Saving Space: City and Colour’s Sleeping Sickness

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Does seeing the "greater" narrative impact individual ones?

I have been in a few conversations recently around the topic of “shared space”.  Can we?  Should we? Do we “share space”?  Entertaining such questions immediately forces the realization that “space” is rather subjective and highly dependent on qualified boundaries.  Subjectivity aside, it seems feasible to recognize that “sharing space” is an inescapable reality of humanity.  We are either sharing it – or trying not to.

The recently released music video “Sleeping Sickness”, by pseudo-solo-collaborative-Canadian group City and Colour, provides an intriguing perspective on the topic of space.  By expounding on the still novel “interactive” music video concept , director Vincent Morisset gives the viewer the freedom (sort-of) to re-shape spacial boundaries — which is genius, by the way.  This forces new questions: Does seeing the “greater” narrative impact individual ones?  Shift the meaning?  What do we choose to see?  Choose to ignore?   These are questions that are worthy of wondering about.

While the visual narrative is both creative and vast, it does not, or should not, minimize the centrality of the song itself.  Coming from a seemingly isolated space, Dallas Green tells the story of a “breaking down” moment – a familiar story from a familiar space with a familiar plea: “Someone come/Someone come and save my life”.

We invite you to experience the video and song for yourself on City and Colour’s site (below).  If you are curious what the director chooses to “see”, watch the non-interactive version here. 

Sleeping Sickness (Lyrics)

By City and Colour (David Green)

I awoke, only to find my lungs empty
Through the night, so it seems I’m not breathing
And now my dreams are nothing like they were meant to be
And I’m Breaking Down
I think I’m breaking down

And I’m afraid to sleep because of what haunts me
Such as living with the uncertainties
They’ll never find the words to say
Which would completely explain
Just how I’m breaking down

Someone come, Someone come and save my life
Maybe I’ll sleep when I am dead
But now its like the night is taking up sides
With all the worries that occupy the back of my mind
Could it be? This misery will suffice

I’ve become, the simple souvenir of someone’s guilt
Like the sea, I’m constantly changing from calm to ill
Madness fills my heart and soul
As if the great divide could swallow me whole
Oh, how I’m breaking down (Gordon Downey Singing)

Someone come, Someone come and save my life
Maybe I’ll sleep when I am dead
But now its like the night is taking up sides
With all the worries that occupy the back of my mind
Could it be? This misery will suffice

Someone come, Someone come and save my life

Someone come, Someone come and save my life

Someone come, Someone come and save my life
Could it be? This misery will suffice