Bic Runga “Sway”

1997-bic-runga-swayThe better known “Sway” video is the American version aka “Love Theme From American Pie”. It’s the black and white vid where Bic mooches over a shaggy-haired hipster called Jones who works in an Italian deli. As well as using a punchier mix of the song, that video largely focuses on Bic, introducing her to the international pop world. (Director Karen Lamond, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

But before that, there was the locally made “Sway” video, directed by Joe Lonie. Shot in vivid colour, the video focuses on Bic playing with her band, both in a cool inner-city apartment and on stage at a bar. We also catch a glimpse of Bic frolicking on a west coast beach, shot like a home video.

Somehow Bic seems a lot older in this video than the American version. I think it’s down to her heavy makeup, bulky clothing and her older bandmates. In the other version, she’s a gamine pixie girl.

In the bar scenes, Bic and band play to a small crowd of slow-dancing couples. It feels like the end of an evening where everyone is a bit wasted and has fallen in the arms of whoever’s nearest.

In Bic Runga’s New Zealand pop career this was her third single, so it makes sense that the video would try something different from the “here’s Bic” of the previous two. But this video feels cluttered, like there are too many bit players filling up the screen. She’s still the star but is treated like one of many items of interest.

Best bit: Bic’s giant op shop jacket, the uniform of a good ’90s girl.

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the ruins of modern civilisation.

4 thoughts on “Bic Runga “Sway””

    1. I’m making a list of cigarettes in music videos. What once seemed so casual and cool now seem outrageous.

  1. Never knew/connected that there was an earlier version of this song. Very different to the one I know and quite like.

  2. There’s actually a third video for this, a surreal one with Bic walking in the snow with a baby stroller. It was actually the one I saw on TV first. Wish someone could track that one down and upload it for archive’s sake, even Bic seemed to have forgotten/ignored this version!

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