Video Review: Bobby McFerrin “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

Bobby McFerrin sits barefoot in a chair in his family room, whistling He moves his toes to the beat and laughs. Russ Irwin, McFerrin and Robin Williams dance together in front of the fireplace.

McFerrin points to a young man (also McFerrin), smoking his pipe and reading the newspaper. The young man finished the article and freaked out. His stocks are gone and he’s bankrupt. He walks to his window and steps on the ledge. In the corner, McFerrin sings in a small circle. The young man jumps, his feet lifting up from shoes. McFerrin grins in the chair.

Irwin walks past him in his bathrobe and sits on his bed in the living room. He bounces on the edge of it as McFerrin sings in a small a circle above him. Irwin answers the phone and tosses it. The goldfish bowl falls from a dresser and he puts his hands out to catch it.

Williams smiles. He walks up to a car and knocks on the window. McFerrin, sitting on top of the car, watches as he gives the man inside the car some money and waits. In his small circle in the corner, McFerrin runs his hand over his cheeks. Williams, after realizing he’s been conned, begins to dance.

Irwin, McFerrin and Williams continue to dance in front of the fireplace. In the small corner, McFerrin dances. McFerrin kicks one leg up in the air. They all run from end to end. Irwin flaps his arms. They lift one leg up and hop along together. McFerrin shrugs in his small circle.

Rating: 3/5

People have fallen on hard times. A man lost his investments in the stock market and is now penniless. He gives up on life and commits suicide. A second man was evicted from his apartment. He was late on the rent. He moved in with McFerrin and looks for another job. His goldfish nearly crashes on the floor. However, he reaches for it. The goldfish seems to be all he’s living for lately. A third man is desperate for money and hands over half of his paycheck as payment to get rick quick. However, he’s scammed.

Bobby McFerrin believes that as long as people hang onto to hope, this too shall pass. The first man could’ve gotten a job at a store, working minimum wage. He wouldn’t ever be rich again but it’ll be steady work. The second man staying with McFerrin misses having his own place and thinks he’s intruding. McFerrin told him to stay for as long as he needs. The third man, though, thinks if he plays the lottery or gets involved in a pyramid scheme, a windfall will occur and his anxiety will go away.

Irwin and Williams have a child-like naivete to them. They seem to think people overall are good-natured and looking out for their best interests. Irwin believed his landlord’s lies. Williams falls for every hyberbolic line, ignoring the warnings. The first man, though, has allowed his greed to harden him. He has frowned upon those less fortunate, thinking they have brought it upon themselves. Now, he is one of the poor and he can’t handle it.

Director: N/A Year: 1988

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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