Continuing my summer of 2014 series, which was begun right here and chronicled my history with said device, examining the music that ended up on my iPod byway of the films that featured it on their soundtracks. An inventory, as it were, and one I continue to add to. Especially since I press on with my movies-watching and music-listening.
New song and those of a more vintage variety, even years after the initial screening, which still got there purely because of a movie. As alluded in another series, the convergence of the music and film arts is one I’ve spent much time toward. I’ll attempt to break these songs up into the categories most fit into, at least for my bizarre thinking, purely to make it more manageable in presentation. Fewest to most.
Other Than English
This category came simply care of my kids. I’d always get a look from either when one of these songs played in the car, via my iPod. Or when my daughter would ask at home, “Dad, do you understand what they’re singing?” Only some, if they’re in Spanish, I’d say. I’d hear her tell her mother, “Mom, dad’s playing those Japanese numbers, again.” The following are those that made an impression, and sung in other than English.
La Marseillaise – Casablanca (1942): I’m not afraid to admit this scene, primarily through music, in my favorite film still gets to me. It’s inspiring beyond my own belief whenever I watch it, or hear this sung, and I mist over every single time. What of it?
Cancion Del Mariachi (Morena De Mi Corazon) – Desperado (1995): One of the better opening titles (I hope to showcase it soon) and numbers for a movie. Passionate in an energetic way that is unique to Spanish guitar and the Ranchera torch song, lyrics by Cesar Rosas. Makes me want to sing and strum across a bar top.
Duel of the Fates – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999): Say what you will about the weakest Star Wars film, the complaints are all true. However, the climatic showdown between the Jedi Master and his apprentice against Darth Maul, accompanied by John Williams splendid theme, is not one of them.
Elysium – Gladiator (2000): What a song! Emotive in the extreme, though it never raises its voice above a murmur. Lisa Gerrard’s wonderful contralto never as rich, deep, and doleful than in this song. Hans Zimmer’s instrumentation and arrangement hit their peak along with Lisa’s lyrics of unknown origin.
Llorando – Mulholland Drive (2001): As I already said regarding Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’, “So when Rebekha Del Rio performed an a cappella version of the song, in Spanish no less, entitled “Llorando”, for all the world to see in Silencio theatre for David Lynch’s 2001 film, Mulholland Drive, the result was simply jaw-dropping.”
Flower of Carnage – Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003): Quentin Tarantino certainly geeked out when he brought in Lady Snowblood’s “Shura No Hana” for his epic marital arts revenge tale. Sung by the redoubtable Meiko Kaji — the song title loosely translated by Tarantino as “The Flower of Carnage” — it is elegiac, to say the least.
Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
Urami Bushi: QT bringing another of Meiko Kaji’s memorable songs, this one the theme song of the Female Convict Scorpion series, “Urami Bushi” (怨み節), for the second half of the revenge saga. Say what you will, but Tarantino needle-dropped soundtracks are never boring, or ho-hum.
Malagueña Salerosa: As Wikipedia has stated, “…also known as La Malagueña — is a well-known Son Huasteco or Huapango song from Mexico, which has been covered more than 200 times by recording artists.” It’s also not a ballad for the faint of voice. Tex-Mex band Chingón recorded it for the film, used in the end credits.
Arranca – Miami Vice (2006): The group Manzanita’s stirring song was another of the highlights in the Michael Mann film and soundtrack. Used to initiate a passionate dance number, and tryst, between Sonny (Colin Farrell) and Gong Li‘s mysterious Isabella Montoya in a Cuban nightclub, made me want to learn salsa.
Chhaiya Chhaiya – Inside Man: How could I’ve forgotten this? Director Spike Lee brought forward a really fine cast in one of the better heist flicks of recent years, highlighting an Indian song, from the film Dil Se (1998), that accompanied their first-rate title sequence1.
How about you? Any foreign language songs you’ve collected because of a movie?
The entire series can be found here.