Sunday, May 27, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 215 SONG # 246

Day 215: A Song featured in  my favourite Coen Brothers' movie

In this here blog, there has already been a post about "I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in", a song featured (among other songs I do like) in the soundtrack of "The Big Lebowsky". The film about the dude, great as it may be, is not my favourite  Coen Brothers' movie, a fate it shares with "O Brother Where Art Thou", great as it may be - so do not expect "Man of Constant Sorrow" here. My favourite Coen Brothers' movie is the first I came to know, by accident, on the TV. I turned on the TV and there it was and I immediately realised: this is a great movie. Miller's Crossing tells a tale I could easily find myself, my life, my situation in. It is loosely based on some topics to be found in the novels written by Dashiell Hammett,  and no movie ever has recreated the atmosphere of The Glass Key (or the atmosphere of Hammett's novels - needless to say that the 1941 cinema version  of the "Maltese Falcon" by John Huston is also among my favourite movies) like this masterpiece by the Coen Brothers. Maybe it is the one among their movies that sticks closest to traditional narrative genre filmmaking. The shoot-out (not really one, since one side is an individual only) in which Leo O'Bannon takes over against the gunmen who have set his house on fire, features the wonderful version of Danny Boy done by Frank Patterson. The song is held to be an Irish traditional and it is an important anthem for Irish people, mostly for those living abroad. Nevertheless, the lyrics (of which several versions exist) have originally been written by an Englishman, even though they are set to an Irish tune, Londonderry Air. But doubts  have even been raised about the Irish origin of the tune (for that discussion, click here). Be that as it may, the song has been covered by many singers, too much to name. You will find 3 versions here: the full version by Frank Patterson (that was used in the movie) and a touching a cappella rendering done by Sinead O'Connor (although  generally I do not like Joan Baez that much, her version of that song is agreeable, but Sinead's is better). Last, not least, JC himself is featured. If you do not shed a tear at least when listening to Sinead's version, you're no good!

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