I had planned this morning to write about the new Ellie Goulding song, but that will have to wait. Instead, I have to tell you about “What a Beautiful Day,” the new ballad from Australian singer-songwriter Brett Every that’s told from the perspective of a gay man on his wedding day. In less than 4 minutes, Every describes so much love… the love the grooms feel for each other, the love the families feel for the grooms, the love between two people that’s supported by a community of friends. And no, Every’s voice is not as beautiful as this story—he’s got a Tom Waits growl—but somehow, that makes the story seem more authentic. It’s like a guy who can’t really sing was so moved by his marriage that he had to go ahead and start singing. It’s like the joy was too strong to be kept inside, so he started making a joyful noise.
And to top it all off, the video (which I discovered thanks to Towleroad), is an absolutely charming cartoon. And again, that makes the story feel even more real to me. Because instead of watching actors who may or may not be able to capture my understanding of the feelings being described, I get to watch animated characters with basic expressions… which means I can project my feelings onto them. Does that make sense? These stick people with their stick haircuts and stick champagne make it so much easier for this song to seem universal. These cartoons can be a vessel for just about anyone’s joy.
If you’ve been reading NewNowNext for a while, then you’ll know I’m getting married to a man very soon. (In less than three weeks!) Obviously, I’m susceptible to the powers of a gay marriage folk ballad with a cute cartoon attached. But dammit… this video still gets it right, and even if you’re not getting married soon, I bet it will move you.
Mark Blankenship tweets as @IAmBlankenship. He has written about gay rights and politics for The New York Times, The Advocate, Out, and American Theatre