As we get further and further away from December of 1998, the pain of listening to the Spice Girls’ first single sans Ginger becomes a little easier to bear–and watching the video accompanied with the lyrics a little more rife with perverse meaning.
Set in a Meat Loaf “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” type tableau (he was their co-star in Spice World, after all), Posh, Baby, Scary and Sporty find themselves amid a wolf-packed winter wonderland while heading toward a snow-dappled mansion. Made at a time when environmentalism wasn’t chic, the quartet drives in separate back to back cars to this hideaway where a number of frozen corpses in various states of pose await them.
Rather than being horrified or calling the authorities or even trying to re-create some sort of Titanic moment for posterity, the Spice Girls instead stare wondrously at each dead body, starting with Baby gleefully approaching a couple in front of a gramophone. Then we have Posh acting even more of a voyeur by coming across an icicle covered bed with another frozen man and woman in it. Meanwhile, now Mel B encounters the gramophone couple, equally as unfazed by how creepy it is, instead reacting by spinning the record like some sort of reaper DJ.
Mel C is arguably the most sympathetic to her corpse, leaning down toward him with a look of semi-concern. Paired with the haunting lyrics, “Goodbye my friend/I know you’re gone, you said you’re gone/But I can still feel you here/It’s not the end,” an added layer of eeriness comes into play as Mel C stares in fascination at the dead man. She moves on to a dead woman in an icicle mounted bathtub, smiling over it, apparently now immune to the sight of corpses.
Who knows if it’s their gleeful fascination and passion for unbeating hearts that ultimately brings all these people back to life–or if it’s the simple power of imagination? Either way, Tim Burton really missed a directing opportunity.
And though they’re saying “it’s time to say goodbye,” it feels like the Spice Girls’ necrophiliac tendencies just can’t let these random revelers go as they wander through the house. But, of course, once the bodies come back to life, they leave–’cause ain’t no necro wanna fuck with live shit. Even so, there’s a reason “Goodbye” got released just in time for Christmas–it’s very festive when you mentally attach the song to the video. See for yourself below.