Elbow’s video for their single “Magnificent (She Says)” makes me think of Gandalf’s final line in The Lord of the Rings: “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are evil.” (Page 1007 in my single-volume hardcover edition.) The song itself is gorgeous, and I have listened to it many times since its debut earlier in the month. The video created for the song, offering a look at life in Myanmar, with all of its mystery and wonder, as seen through the eyes of a little girl, I find poignant and quite moving.
I am not unaware of the political and human rights issues in Myanmar; the country is one of the world’s most repressive regimes, embroiled in civil wars for much of the last fifty years, and the ongoing suppression of the country’s Rohingya minority is a human right calamity. I admit, that makes me a little uncomfortable to share the song’s video because I know, just beyond the innocence of the narrative, there are darker and intractable issues afoot in the country. Yet, the video fills me with a sense of hope. I don’t overlook the darkness, but I can see the possibility of a better, kinder future.
The new Elbow album, Little Fictions, is out in February. I’m looking forward to it.