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Man Calmly Plays Piano On Sidewalk As Protests And Chaos Erupt Around Him In Surreal Viral Video


2020 has been quite the year. With the ongoing pandemic, the election cycle, and countless other concerns, we’re all feeling the pressure.

Unfortunately, our situation isn’t getting better yet. More people are testing positive for the virus in hot spots across the U.S., not to mention severe spikes occurring across Europe.

Now with positive case totals rising in Europe, Spain is facing the possibility of closing down again in an effort to improve their numbers.

But according to one gentleman, when you’re surrounded by chaos, the best thing to do is create something beautiful.

In response to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s latest lockdown restrictions, which includes traveling outside the home for essential purposes only, the people of Barcelona left their homes behind and began to riot.

In a video caught on Twitter, there were fires, gunshots, and people rioting in the streets.

But amidst it all, the song “Eternal Flame” rose as a gentleman sat in the middle of all the chaos, playing a street piano.

The video began with flashing lights, police vehicles driving by, shouting, and gunshots.

There was a moment of someone running onto the scene, right next to the pianist, to throw something into the crowd before rushing away again.

Throughout the brief video, there were jarring gunshots and constant shouting, but the pianist never even paused, leaning in over the keys as he played, with onlookers surrounding him in a sort of protective fashion.

The irony did not escape some Twitter users, noting the pianist’s choice of The Bangles’ “Eternal Flame” in the middle of the protests. 

Others said the whole scene reminded them of the emotionally iconic orchestra scene at the end of The Titanic

Some agreed and said the moment was “so 2020.” 

Others made a little more light of it, referring back to a well-known meme. 

But some couldn’t make light of it, made incredibly emotional by the scene. 

This was surely a diamond-in-the-rough moment in 2020, especially during yet another rioting scene. If there’s anything we can take away from this gentleman’s persistence, it’s to do our best to contribute to the beautiful, even when everything else feels crazed.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit