Emotional Music

By random chance, I woke up this morning wanting to listen to the song “Blue”, from the anime series Cowboy Bebop. Those of you familiar with the series will need no explanation, but for everyone else - it’s the song that plays over the end credits of the final episode of the show. Every time I hear this song, I feel myself wanting to tear up, and it got me wondering. I can’t be the only one who has songs from film or television that produce a visceral reaction. So what are yours, how do they affect you, and why?

The one song that always moves me is “Carmina burana” by Carl Orf. The first time I heard it was during the final scenes of the movie, “Glory,” several years ago, and it always moves me…maybe not to tears, but close…

Sorry. You were moved by James Horner. Carmina Burana was not used in the soundtrack to Glory…although it is clear that the first movement of Orff’s work was drawn upon heavily for the cue that Horner used in the final battle scene at Ft. Darien.

I had forgotten that James Horner did the soundtrack for Glory. Although I originally heard the song in that movie, the actual version, which is much better, is what moves me today. The “Glorified” version is used in too many movie trailers. ;)

Carmina Burana itself is also way overused in movie trailers any time producers want to inject some easy gravitas. I believe the most recent culprit was T3. If Carl Orff were alive today he’d be rolling in it.

Horner is well know for zeroxing great classic pieces, he even redid some of his own score many times (Titanic is a reharsh of Braveheart’s, Aliens is a photocopy of Wolfen’s, etc). A true genius in rip off.

I thought a lot of the music used in Black Hawk Down made a very moving backdrop for the film. I also regularly find myself caught up in the music from Babylon 5 - Christopher Franke did some fantastic scoring for that show.

I recently had the pleasure of seeing/hearing the Detroit Symphony Orchestra perform some of the best known works of John Williams. Everything you would expect to be played, was. ET, Jurassic Park, Superman, even Minority Report. The whole concert was extremely powerful. There’s just something about actually being in the room with a full orchestra that just takes things to the next level.

Bob Marley. No Woman No Cry. Recorded in concert.

Nuff said.

Stay Free by The Clash. It always reminds me of a friend from middle/high school who committed suicide in college.

Hyperballad by Bjork. I love the lyrics.

The theme song for Road to Perdition. And the Gladiator theme song too that plays at the end.

That stuff makes my allergies act up.

Good song.

Tears in Heaven. Eric Clapton.
Considering the inspiration for the song, makes the allergies act up even worse.

Space Cat - Power Up (psycraft remix)
mixed into
I See Myself - Fly Agaric

The peak moment of phoenix fest.

Well, here’s the obvious: Adagio For Strings by Samuel Barber

Considering the way Clapton used that song to further his career and sell records and get raise his profile on the concert circuit, every time I hear that exploitative cash-in on tragedy, it turns my stomach.

So you think he wrote it foreseeing what a great hit it would be? Or you think that once he wrote it, he should never have played it? Does he come up with the marketing plan for his music and albums?
I’m not sure I understand.

Iron Fist by Motorhead (joke).

London’s Burning by The Clash (not a joke - I associate it with a friend who was killed by a drunk driver).

Anything by J S Bach gives me goosebumps.

I always tear up when Babe is told, “That’ll do Pig. That’ll do.” - I’m sure the music helps trigger it too.

Industry Dwarf

I’d like to think (and I hope) he wrote it to work with reconciling his feelings at the loss of his son. And I think it’s great that people connected with the song…

…but allowing it to be released as a single? Come on. Eric’s got a ton of pull, and had a ton of leverage even then. He’s able to say “You know, this song is pretty personal. I’m glad folks connect with it. But I’d feel strange making bucketfuls of money basically because of my son’s tragic death.” He didn’t say that. Instead, he cheerfully released the song as a single and then made the rounds of every damn media outlet possible, playing the song live, mustering up plenty of faux emotion, and getting people to run out and buy his UNPLUGGED record. Such actions suggest to me that maybe the reason he wrote the damn song in the first place was to ca$h in all along. Clapton’s always been a ruthless prick, ready to prey on the emotional fragility of others (he himself apparently has the emotional depth of HAL 9000) to get what he wants (…just ask George Harrison, if he were alive, that is…)

Edited to add:
…but, if this song does click with you, more power to you. This is almost certainly probably just a personal hangup of my own devising.

Being the uber-geek that I am, I’m more moved by soundtrack music to games than anything else, especially Total Annihilation, Emperor of the Fading Suns, and Interstate '76. :)