Like a stone describes the tormented soul of the singer
The lyrics of the song
The song is about a man who happens to read a sacred book, perhaps the Bible, and this leads him to reflect on his life, the wrong actions he did and what he did not do. He thinks also about what he will find after death.
Chris Cornell often introduces religious elements into his songs, as he did in Balck Hole Sun of Soundgarden (we talked about it in a previous article).
Clearly the protagonist of the song “Like a stone” does not believe in God, but reading that book begins to waver: he can not decide whether to believe or not in the afterlife; he does not know if he has behaved well or badly in his life. And then he is waiting, firm as a stone.
What is he waiting? Perhaps death, perhaps a change in his life, perhaps a return to a lost paradise. Chris Cornell has been waiting for 15 years, stuck like a stone, in the grip of his doubts, his depression, his tormented soul.
Like a stone music video
The musicvideo was directed by Meiert Avis, who also worked for Alanis Morissette, U2, Seal, Avril Lavigne, Jennifer Lopez, Paramore, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen.
This music video is set in an ancient Spanish manor in Los Angeles. The low lights, the semi-darkness make us breathe an aura of mystery and sacredness. Behind the musicians we can see lamps shaped like candelabras. It seems to be inside a church, a sacred, ancient place, full of spirituality and decadence.
In the first image Chris Cornell is sitting on a chair looking down. Then he begins to sing; but more than singing it seems that he is talking to himself, that he is praying. The filming filter highlights the singer’s blue eyes, declined in a melancholy expression, cold, almost resigned.
The “Soul Power” guitar by Tom Morello
The guitar of Tom Morello has the inscription “soul power”. Why this writing? Perhaps for the beautiful guitar solo that is given to us at the minute 2:57; with liquid and penetrating sounds the guitar gets to touch the listener’s soul.
Tom Morello ifrequently uses embellishments for his guitars; in other occasions he wrote on the guitar “Arm the homeless” with political references and “whatever it takes”.
Who is the child that you see in the video?
During the solo you can see backstage scenes, where bassist Tim Commerford plays with his son Xavier; the child, during the shooting of the video in 2003, had little more than a year.
With this figure the director introduced in the music video an element of hope, of light, of positivity, to dampen the too pessimistic tones of the song. Very beautiful the scene where Chris Cornell caresses the hair of the child.