If you read this blog, you will know that I don't publish many posts about music. When it comes to music, I belong to the "I may not know much about it, but I know what I like" category of listeners. I do not, that is, consider myself to have an educated ear.

What I mean by "educated" is not, in this particular case, being school taught/trained; I don't mean that in order to appreciate music, I need to attend classes or read lots of books. My father--who would really prefer not to know the background to certain operas--has, I consider, an educated ear. But this example may be misleading since I don't mean "educated" to refer, either, to a particular kind of music.

Rather, I perceive someone with an "educated ear" to be someone who listens to a lot of music, much in the same way I watch a lot of films and television and read a lot of books. And this isn't something that I do. I usually listen to books on tape at home, although now and again I stick in a music CD (or tape).

Now that I've said all that, I'll tell you about my favorite song: Rufus Wainwright singing "Hallelujah." In the first Shrek movie, it's the song that is sung right after Fiona leaves and Donkey and Shrek fight. It was on House two weeks ago during the season premiere, right at the end. (And I'd like to say that music on T.V. has vastly improved over the last five years.) It was sung at the end of, I think, the first Without a Trace season (before I stopped watching the show; I have a real problem with Anthony Paglia's character, for some reason. He just grates). And everytime I hear it, I want to burst into tears. Especially, if it is used in the right moment about the right stuff.

An example of using songs at the right moment about the right stuff would be that Rolling Stones song, "You Can't Always Get What You Want." That is a serious case of a song that must be used appropriately. Using it to introduce a reality/makeover/game show (seriously) is just too too ironic, like having someone sing, "The sun will come out tomorrow!" in the middle of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. The chorus of the Rolling Stone song is sung at the end of the final episode of House, Season 1. There's this great shot where House throws one of his pain pills into the air. (The entire show is really about House coming to terms with his leg). The combination of song and image is total perfection.

So, I guess, if I were to describe my music preferences, they would be: soundtrack.



Henry said...

Why did they use Rufus Wainwright's version? Was Leonard Cohen asking too much?

It's a great song, but why Rufus? The man can't sing to save his life.

Henry said...

I agree with you about soundtrack songs and the weight they get from being part of a particular movie or even a specific scene in a movie. The best version of "Paint it Black" I ever heard was the standard version at the end of Full Metal Jacket. The mood of the movie and the song melded perfectly.