Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy Dance Friday #112 - Sovereign Light Cafe

I'm going back to a time when we owned this town
Down Powdermill lane in the battlegrounds
We were friends and lovers and clueless clowns

- Sovereign Light Cafe, Keane

Do not ask me how many times I've seen this video, because I can't count that high. The name of the song drew me in at first - could this be about a place that's a character in itself? (It is, and it's a real place, though the website is still under construction, it would seem.) One of my favorite tropes right there, and with such an evocative name, I couldn't resist.

Every time I watch this, I find new things - the Union Jack flag on the parked bicycle at 1:57 and hey, where did the guy in the beanie at 2:39 come from? I'd kept all my attention on the couple with the ice cream in that shot the last dozen times. There are two gentlemen practicing martial arts, but one wears a black belt (high level of achievement) and the other a white belt (beginner) - are they teacher and student?

The melody is lovely, gently upbeat and hopeful, the lyrics implying both a troubled past and a homecoming with good intent, but it's the varied characters that catch my attention the most. The stern, intense concentration of a young male gymnast. A ballerina poised against the grey of sea and sky. Trick bicycle riders and acrobats doing somersaults through the air. A line of costumed belly dancers in front of changing cabanas wave their brilliantly covered scarves. The dancer who gets the closeup? A woman of experience, shall we say? I think she's gorgeous. Rock on, madam.

That's what makes this song worthy of the happy dance title. A wide variety of people, each doing their own thing. Antique cars drive along the same beach where a white horse gallops. Antique big wheeled bicycles traverse the sidewalk. Old friends need to say nothing, only be there for each other. Members of the band pose on benches or against walls, solo, while the singer, our narrator, strolls the seaside, eventually leading a scarlet-coated marching band to the cafe. There, everybody can gather at the end of the day; teens and pensioners, singers and athletes coming together to watch the night settle. Add to that our narrator coming home to those who know him -possibly to reunite with a long lost love?- and will presumably take him as he is? Bliss, and definitely something for the idea file.

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