Here’s a clip of Torontonian ivory-tinkler and multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Royal Wood singing his McCartneyesque “Juliet” as taken from the self-produced album A Good Enough Day released in 2007. Watch out! This video is a tearjerker, as if the song isn’t beautifully sad enough.
It’s hard sometimes to separate a song from a video once you’ve consumed it that way. This is certainly the case here, with the tale depicted in this video of a man in his twilight years, and in the process of saying goodbye to his love by visiting the place that once hosted their happiest moments. Much like Iron & Wine’s “Naked As We Came”, the hard truth to be found in this video is that our lives are finite, and that even in the warmth and safety of lifelong love, eventually one partner must see the other off. We must say goodbye.
Yet like most important things in this existence of ours, even death need not retain its sting as long as there is memory to sustain us. Even after happy times have slipped into the haze of history, it is our ability to store up treasures for ourselves in the present that will carry us through into the future, even through grief. But, the song itself is not about dreading the shadow of death anyway. I think it’s really about finding the poetry in the journey, about finding those treasures in life, and making them whole point of existence.
Royal Wood seems to be able to hit that emotional core without hitting us over the head. His ability to do this with economy and intelligence appears to be the primary engine to all of his material. Songwriters who invite listeners into their material by writing universal themes and by allowing those listeners to imprint their own associations on them in this way are rare, and are to be, quite simply, treasured.
You can follow Royal Wood on Twitter for up to the minute news and impressions about tours and other sundry tidbits.
Also, be sure to check out the Royal Wood official website for biographical information, for streamed music, and tour information.
Royal Wood’s new album, The Waiting is out now.