Author Archives: Film Music Central

About Film Music Central

I'm a 30 year old musicologist and blogger and I've had a lifelong obsession with film music, cartoon music, just about any kind of music!

Lady and the Tramp “He’s a Tramp” (1955)

Most Disney films that have a romance sub-plot tend to follow the following pattern (in broad strokes): guy meets girl; they fall initially clash; they fall in love; they have a potentially relationship ending fight; they reaffirm their love and live happily ever after.

“He’s a Tramp” comes not long before Lady and Tramp have the aforementioned fight. Having ended up in the pound after trying to chase chickens with Tramp, Lady ends up finding out a lot more about Tramp. According to one sultry canine (voiced by Peggy Lee), Tramp is a notorious womanizer, and Lady is far from the first to succumb to his charms.

He’s a tramp, ba boom boom
But they love him
Breaks a new heart
Ev’ry day
He’s a tramp
They adore him
And I only hope
He’ll stay that way
He’s a tramp
He’s a scoundrel
He’s a rounder
He’s a cad
He’s a tramp
But I love him
Yes, even I
Have got it pretty bad

 

You can never tell
When he’ll show up
He gives you
Plenty of trouble
I guess he’s just a
No ‘count pup
But I wish that he
Were double

He’s a tramp
He’s a rover
And there’s nothing
More to say
If he’s a tramp
He’s a good one
And I wish that I
Could travel his way

Finding out that she’s not even Tramp’s first love is naturally heartbreaking for Lady, who is taken home shortly thereafter. This song actually went over my head when I was little. I realize now that Tramp is being described as someone who is a rogue, unfaithful, etc., everything that Lady doesn’t want to hear about someone she’s just fallen in love with. This nearly leads to the end of Lady and Tramp’s relationship, but thankfully Tramp proves himself in the end.

What do you think about “He’s a Tramp”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Lady and the Tramp “The Siamese Cat Song” (1955)

Lady and the Tramp “Bella Notte” (1955)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Remembering James Horner: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

Unbelievably, tomorrow will mark four years since we lost composer James Horner in a plane crash. I established the Remembering James Horner Blogathon to celebrate his beautiful film scores and in my own small way keep his memory alive.

For this year’s blogathon, I decided to look at one of Horner’s final works, his score for the 2016 remake of The Magnificent Seven. There’s actually a pretty sad story behind this score. You’ll note the film was released in 2016, after Horner had passed away. Well, he’d been attached to score the film, but at the time of his death, the impression was the score hadn’t been started. But then, when his things were being cataloged in his old studio, someone discovered the entire store written and saved on his computer. It turns out that Horner had secretly scored the entire film as a surprise for the director, but of course had never gotten the chance to tell him about it. Now technically this score isn’t 100% Horner’s work. Simon Franglen was brought in to adjust and tweak the score after it was discovered, but I believe the vast majority remains Horner’s original work, the last of his scores to ever be released.

The-Magnificent-Seven-2016.jpg

The soundtrack for The Magnificent Seven features Horner working at his peak, as always. Since this is a Western, there’s a noted “twang” in the strings, with I believe a mix of guitar thrown in to emphasize the Old West setting.

I was actually against this film at first (being a huge fan of the original), even after Horner’s passing, until I listened to the soundtrack in preparation for the blogathon and realized that Horner had taken the time to quote Elmer Bernstein’s original theme for The Magnificent Seven (1960). You can hear it particularly in “Volcano Springs” and in other places, but it isn’t quoted in full until the end credits. I love that Horner took the time to quote that iconic melody, since it really doesn’t feel like a “Magnificent Seven” film without it, not to me at any rate. This shows me that Horner, at some level, wanted to connect this film back to the iconic 1960 film, which is something he didn’t have to do, but I’m glad he did.

Horner definitely put his own stamp on this film score. I normally wouldn’t think of hearing drawn out vocals in a Western (“Street Slaughter”), but Horner makes it work as only he can (he was known for using drawn out vocals in his film scores, Troy is a good example).

It makes me sad, even now, that this was James Horner’s last film score, but I’m glad it was found in time to be used for the film. I honestly think this score is one of the best parts of the film, it sounds beautiful.

What do you think of the remake of The Magnificent Seven and its score? Does the fact that this is James Horner’s final film score change your impression of it in anyway? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day! Be sure to check out the official recap page of the blogathon to see the other entries as they’re posted.

See also:

Remembering James Horner: Troy (2004)

The magic of James Horner: Casper (1995)

Remembering James Horner: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

The 4th Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon has Arrived!

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

 

The 4th Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon-Recap!

Welcome to the 4th Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon, where we celebrate the life of legendary film composer James Horner (taken from us too soon). This whole weekend will see posts looking at films scored by James Horner (thank you to everyone who signed up, I can’t believe this is the fourth year already!)

This page will be a running recap of everyone’s posts (including a link to my own when I publish it). Thank you again for participating and I can’t wait to read everyone’s posts!

Recap:

MovieRob: Avatar -For his first review, MovieRob reviews Avatar (2009)

Plain, Simple Tom: Commando-For this year’s contribution, Plain, Simple Tom reviews Commando, a film Horner scored in the 1980s.

Realweegiemidget Reviews: Brainstorm-This year, Realweegiemidget Reviews looks at Brainstorm from 1983, another film from Horner’s earlier works.

Film Music Central (ME!): The Magnificent Seven– For my contribution this year, I looked at James Horner’s final film score, which was written for The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The Stop Button: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan-The Stop Button looked at Horner’s iconic score for The Wrath of Khan (arguably one of the best scores Horner ever created).

MovieRob: Deep Impact-MovieRob returns with a review of Deep Impact.

MovieRob: Unlawful Entry-For his final contribution this year, MovieRob reviews Unlawful Entry.

Tranquil Dreams: The Perfect Storm-For their contribution this year, Tranquil Dreams reviewed The Perfect Storm.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated this year and the blogathon will return next June!

Rock-a-Doodle “Sun Do Shine” (1991)

I still have mixed emotions when I think about Rock-a-Doodle. On the one hand, I remember liking this film quite a lot when I was little. On the other hand, I also remember certain scenes in this film traumatizing me. Somewhere in the middle of these recollections are my love of the songs in this film. For all the problems that this film has (and it has quite a few), the songs are an undeniable bright spot. And the brightest spot of all (no pun intended) is the opening song of the film “Sun Do Shine.” Actually, this song is so bright that I almost feels it gives a false impression as to how the rest of the film will go.

You see, “Sun Do Shine” is extremely bright and cheery, introducing us to an idyllic farm overseen by the golden-voiced Chanticleer (Glen Campbell), a rooster who summons the sun each morning and keeps rain away simply with the power of his voice. The entire setting is super idyllic, which really should be our first clue that things will soon go horribly wrong (and boy do they ever!)

Cock-a-doooooooooooo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!

Woah! Yodele-eeeeeeeee-heeeeee!

Cockadoo what a day
The sun is shinin’ brightly
Cockadoo sunny day
Down here on the farm
Cockadoo stay away
You big ol’ wet ol’ rain cloud
Or I’ll cry out loud with this voice of mine

 

Sun do shine
(Sun do shine, sun do shine, sun do shine)
Sun do shine
(Sun do shine, sun do shine, sun do shine)
Sun do shine
(Sun do shine, sun do shine, sun do shine)

Well, my daddy taught me how to sing
And that’s why this voice means everything

Sun do shine, you better shine
(You better shine)

(repeats several times)

In case it wasn’t obvious, Glen Campbell based Chanticleer’s performance on Elvis Presley (it becomes even more obvious later on when the rooster becomes known as “the King” in the big city).

“Sun Do Shine” serves to introduce us to the major animal characters on the farm, including the ones that will help Edmond bring Chanticleer back. Me personally, I like this song, I especially like the beginning when the camera zooms toward Chanticleer as he sings.

What do you think about “Sun Do Shine”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Rock-a-Doodle “Never Let Him Crow” (1991)

Rock-a-Doodle “The Owls’ Picnic” (1991)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Lady and the Tramp “Bella Notte” (1955)

Apart from “The Siamese Cat Song,” I think one of the most memorable scenes from Lady and the Tramp is “Bella Notte” when Lady and Tramp have a romantic spaghetti dinner while the chefs serenade them. Unbelievably, the iconic “spaghetti kiss” almost didn’t happen because Walt Disney was inclined to cut the moment out. Thankfully for us, he changed his mind.

This is the night
It’s a beautiful night
And we call it bella notte

Look at the skies
They have stars in their eyes
On this lovely bella notte

Funnily enough, even though Lady and Tramp are dogs, for years this scene was my idea of the perfect date (up to and including having my own version of a “spaghetti kiss.”) It’s simple, it’s romantic, and who wouldn’t like being serenaded under the stars?

So take the love of your loved one
You’ll need it about this time
To keep from falling like a star
When you make that dizzy climb

For this is the night
And the heavens are right
On this lovely bella notte
On this lovely bella notte

After all the bad things that happened to Lady with Aunt Sarah and her devilish cats (who are never seen again as far as I know), this scene provides a nice breather for our canine heroine (which is good because things are about to get bad again in a little bit).

What do you think of “Bella Notte”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Lady and the Tramp “The Siamese Cat Song” (1955)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

The Road to El Dorado “On the Trail We Blaze” (2000)

I think one of the best parts of The Road to El Dorado is when Miguel and Julio set off to follow the map to the legendary lost City of Gold. Their journey is told through a travel montage as the pair sing about all of the amazing things they’re going to do as they blaze a trail to El Dorado.

Look out new world here we come
Brave, intrepid and then some
Pioneers of maximum
Audacity whose resumes
Show that we are just the team
To live where others merely dream
Building up a head of steam
On the trail we blaze

Changing legend into fact
We shall ride into history
Turning myth into truth
We shall surely gaze
On the sweet unfolding
Of an antique mystery
All will be revealed
On the trail we blaze

 

Paradise is close at hand
Shangri-la the promised land
Seventh heaven on demand
Quite unusual nowadays
Virgin vistas, undefiled
Minds and bodies running wild
In the man behold the child
On the trail we blaze

During the song, the story sees how Julio goes from being a complete skeptic in the existence of El Dorado to a total believer as they encounter sign after sign that corresponds to the map they’ve been following. It’s also funny to see all the bad things happening to Julio during the journey (leeches, being bit in the rear by a piranha), while all the cool stuff (mostly) happens to Miguel.

maxresdefault-6.jpg

 

The trail we blaze
Is a road uncharted
Through terra incognita to a golden shrine
No place for the traveler
To be faint-hearted
We are part of the sumptuous grand design

Changing legend into fact
We shall ride into history
Turning myth into truth
We shall surely gaze on the sweet unfolding
Of an antique mystery
All will be revealed
On the trail we blaze
On the trail we blaze

Also, I completely forgot that there is straight up nudity in this sequence! Granted we only see Miguel and Julio from the backside, but there’s absolutely nothing blocking the view of said backside during the seconds they’re in view. It just totally caught me off guard because I wasn’t expecting it.

Rewatching this segment reminds me why I liked this film so much the first time I saw it nineteen years ago (holy crap I feel old just typing that out). This song serves as a perfect transition from Miguel and Julio’s arrival to the New World to their proper introduction to El Dorado.

What do you think of “On the Trail We Blaze”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

The Road to El Dorado “It’s Tough to Be a God” (2000)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

 

Pocahontas “Just Around the Riverbend” (1995)

Before the arrival of John Smith and the rest of the English settlers, Pocahontas already has a dilemma to deal with: her father Powhatan returns from a lengthy war against a rival tribe and lets her know that Kocoum, a mighty warrior, has asked permission to marry her. Pocahontas is not exactly thrilled with this development (just listen to how she utters the line “but he’s so….serious.”) but it seems clear that Powhatan expects his daughter to acquiesce to the marriage, reminding her that as the chief’s daughter she needs to take her place among her people. He tries to tell Pocahontas that she needs to settle down by saying she should be more like the steady river that flows next to their village, the river which is “steady as the steady beating drum.”

Pocahontas loves her father very much, but she doesn’t agree with his lesson in the slightest. For her, the river isn’t steady at all, and this sets up “Just Around the Riverbend.”

 

What I love most about rivers is:
You can’t step in the same river twice
The water’s always changing, always flowing
But people, I guess, can’t live like that
We all must pay a price
To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing
What’s around the riverbend
Waiting just around the riverbend

I look once more
Just around the riverbend
Beyond the shore
Where the gulls fly free
Don’t know what for
What I dream the day might send
Just around the riverbend
For me
Coming for me

Pocahontas simply can’t imagine living a life where she isn’t free to explore and learn new things. Everyone she knows is content with a steady life, but Pocahontas prefers to go where the wind takes her. And THAT is the source of her dilemma, how does she reconcile being who she is with obeying her father’s wishes? CAN she obey?

I feel it there beyond those trees
Or right behind these waterfalls
Can I ignore that sound of distant drumming
For a handsome sturdy husband
Who builds handsome sturdy walls
And never dreams that something might be coming?
Just around the riverbend
Just around the riverbend

Just_Around_the_Riverbend.png

I look once more
Just around the riverbend
Beyond the shore
Somewhere past the sea
Don’t know what for…
Why do all my dreams extend
Just around the riverbend?
Just around the riverbend…

Should I choose the smoothest course
Steady as the beating drum?
Should I marry Kocoum?
Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me, Dream Giver
Just around the riverbend?

Pocahontas seems genuinely torn as to what she should do. By rights, she should obey her father and marry Kocoum, who, while very serious, does seem to genuinely care about her (as briefly seen later on in the story). On the other hand, due to the stronge dreams that Pocahontas has been having, she genuinely believes that she may not be meant to settle down and get married. Since she doesn’t know which way to go, Pocahontas has traveled to speak with Grandmother Willow about what she should do.

I really love this song, especially the moment when she rides down the waterfall. To this day, I giggle when I see the expression on Meeko’s face when he realizes they’re not only approaching a waterfall, they’re going down it as well!

Let me know what you think about “Just Around the Riverbend” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Pocahontas “Virginia Company” (1995)

Pocahontas “Steady as the Beating Drum” (1995)

Pocahontas “Listen With Your Heart” (1995)

Pocahontas “Mine, Mine, Mine” (1995)

Pocahontas “Savages, Part I” (1995)

Pocahontas “Savages, Part II” (1995)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook