This is a love song. Chris Knox might be best known for his iconic love song “Not Given Lightly”, but “My Only Friend” takes things to a whole nother level, with his heartfelt declaration of love for his then partner Barbara Ward.
The video has the usual DIY feeling of Chris’ previous solo and Tall Dwarfs video, but there’s a real sense of vulnerability here in both the song and the visuals.
The video consists of film projected onto different parts of Barbara’s body. It starts with a simple animation of two hands passing a love heart, projected on Barbara’s belly. In another animation, a hand caresses her skin. It’s pretty cute.
But things get more personal. Chris’ face is projected on the side of Barbara’s head. As the song progresses, we also see Chris’ face projected onto Barbara’s face, with almost perfect alignment, making two become one. The song is about having an all-consuming love for another person and the video depicts this with raw honestly. It works in both general terms and also as a very personal, very specific statement.
It’s sad to watch this now and to know that Barbara and Chris are no longer a couple, but I look to the title of the song – “my only friend”. I get the feeling that while they may no longer be sweet lovers in the night, that friendship remains.
Best bit: the animated hand stroking the real belly button.
Director: Chris Knox
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… drop me out!