As anyone who has ever brought a child into the world knows, life is a wild roller-coaster of emotions: tear-splattered rage, laughter-filled joy, lip-quivering sadness, and thanks-for-the-bottle contentedness. All of the preceding packed into a five-minute window somewhere in the neighbourhood of 30 times a day. Thank God for nap time.
And, as any adult who’s ever been a kid knows (which to say everyone but Benjamin Button), time’s a weird thing when you’re little. Twelve days might as well be 12 years, which explains why it once seemed like you were never going to finish elementary school. And let’s not even get started on the year-long-and-counting COVID-19 pandemic, which no matter what your age has seemingly stretched on for 12 centuries.
Childhood, time, and endless days at home all factor into the video for “Lay Low” by Dan Mangan.
The Vancouver singer-songwriter describes the video as follows: “Shot over the span of a year during a global pandemic, we follow the experience of a toddler confronting emotions of frustration, sadness, fear and happiness amidst life in lockdown.”
As for the star of the show, she was amore than familiar with “Lay Low” before the filming started.
In his director’s statement Deryn Robson writes:
“I had the pleasure of connecting with Dan almost a year ago when he reacted to an Instagram story of August, my then 2 year old child singing along to Lay Low. Dan’s music had become a staple within our “quarantines playlist”. August particularly loved the song, and would sing along unaware of the meaning or how it related to our current context.
As was the case for many people, the slow down in work and the sudden, jarring pause to normal life provided lots of time for introspection and observation. It immediately became apparent to me that much of my own internalized feelings of uncertainty, frustration and fear were freely expressed by August on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. August, or Auggie as he would introduce himself, provided us with a perfect abstraction of our own, sometimes unspeakable frustrations with the world we suddenly find ourselves in as we grapple with an uncertain future and a past we cant return to.
As you watch, pause to think about the reality that the three minutes and 18 seconds out of your life will be roughly equivalent to three days for those watching through a small child’s eyes. Except maybe Benjamin Button.