Regardless of genre or classification, music videos have become a medium of their own with vast and unique storytelling abilities, all being able to be shown in a matter of a few minutes. While some of the many music videos, such as Prodigy’s “Smack My B**** Up” can garner extreme controversy due to it’s graphic depictions of vices of all types, other videos such as “The Scientist” by Coldplay can tell a heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, regret and an undeniable urge to go “back to the start.”


Whether they’re more humorous like the many hilarious videos from Foo Fighters or more somber ones like Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”, you can’t deny that more often than not, the video is sometimes remembered more fondly than the song itself by adding an additional layer of story that an equally as brilliant song can’t. And on the subject of somberness, one genius video tells an all too real story in arguably the most heart-wrenching way.


The video for “Little Motel” by the well-established band Modest Mouse debuted in 2007 as part of their album “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank”. In terms of music video beginnings, this music video begins somewhat normally by a single mother tucking her son into the bed of a small motel room. As the video continues though, the viewer begins to realize that the story of the video is being told backwards, similar to Coldplay’s “The Scientist.”



The mother is then shown carrying her son from the hotel room to a car and shows her renting the very same motel room the boy was previously sleeping in. From there, they drive around the bright city of Reno as the heartbreaking yet hauntingly beautiful song plays in the background. She stops in a parking garage to have a cigarette, is shown filling up on gas and even stops to have food at a diner, all while her son lies motionless.


In fact, her son hasn’t moved without the assistance of his mother throughout the course of the video.


Any optimistic person would naturally assume that the child is simply in a deep sleep while his mother runs a few errands. However, as the increasingly depressing video resumes, the horrifying truth surrounding this woman’s late night escapades with her son is revealed in the most tragic of ways.



As the video comes to a conclusion after slowly but effectively building up to the crescendo of sadness, the mother is seen running backwards with her son in her arms. But what cements this video as one of the saddest is the location which the mother is running around.


As expected given the vegetative state of her son, the mother is running through a hospital. While she runs through the hospital, a brief flashback segment shows a brighter time in which the mother and son play happily in a park. In reverse, she’s shown to have taken her dying son out of the hospital to enjoy one last night together after he flatlines and passes away from an unknown illness. The video ends with tears receding into the mother’s eyes.


The video, as well as the rest of the album, recently turned 10 years old. Maybe it’s an appropriate time to see easily one of the saddest music videos ever produced.


Are you a Modest Mouse fan? Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff and we’ll talk about them.