With a very straightforward message, Chris Reardon’s song, Fighting Man, is a story of perseverance, and the video is a beautiful story of redemption. I want to break them down separately, because I think while being symbiotic stories, they are different beasts.
The lyrics: This song could be right at home in any number of action or sports films, with a very clear message, strong vocals, and heady, reverb laden, guitar riffs. It’s exactly what you want to hear when the protagonist is going through the rigorous training set before him by his coach, master, sensei, or whoever is teaching them their chosen practice. It is more of a man vs. nature or man vs. man situation. How much can you take from outside forces before you give up? It’s telling you to keep fighting, survive, and become immortalized as a legend in the eyes of family, peers, etc. Okay, maybe becoming immortalized is a stretch. He really means that giving up isn’t really an option, but he does say, “Don’t you ever die.”
“It’s mighty cold,
when you’re on your own,
but the wind won’t blow,
the wind won’t knock you down.”
The video: Like I said, the video and song are very cohesive stories and can definitely apply to the same person, but the video is more of a man vs. self scenario. It starts with the main character being pulled over, obviously drunk, and getting into trouble with a police officer. It breaks into showing you how despondent and distant he has been from his loved ones, succumbing to the thralls of alcoholism. The story of redemption takes place with change. The man cleans up his act, gets sober, and starts to deal with his demons. While this story could be considered a trope of sorts, tropes exist due to an excess of examples. Alcoholism runs rampant, and most cases can be traced back to tragedy like this one. While it doesn’t explicitly tell you parts of the story, I believe the man was pushed to alcoholism after the death of his daughter. He dealt with his depression like millions around the world, and drank it away. He pushed his partner away because of his actions, and you see that in the video, even though he’s cleaning up, he still has to deal with the consequences of his actions. The video ends with him in a meeting, presumably AA or a grief support group. Now, it could be that he just hasn’t gotten to a point where the ex trusts him with his daughter, but you never see the daughter in anything but a memory. With the subject matter of the song, it leads me to believe the death theory over the typical “mom has full custody because dad can’t handle himself” trope.
I know I haven’t gone into the song as much as I have the lyrics/video, but with a video this stellar, it took me away from the normal train of thought that I have when writing these reviews. Chris Reardon is a stellar multi-instrumentalist who covers a wide range of genres with his music, and he does them all equally well. I’ve never done this before, but I’m posting an extra video below. I just want you to check out the range on this guy. Also, Chris is from the UK, and I’m currently sitting in an airport in Boston, having just returned from Northern Ireland. This video makes me want to go back already.
Chris Reardon’s song hasn’t been picked up by a movie, to my knowledge, but I’m calling it now. By the year 2020, this song will be part of a montage (or at least part of the end credits) in a sports or action movie. It is too fitting to sit idly by and watch the fight from the sidelines.
See what I did there? Yeah, I know I SHOULD be embarrassed by the lame joke, but you don’t know me well if you think that’s enough to turn my cheeks red.
Okay, I’m going to go watch Rocky now.