Our queen. All images courtesy of Vevo... and Our Queen.
Celine Dion is a global treasure; not relegated to just one nation, she is important to us all as human beings. Dion has left an indelible impression on pop music and, also, our hearts. Which is why I am here writing to you all with concern and love about this peculiar dream sequence-y version of Dion’s ultra classic, “My Heart Will Go On.” For those of you just tuning into pop culture, Titanic is not just iconic; it has surpassed the stratosphere of celebrated films (even with its poor dialogue and basic plotline points.) Titanic, I believe, can attribute much of its actual success to Dion’s song. That and our former collective boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio who was still fresh-faced enough for us to give a shit about his character dying in the icy Atlantic.
Anyway, Dion’s career was, arguably, made before this mammoth song appeared (hi hello hi have you heard “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now?”) but it catapulted her into a whole different universe that allowed her to really make bank. This video of her (first???) performance of “My Heart Will Go On” at Caesar's Palace is at a staggering 75 million views so far. But why? It isn’t the filter heavy, blue diamond featuring, film montage version of the music video. Instead, it is an abstract look at key elements featured in the song and movie: drama, death, a bell boy, violins and flutes, hearts. Let us all come together to parse what in the actual fuck is happening in this gloriously weird and sad performance.
Act I: Angels Landing
We begin with silence and two figures on stage. One is, I don’t know, death or a dead person but he is smiling? There is also the moon. The moon looms menacingly over Dion's entire set because, let's face it, the moon is terrifying as fuck. Anything that can control the tide and not even be on this planet is scary because what can it be capable of?? Doomsday. I am talking about doomsday.
Look, I don’t know if this is Jack but I’m going to believe it is Jack for the sake of teen hearts everywhere. Welcome back, Jack!!! Jack's story is as follow: he emerges from the ocean, brought up by the light of the moon, of course. He is plucked from the watery depths and brought back to life a la Melisandre/Game of Thrones style. He then shuffles to and from a modest apartment in the desert to his work at the Palace where he moonlights as a doomsday predictor, just trying to stay afloat. Haha. Well, I thought it was funny. *Insert Price is Right losing horn*
Act II: Jupiter—Sorry, Moon Ascending
Next up, a stoic bellboy from The Grand Budapest Hotel who is, of course, staring at the increasingly pixelated cavities of the moon. From the outset, this performance is a far more real and direct approach to the devastation and death of the actual Titanic—I mean the ship, not James Cameron’s writing.
We get almost a minute of silence before a violinist and a group of people also dressed in white appear stage right. Remember that scene when the violinists know that they are going to die so they just start playing the incredibly sombre song, "Nearer My God to Thee?" I’m not crying right now, you’re crying.
Act III: Celine Dion: Lowkey Mother Gaia
A full minute-and-a-half in, we still don’t have Celine but we DO have a woman in white suspended and floating across the stage? Is she meant to represent the iceberg that doomed hundreds and hundreds of people? If so, fuck her. If she is actually some angel then I retract half of my sentiments.
It took almost a whole ass three minutes but she's here. Our Queen D. As in Dion not the D—anyways, Dion appears and begins singing the song you didn't know you were waiting your whole life to hear... again! As expected, she is impeccable. She's like a fucking super heavenly Megazord or Gandalf the White fused with Mary Magdalene all in one beautiful, wise human.
In case I didn't emphasize earlier, Dion is incredible. Her precise movements across the stage make her look like an actual angel gliding around rather than that of a suspended air angel. She looks at the scene in front of her—with her back turned to an audience who is so excitedly clapping for her—before she hits that chorus high note and becomes the embodiment of sea and stage despite how impractical that 'literal' part is. Just look at her pose! Look at how self-aware she is of how undeniably amazing her vocals are. This entire performance is her equivalent to the "I Don't Know Her" Mariah Carey meme but this is for literally everybody who has ever tried to sing.
There's a heart!!!! ON THE FLOOR!!! ERRRMAHGAWFDDDD
My entire body is now covered in goosebumps because Celine Dion has the kind of magic to evoke emotions in me I did not think were possible. Can we, for a moment, put into perspective that, as of next year, we will have forced Dion to sing this song for 20 years. Twenty goddamn years this song has been serenading us at weddings, this movie, in our minds, our hearts. I am now committed to bumping this view count up to 76, 80, 100 AND 30 THOUSAND Million on my own because, abstract images of death and human icebergs aside, it’s a stunning song and she's a stunning performer. Let this video be a constant reminder of Celine Dion’s unfuckwithable nature. That and also this recent outfit.
Sarah MacDonald’s heart has gone on since 1997. Follow her on Twitter.