A Music Video Analysis Essay Exploring the Impact of Divorce on Family Dynamics

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A Music Video Analysis Essay Exploring the Impact of Divorce on Family Dynamics

This essay will analyze a specific music video that depicts the impact of divorce on family dynamics. It will explore the visual and lyrical representation of emotional turmoil, changes in family relationships, and the coping mechanisms of different family members. The piece aims to provide a deeper understanding of how music videos can be powerful mediums to convey complex family issues like divorce, offering a blend of artistic interpretation and real-life implications. PapersOwl showcases more free essays that are examples of Popular Culture.

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The subject of divorce still is a controversial topic in today’s modern society, especially for people who when through it. The music video “Unsteady” by X Ambassador portrays the feelings of going through it.

Exploring Divorce Through “Unsteady” Music Video

Sam Harris and his brother Casey had to live through their own parents’ marriages breaking down, as they showed their feelings through their parents’ divorce and tried to show as many sides of the story, from a mother’s perspective, from a father’s perspective, and a child’s perspective.

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Through the music video, Sam Harris’ use of visual and written rhetoric in order to get indicates the anxiety that came with his parents with the use of repetition.

Anxiety and Yearning for Stability

The beginning of the video shows three different people walking in, a woman, a child, and a man. Then we start the audience start hearing, “Hold on.” Hearing the words “hold on” indicates this song might be relying on different phases of anxiety. The repetition of “Hold, hold on, hold on to me ’cause I’m a little unsteady” indicates some deeper meaning. The use of “hold” on its own is commanding, meant as a command. When the singer admits that he is “a little unsteady,” he is demanding his intended audience to stop, prepare, and join with him, symbolizing why he chose “unsteady” as his title. The meaning of unsteady suggests a necessity, a demand for help without knowing what will help. It could be an urgency for his parents, as shown in the music video, to stay and fight for him.

Desperation Amidst Disintegration

Later, we approach a possible cause of anxiety in the first verse: “I’m alone ’cause this house doesn’t feel like home.” The home is his primary source of security; it is the place for rest and relaxation, but as indicated by his tone, he starts alienating himself from his house, and he can no longer find a place of comfort in that house. By addressing this line to “momma” and “daddy” and the visual of the parents on the screen, shows the singer regresses to a childlike state, which reinforces the insecurity created by the alienation he got by being there. The “hold” of the chorus can be seen as a literal and metaphorical holding by his parents in the video.

A Cry for Resolution

Later he sings, “Mother, I know that you’re tired of being alone. Dad, I know you’re trying to fight when you feel like flying.” It shows seeking comfort with both his mom and dad is no longer an option for him. The mother experiences her own isolation of “being alone,” while the father is stressed to the point of feeling like leaving. The audience can indicate that the anxiety the singer feels can be due to the suffering of his parents and their fighting. When the singer then says, “If you love me,” it unveils the song as an anxious request of his parents to give up their disagreements, their problems, and their suffering to focus on his needs.

He is no longer able to find comfort in the home because of an issue that is beyond his control, and he is desperate to find a solution. Instead, all he knows is that he is unsteady.


  1. X Ambassadors. (2015). Unsteady [Music video].
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A Music Video Analysis Essay Exploring the Impact of Divorce on Family Dynamics. (2023, Jun 18). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/a-music-video-analysis-essay-exploring-the-impact-of-divorce-on-family-dynamics/