk away from him.  The camera pulls back as they leave, leaving him sitting all alone at the table.  Fade to black.

You and I, packing up my room
We feel alright.
But we’re not welcome
Soon, we’ll be driving
’cause they don’t know who we are.

The couple pack up his room.  There are slight moments when they have a laugh but they more or less pack without any emotion.  It’s not really a day to be happy nor sad.  Bittersweet.  The parents watch from the doorway, trying to hide their disappointment and also sadness at watching their son leave.  The young man picks up a picture frame of him and his family.  At “but we’re not welcome”, he turns to his parents in the doorway and puts the picture back down, not packing it.

At “soon, we’ll be driving”, the couple drive away from the house as it gets smaller and smaller in the mirror.

Who’s to say we won’t stay together?
Who’s to say we aren’t getting stronger?
Who’s to say I can’t live without you?
Who are they anyway?
Anyway, they don’t know.

Intercut with flashfowards of the couple moving in to their new place, more with the protest on television, and the couple with the light around them.  At “I can’t live without you” they’re both in tuxedos, getting married.  He lipsynchs to his boyfriend the line, which is also cut with the young man at the dinner table again, telling his parents who they are for telling him otherwise.

And they say we’re too young but maybe you’re too old to remember
And I try to pretend but I just feel it when we’re together
Who’s to say?
Who’s to say?
Who are they anyway?

Intercut more scenes with people at the protest saying, “maybe you’re too old to remember”, and “I just feel it when we’re together” with the couple in the car, driving to their future, as well as the wedding.  At the “Who’s to say?”, the young man asks his parents, his husband at their wedding, to the camera at the protest on tv, and lastly, with the light around them.  At “Who are they anyway?” the young guy looks directly into the camera and mouths the words.

Stand up boy,
I shine so bright when you’re around.

Back to the first scene, where it’s morning and the young man is playing piano and singing.  His boyfriend (not yet husband) comes into the room, smiling.  The young man stops playing and smiles back.  He gets up from the piano, walks over to him and kisses him.


Anyway, that’s roughly what I think about whenever I hear this song.  I sometimes think about how awesome it would be to see this made into a music video and then I think that I should be the one to do it since I’m sort of a director (reluctantly) but it’s just too much work, I think.  Also, something like this would require a budget, of which I have none.  Oh, I forgot to mention that whenever I hear this and think about the story, it makes me cry.  I think there’s a good idea behind anything if it can make me cry…