Thursday, April 11, 2019

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Day Eight: Best Original Song, 1961

Let's not dilly-dally. The songs, after the jump.

"Bachelor in Paradise" from Bachelor in Paradise
music by Henry Mancini
lyrics by Mack David

Forgettable opening credits song that feels more tossed off than composed. Lord knows I love Mancini, but the best thing you can say about this song is that it's unobtrusive.

"Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's
music by Henry Mancini
lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Grammy Award Winner for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Arrangement

My high school biology teacher said the song doesn't make much sense ("What in the world is a 'huckleberry friend' anyway?"). I disagree. It's a love song, sure - for Paul Varjak, the "two drifters off to see the world" must be him and Holly - but for Holly it's more bittersweet than that, the lyrics hinting at her rural background, her attachment to her brother, her inability to escape who she is.

"The Falcon and the Dove" from El Cid
music by Miklos Rozsa
lyrics by Paul Francis Webster

FIRST of all, why is it so difficult to find a recording of this song from the original soundtrack? SECONDLY, this song is great. We already know Rozsa's score is perfect; Webster's lyrics are a great match, every word feels written in italics. It's a little much, but that's a good thing!

"Pocketful of Miracles" from Pocketful of Miracles
music by Jimmy Van Heusen
lyrics by Sammy Cahn

A bit twee. This is a bad song!

"Town Without Pity" from Town Without Pity
music by Dimitri Tiomkin
lyrics by Ned Washington
Golden Globe Winner for Best Song

A song that sounds as pained, angry, and sordid as the film's plot. I really love it, I do.

Also in the conversation:

  • Blue Hawaii (Grammy Award Nominee for Best Sound Track Album/Recording of Original Cast from a Motion Picture or Television) - Several original songs, though "Blue Hawaii" is not one of them. Still:
    • "Almost Always True" - ***
    • "Cant Help Falling in Love with You" - *****
    • "Rock-a-Hula Baby" - ***
    • "Moonlight Swim" - ****
    • "Ku-u-i-Po" - ****
    • "Ito Eats" - ***
    • "Slicin' Sand" - ***
    • "Hawaiian Sunset" - ***
    • "Beach Boy Blues" - ***
    • "Island of Love (Kauai)" - ****
  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Grammy Award Nominee for Best Album for Children) - Features at least one full original song "Cruella De Vil" (*****), which I guarantee more people across the generations know than any of the actual nominees besides "Moon River." There's also "Dalmatian Plantation" (***), but that barely lasts a full minute.
  • The Parent Trap (Grammy Award Nominee for Best Sound Track Album/Recording of Original Cast from a Motion Picture or Television) - Features three original songs: the pleasant title song "The Parent Trap" (***), the swooning ballad "For Now for Always" (***), and the danceable bop "Let's Get Together" (****).


Guys, it's not even a contest. Oscar and I agree:


Tomorrow, the nominees for Best Actress: Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast at Tiffany's), Piper Laurie (The Hustler), Sophia Loren (Two Women), Geraldine Page (Summer and Smoke) and Natalie Wood (Splendor in the Grass)

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