James Blunt is an award-winning English singer-songwriter and record producer who is probably best known for the single, “You’re Beautiful.” Blunt recently released a deeply personal, new video for Monsters. Blunt’s father, Charles Blount, is battling stage 4 kidney disease and will die if he does not get a donor kidney.
In the video, Blunt’s eyes flood with tears as he sings to us, his audience. About midway through the song, the camera pans out and we see that James is actually sitting next to his father, as he sings.
The Lyrics to Monsters
The lyrics are devastating, but so relatable to those of us who have reached this stage with our parents. The song speaks of forgiveness and the passage of time, but mostly about the love between a son and his father.
Here is the powerful refrain,
I’m not your son, you’re not my father
We’re just two grown men saying goodbye
No need to forgive, no need to forget
I know your mistakes and you know mine
But, to me the most shattering lyric of all is this one,
And while you’re sleeping I’ll try to make you proud
So, Daddy, won’t you just close your eyes?
Don’t be afraid, it’s my turn
To chase the monsters away
Because isn’t there a child in all of us who is forever striving to please our parents, trying to make them proud whether they are alive or not, whether we are 5 or 55? And the role reversal that comes at the end is so poignant, so painful and yet, so beautiful.
Blunt goes on to assure his father that he is now the caretaker, and that James will stay with his dad until he passes. He tells his dad that he has tidied up after him, folded his clothes, put them on the chair. And then he tells him to sleep well and not to be afraid; James will be the last one at his side and he will “leave a light on.”
When done well, there is a lifetime of things to say to a dying parent and yet, nothing at all. We are all terribly flawed people, parents and children alike. At the end, what remains is love. As the video ends, Blunt’s father places a loving hand on his son’s arm and we are left to wonder, who is comforting whom?
On his Instagram account, Blunt posted,
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