Up until now, the success of OneRepublic’s 2013 album Native has been based on the overwhelming popularity of “Counting Stars” and “If I Lose Myself.” As a result, the rest of the album has taken a back seat. The music video for “I Lived,” however, makes the previously unknown quite difficult to overlook. “I Lived” is an inspiring tribute, paying homage to those battling medical challenges.
The video’s documentary-like opening is far from what is expected of OneRepublic. It features Bryan Warnecke, a 15-year-old Cystic Fibrosis patient, who goes on to describe the nature of his illness and the daily treatment he receives. Paired with distressing footage of Warnecke connected to a breathing machine, the introduction of the simple, somewhat uplifting song develops into a truly heart-wrenching moment. The lyrics are especially moving when we later learn that Bryan may not live past the age of 26, reminding the viewer that Warnecke is sadly running out of time.
OneRepublic cannot be faulted for its attempt to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and encourage watchers to donate money to its cause, but the scene in which the band is playing live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre is ironic and incongruous. It detracts from the beautiful sentimentality of Warnecke’s home video-clips included throughout. These alone convey the most important aspect of the video: even as a young boy prone to falling down, Warnecke has always managed to pick himself back up. The video’s message is made clear—life does go on and he is indeed making the most of the time he has left.
Featured Image Courtesy of Interscope Records