Father’s Day weekend is usually presented as a time for kids to shower their dads with love and appreciation, but it can also go the other way. Hayes Carll’s heart-swelling video for “The Magic Kid” shows how, perfectly capturing the other side of the coin.
Originally released back in April, the video stars Carll’s young son Eli, a budding magician with an ever-present deck of cards and a glowing personality. The song is part of Carll’s fifth album, Lovers and Leavers, and shows him as a proud papa smitten by Eli’s sense of wonder and purpose — even though it’s not what most of the adult world would consider a “real job.” According to the independently minded Texas troubadour, most of us give up on our dreams to fit in and get ahead, but Eli doesn’t seem interested in that kind of life at all. He’s “the only one I’ve known who’s truly free,” Carll sings.
Presented with just a well-worn voice, an acoustic guitar and some light percussion, Carll sings the quiet song from inside Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin, Texas, while Eli entertains some kids (and a chicken) with card tricks outside. Eli’s presentation and timing show a lot of talent, and his trick hits its mark with the audience, but when father and son sit down together inside the club looking like two peas in a pod, it’s clear who Eli’s biggest fan really is.