The Solo Traveller's View

David Garrett’s Your Song Serenade

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An attempted Analysis of a Musical Phenomenon – Part 12

You too may have seen YouTube footage of Your Song from David Garrett’s Classic Revolution tour, where at each event in turn he serenades a girl, selected by his manager from the audience, with Elton John’s famous love song. Did you like it? Or did you think it a cheesy stunt, thought up by an event manager eager to capitalize on David’s great appeal to women, the PR intention behind it blatantly obvious? I confess that I did. Nevertheless, David’s playful charm and joyful playing transform even this chaff to gold, and the audience loves it.

01 Your Song.jpg

“Ich würde sterben vor Glück!” – “Yo lo hubiera abrazado y nunca lo hubiera soltado!” – “I’m not a teenager anymore, but I’m afraid I might have pissed my pants if he did this to me.” – A mí me hace eso y mínimo lo abrazo, mínimo me muero, mínimo grito, mínimo lloro.” – Oh my GOD! How lucky this girl and I’m so sorry that I was not in her place!” – “Qué envidia y de la buena. Ella seguramente se siente en el paraíso.” – He is amazing. I would like to be in this girl’s place.” – “Ich würde ja vom Stuhl kippen.” – Oh, you LUCKY LUCKY girl!!!!” – “Ich glaube ich wäre in Ohnmacht gefallen.” – “Me han roto el corazón.” – I would give so much money to be her!” – “Waren bestimmt die schönsten 4 Minuten ihres Lebens. Ich würde dafür 10 Tode sterben!” – “She’s so lucky to be so near to him!” – Qué bonito … que trauma a la vez, yo quieroooo.” – Er fährt aber Charmegeschütze auf! Zauberhaft! Danke!” – “A mí me hace eso y te juro por mi madre santa que me puedo morir en paz.” – “He is awesome … And so sweet!!!!”

Numerous fans seem to regard this serenade as a celebration of romance, not as a concise portrayal of the contrived nature of all that is commonly regarded as romantic. Ah, Romance! Isn’t it so like women to set their hearts on settings in which there can be no truth?

Why do I find this routine disturbing when it delights so many? It must be because of the stark inequality written into this setup. On the one hand we have a masterly serenade by that adored star violinist, and on the other a random girl who wishes with all her heart that she were really his love and this act were genuine. But they both know it isn’t. To him, this knowledge is liberating and allows him to do his radiant best. To her, it is painful and restricting. While he is playing this beautiful love song to her, she is riveted to a chair in the glare of the spotlight. Thousands of eyes are glued to her face, enlarged on a huge screen behind her. No emotion remains hidden as she makes up her mind just how much of her inner life she is willing to share with the world. And all the while, David is playing his violin so joyfully, so flirty, so adorably – just as if Cupid himself were using her defenceless heart for target practice.

He is secure in his role, but she has no security, and no such role to cling to. In her life, this special moment is like a shooting star, here and gone in the blink of an eye. But for David and his team it is all part of the show, a routine repeated almost identically in Hamburg and Düsseldorf, in Lübeck and Nuremberg, in Magdeburg and Munich, in Rome and Vienna, in Verona, Milano, Moscow, Monterrey and Sao Paolo … And this is not a comprehensive list, you understand. This is just to give you some idea of the scope.

02 Your Song

But what about the girl, picked from obscurity for her photogenic looks and now doing her best to keep her composure? How does she cope with the sudden, searing nearness of her idol? Or with the fact that he is, for a few unforgettable moments, actually looking at her as if she were the girl of his dreams? That she suddenly feels his arm about her, leans her head on his shoulder, receives a light kiss on the side of her face … In the words of a fan: “If he did that to me, I’d die.”

The attention of the audience is focused on the girl. Her attention is focused on him. His attention is necessarily focused on his performance, as ever with complete commitment to the music. David doesn’t miss a beat and he hits no wrong notes, for his heart is unaffected. Despite the fact that he makes it look so damn easy, he is actually working, and the girl is just a pretty prop. She knows from the start that none of her natural, heartfelt responses can have a place here, and so she spends the entire time fighting them. She may hide her feelings in Germany, look for ways to express them in Russia, or fight tears of emotion in Italy. She knows she is privileged. But isn’t it a teeny-tiny bit like the privilege of an early Christian tossed to the lions for the amusement of the crowd? The whole scenario seems cruel to me, though of course it has considerable entertainment value.

I imagine that the painful joy of this experience will live in her memory for years to come, after she has received that final, gallant peck on the cheek and been waved back into the audience. How many nights will she be sobbing into her pillow, trying to recapture the magic of those moments? How often will she dream of him and long for what she knows to be impossible? What other man can hope to make her heart beat quite like it did then? How does she resume her former life?

Maybe I am wrong to be concerned. Maybe these girls really are able to take it all as the bit of lighthearted fun it is meant to be. Maybe they really don’t mind having their feelings played with in this way. Maybe they smile to themselves as they fall asleep, thinking what a lucky, lucky girl they are. After all, everyone tells them so. Maybe they feel they have been given a precious gift, to be treasured to the end of their days. And maybe it won’t interfere with their life, with their future love life, at all. I hope they don’t mind …

“I would have thrown my arms around him and never let him go,” comments one fan in ardent Spanish. But what would happen then? Think about it! Perceived as a threat to the precious violin, if not to him, such an impulsive girl would be dragged off instantly by the security team, in disgrace. And spoiling his show is not the way to David’s heart. This much we may safely assume. Another fan points out that this part of David’s performance must be hurtful to his girlfriend and that she could not be happy about it. It is surely a moot point. After all, this is just a show, staged for wide appeal and entertainment, and any girlfriend of David’s would have to know and accept it.

Other comments have suggested that these girls are not randomly picked at all but are part of the Garrett Team, or personal friends of his manager. But, observing the girls’ faces, it does seem they were unprepared for what was about to hit them. As David asks their name, where they come from and if they attend his show for the first time, there is a slight awkwardness in the exchange that would be hard to pretend. And surely even David Garrett’s team could not be made up of that many beautiful young women, for – excepting Carla from Spain, who was picked twice and set off all that speculation about how random these volunteers really are – it is indeed a different girl every time. So watch the footage and make up your own mind.

03 Your Song

By the way, David’s favourite seems to have been that classy young lady in Sao Paolo. She appears to be the only one about whom he made an indirect, appreciative comment after she had left the stage. But the one that touched me most is that sweet girl in Moscow who remained lively and natural in difficult circumstances. I hope she is recovering well … I hope they all are.

***

To be continued with David Garrett’s Film. If you click ‘follow blog via email’ you won’t miss it.
To leave your comment, please click on the little orange ‘comments’ link next to the date, at the top of each article. This will open a box for you to write in, below the other comments. (After posting, your words will disappear from sight until they have been approved.) Apparently this tiny link is not user-friendly, for there have been questions repeatedly on how to leave a comment. So I hope this helps, because I love to hear from you …

(All photographs are screenshots drawn from YouTube, for the purpose of illustration only. I trust the authors will allow this use of their picture material. No copyright infringement is intended.) 

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Author: Fabienne Wolf

writing solo traveller

15 thoughts on “David Garrett’s Your Song Serenade

  1. Nao concordo totalmente que essas meninas sejam muito sonhadoras e ingěnuas. Claro que ficam constrangidas por estar perante um įdolo, famoso, lindo e dono de muito charme. Ele faz isso com boas intençoes, pois eh dotado de bondade e tambem considero-o um homem equilibrado, nao obstante o grande sucesso conquistado.

  2. Again, THANK YOU! You have a beautiful gift of words!
    The young ladies he plays for, its a small fun part of his concerts, enjoyed by most. The girl on a stool is fine, on the couch, CHEESY, everyone looks uncomfortable. Sorry.
    A favor I must ask: would it be possible to TRANSLATE the video ‘Frau Heinrich kommt’ 21.12.2013? I have no idea what they are talking about, but their expressions are priceless.
    Checking in to buying a couple of your books, watched the tour of Germany, it was wonderful!

  3. Hi Fabienne, like all of your articles on David I have also enjoyed this one very much, especially so, as this one, how I find, is a very difficult subject to write such a lengthy article without loosing the the arc of suspense and always keeping it at an objective, but still intimate level. Well done again, dear Fabienne, looking very much forward to your next article! 🙂

  4. Totally agree with you regarding the “cheesy-ness” of this. Ties in with the dancing girls he uses, totally unnecessary and very distracting. His music is – and should be – the focus. From listening to him and watching him in interviews, he appears to be relatively low-key and surprisingly modest, so I can only think that these stunts – including the ridiculous selfies on instagram and FB – are pushed by his handlers. I think it’s a shame and cannot believe it appeals to his supporters. I gave my David-obsession a rest for a few weeks after seeing photos of him attending an event with a supposed girlfriend, a porn star. Just didn’t want to see this side of him. Then I missed hearing his music so much that I decided to separate the man from the music. I knew nothing about the private lives of most classical musicians and composers, yet I can appreciate and enjoy their works. Same with David, from now on!
    By the way, I purchased your travel book about the UK and loved it! Amazing that English is not your native language, as you are such an excellent writer in that language!

    • ” I gave my obsession David a rest for a few weeks after seeing pictures of him attending an event with rumored girlfriend -. A porn star ”

      HAHAHA …. I gave my obsession David a rest for a few weeks after seeing pictures of him with her boyfriend: JORG. See video DAVID & JORG and others.

      What madness !!!

      • It is madness – and in the long run doesn’t really matter. I’ve separated the man from the music … LOVE the music!!

  5. Eu adoro esse quadro dos shows de David! Realmente para as meninas é um momento de contos de fadas. Ali ela consegue ter um o encontro de sonhos. Mesmo que ela saiba que tudo acabará. Mas eu sou adepta de que a gente tem que aproveitar na vida tudo tudo que nos traz felicidade. Agarrar com unhas e dentes, todos os instantes, principalmente os de amor. Nessa hora, nesses exatos minutos, acontece um ato de amor, de troca de emoções, de energia que não pode ser perdido e tem sim, de ser guardado para sempre. Afinal é um momento único e vai valer a pena lembrar, com doçura e carinho. Pena que poucas possam ter esse privilégio de uma serenata de David, de ouvir os acordes divinos de seu violino só para ela, num faz de conta em que ela é a heroína!

  6. Thank God he has the support of his parents, sister and brother! Hopefully these girls have a support system, they will need one. He puts on a beautiful, healthy, entertaining concert, fulfilling for all ages! Sometimes I feel he is too driven. What do we really know? When I watch his interview & performance of Chelsea Girl, & is surprised by Chelsea, the look on his face, his reaction was overwhelming. I could be his Grandmother, I want the best for him! Time goes fast! His manager & friends around him are working with him … but also for him. People who receive the cheque want it to keep coming.

  7. Dear Fabienne thank you. Written, as always, polite, not pushy, with kindness and understanding. Many would like to be in the place of these girls, but how to sustain this happy load?

  8. It has been almost 7 months since that extraordinary moment, but my heart is again there, on that stage, wrapped by those warm lights, enchanted by Maestro David … Today I am here, with the same dream, where there isn’t a moment when I’m not overwhelmed and I wish that everyone can really live, even for a little moment, the Greatest Gift! I am perfectly aware that for HIM I’m only a blurry icon, almost non-existent, but I equally know that I will NEVER EVER forget those few minutes which have changed me forever! I never get off those steps … Thanks, dear Fabienne.
    Love, Maria.

    • Hello Maria Verazzo! Can you tell us how is the choice? They sign a contract and give instructions to do?

  9. My favorite version of this “stunt”; when his team chose a man from the audience for the serenade. All could not stop laughing, and it revealed how DG could even make that situation work for him. BTW, I’d join him on stage in a heartbeat, as this is a show. The memory would be one to last a lifetime!

  10. Dear Fabienne, thank you for this part, I was waiting for it impatiently!
    I think life of those “chosen” women is divided as “before” and “after” that moment on stage, but in a sweet way. I don’t think this might affect their (real) love life so strongly (it would be a disaster). I have similar experience on stage with a person I loved, and after that I always smile when I think of those moments. But my life remained the same, only sweetened by that sweetness.
    I admit it is difficult for me to watch those moments when women are hugged and kissed by David, I always feel stabbing in my heart. I don’t know if women who watch those moments feel like I feel, but I was honest. So I would like if his shows are without that part. But if I get a chance …!

  11. Once again you have managed to put a LOT of my feelings and thoughts into such wonderful words, Fabienne! I would say: “You took the words right out of my mouth!” I would, if I was in ANY way capable of such thoughtful writing!

    PS: Perhaps it’s needless to say, but I will: NOTHING could make me join him on stage for that stunt! Nothing!

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