I am a big fan of music videos which try to tell meaningful tragic tales in less than 4 minutes, as they are always a guaranteed chuckle.
The apex of the genre is the video to ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’ by Ronan Keating, which sees him falling repeatedly into the path of a moving vehicle whilst singing in slow motion. His girlfriend writhes around in her sleep thinking about the incident; all the while looked over by Ronan’s ghost.
Because these kinds of stories necessarily have to be as simple as possible, they contain little-to-no-dialogue. The ‘sad things’ that happen have to be drawn as broadly as possible, so usually end up being about as subtle as The Beano.
I am quite fond of the band Nickelback, both in spite and because of the fact they are considered to be one of the worst bands ever. They can always be guaranteed to heave out a workmanlike log of a song every couple of years that will have displayed no attempt at development or differentiation whatsoever, but will nevertheless be very catchy. I find it hard to truly hate them, their unwavering commitment to musical drabness is perversely admirable, plus Chad Kroeger’s voice is quite fun to impersonate.
Nickelback alternate between two tones: ‘good time party’ and ‘serious’. Their songs sound basically the same no matter which style they are aiming for.
Lullaby is at the ‘serious’ end of the Nickelback polarity, this is clear early on from the piano intro and the fact that Chad is sat on a backwards facing chair, rather than at a party having a few brewskis with some hot babes.
The video concerns the sad tale of a married couple, who look about 20, having a baby (I am assuming they are married, because the video opens with a shot of their hands holding, clearly displaying their wedding rings). As the girl is rushed to the hospital, she gives birth to a healthy young baby, but pays a terrible price! Despite being at the optimum age for fertility and child bearing, there are complications and the girl ends up dying (I assume, there is no dialogue, she may have just wandered off).
The boy is left to bring up the baby on his own. He doesn’t waste a moment before picking up an adoption pamphlet. If the video had suggested they were teens who maybe got into this situation by accident the decision would be more agonizing, his trepidation more justifiable. Instead, this guy was married and had, presumably, consciously decided to have a baby with his wife. In that situation he almost certainly would have to have been a psychopath to give the kid away. How would he have explained that to his family and co-workers? “So sorry to hear about your wife dying John, is the baby doing well at least?” “Don’t know, gave it away, too much hassle.” “Anyone would have done the same thing in your position, John.”
In the end, after accidentally dropping his smartphone whilst changing the baby’s nappy, due to some divine intervention it flops onto a video of his wife (with an inexplicable VHS crackle), with the baby chilling out in her womb like an IED. He displays the video to his child with a creepy look on his face.
I’m fairly sure it would take more dedicated manipulation of the touchscreen to bring up the fortuitous video content that saves him from giving up the baby. The Lord moves in mysterious ways, ways that seem to keep pace with current technology.
Whilst this tragedy plays out, it is intercut with Nickelback boring on in a warehouse, slowly diffusing their audio fart, filling it to the rafters. According to Wikipedia, Kerrang! TV in the UK does not show the narrative version of the video due to its apparently distressing nature. All they show is an uncut warehouse performance video, which must be the longest 3 minutes and 45 seconds imaginable.
The most distressing thing about the video is that Chad Kroeger seems to be going for the Roland Rat look.