debbie millman

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Goose Bumps

This just in from one of my favorite sites, Very Short List, (yet another brain child of Number Seventeen):

"On paper, the group Young@Heart seems like a dubious proposition. Excuse our cynicism, but a senior-citizen choral group in Northampton, Massachusetts, that covers songs by the Clash, Radiohead, Talking Heads, and Coldplay? Um, sure. Sounds cute. And vaguely insufferable.

Then we saw this three-and-a-half minute excerpt from a documentary, also called Young@Heart, that recently aired on British television. In it, a fat, frail old man named Fred takes to the stage, his oxygen tank in tow, to sing (beautifully) “Fix You,” a Coldplay song we’ve heard a million times but have never really listened to.

It’s a simple, subdued, dignified performance, but somehow it gets to the heart of the song and outpaces the original. (Even die-hard Coldplay fans have been saying as much in their online forums.) Particularly when the chorus gets to the line “Tears stream down your face,” and Fred answers with “When you lose something you cannot replace.”

The performance was originally meant to be a duet — but Fred’s singing partner, Joe, had died of cancer two days earlier."

VSL is right (again) -- the performance is amazing.

And the original:

And the lyrics:

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down on your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home,
And ignite your bones,
And I will try to fix you,

High up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down on your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down on your face
And I

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down on your face
And I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.


Blogger brand 'em' said...

Fred’s rendition is visceral as you see a different, touching image with familiar sounds. The song is kind of autobiographical for him as well.

Love to hear his rendition of Psycho Killer.

Thank you for sharing.

12/14/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger minus five said...

i already love old people already, but this is a whole nother kind of love i have for them now. i'm thinking about being their groupie, or maybe they'll let me be their tour manager.

12/14/2006 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger brand 'em' said...

Young@Heart has a wide target audience.

minu5ive, you're onto something there ; )

12/15/2006 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Wow, i haven't ever enjoyed that song before, but that was incredibly moving. Thank you.

12/28/2006 11:22:00 PM  

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Location: new york city, United States

Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for nearly 15 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s, Colgate, Nestle and Hasbro. Prior to Sterling, she was a Senior Vice President at Interbrand and a Marketing Director at Frankfurt Balkind. Debbie is President of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at and Brand New and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on In addition to “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009, she is the author of "How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer" (Allworth Press, 2007) and “The Essential Principles of Graphic Design” (Rotovision, 2008).

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