Seven Favourite Film Scores – #BarAThon Day 3

I’m participating in the #BarAThon – a blogging Challenge which involves blogging on alternate days from Jun 17 – Jun 30, 2017. For each of the seven days, bloggers are free to choose either a theme or one of the several prompts or both.

For today’s post, I have chosen the theme, SevenSeven memorable movie theme Scores! We all know that a memorable theme music is a crucial element that transforms a great movie into an iconic one. At its core, a movie score is supposed to capture the mood and set the tone for what is being depicted in a particular scene. In this list, I’ve compiled seven of my favorite pieces, for your listening pleasure. It was difficult enough picking just seven of my favorites, but here they are, not ranked in any specific order but only listed. So, read them and enjoy the pieces and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

1. Lara’s Theme from Doctor Zhivago: This one tops my list. It is one piece of music that I could hear over and over again and never tire of.  ‘Lara’s Theme’ is the name given to a leitmotif written for the film Doctor Zhivago (1965) by composer Maurice Jarre, which later became the basis of the song ‘Somewhere, My Love’. The piece became a resounding success and remains one of the most loved pieces of all time. Thankfully, for me, the Nobel-prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak came first and the narrative along with the collection of the ‘Yuri’ poems, left a very deep impression on my young mind.  The movie came much later, and I must say the film version is as good as the book itself. I’ve kind of grown up listening to this theme song from much earlier, and it remains a familyfavoritee too. This is something, I’ve heard a thousand times and it still sounds like the first time, every single time. It will never grow old for me!

2. Theme from Schindler’s List: A close second comes this – A haunting, simple melody that expands to incorporate some rhythmic and harmonic idioms of Eastern European Jewish music.  It is considered to be a towering and remarkable score by John Williams, the finest film composer of all time, and lifts the viewer’s spirit, in a way that enhances the film’s beauty. Its’ moments of terror and remorse challenges our emotions. Not surprised why they consider it to be a masterpiece! I can almost transport myself to another world just by listening to this.

3. Theme from The Pianist: The essential difference that this one has with the rest of its’ counterparts is the fact that it consists almost entirely of serious classical compositions. So, if you’re fond of western classical music and especially love Chopin, then this is just for you. The music is meant as a companion piece to the film, which is a sympathetic and moving portrayal of pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman’s struggle for survival in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust. The film, like its’ music, is a must for everyone interested in the Holocaust theme – striking, painful, moving and gripping all at the same time.

4. Speak Softly Love from The Godfather: ‘Speak Softly, Love’ was first introduced as an instrumental theme in Francis Coppola’s film The Godfather, based on Mario Puzo’s classic bestseller, that was simply known as ‘Love Theme’ from The Godfather. Undoubtedly, a theme that is counted as one of the best scores ever to be written, this is a composition that comes to life in a dark, looming, and elegant soundtrack. If you listen, you’ll know why this is one of the most haunting pieces of film scores ever to be written.

5. Theme from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: In this film, Howard Shore composed one of the greatest scores ever written, filled with one classic theme after another that would become indelibly linked to Tolkien’s grand fantasy. From the spritely to the romantically heroic, every piece of music in the trilogy just nails it. The Shire theme, the Fellowship theme and the Rohan theme are the most recognizable and infectious of all, that get repeated countless times, in many different moods, so that it is hardly possible to watch the movies without learning to recognize them.

6. Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s: This is a song that has grown on me. I first heard it almost twenty years ago, but with time, I seem to love it even more. As an ardent fan of the legendary Audrey Hepburn,  whose film ‘Roman Holiday’ simply swept me off my feet when I first saw it many moons ago, I agree with many who think the song was way better than the movie, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. Not many know that Audrey had also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, which remains a lovely lilting ditty to wanderlust.

7. Where Do I Begin? from Love Story: As I wrap up my post, I leave you with a song that is riveting, sweeping and majestic at the same time, one that has stood the test of time ever since it was first introduced as a theme for the film, ‘Love Story’, based on Eric Segal’s Love Story. The story goes that the writer, Carl Sigman, was asked to rewrite the lyrics to go with what was supposedly a mushy storyline. At first, he refused to do so, but, then, while pacing around his living room, he said to his wife, ‘Where do I begin?’ and the new lyric was launched. The rest is history. Below is Andy Williams version of the song, based on the original theme score. I could listen to this and never tire of it. Lovely, sad and so beautifully sung!

I hope you enjoyed this musical sojourn, as much as I did, compiling the list. Music inspires and guides me in my everyday work, a bit like a background score in my life. As they travel from the ear into the heart, I find myself blessed.

They say, our music tells people more about us than we ever will. Do you agree? Are there any, from the list, that are your favorites too?


Read my post for #Barathon Day 1 here.

Read my post for #Barathon Day 2 here.


20 thoughts

  1. That was a good post that I will go back and listen. I haven’t ever paid much attention to music scores on movies. These days the one of GOT is my favorite and earlier – the one for House of Cards. I think my issue is that I forget too quickly 😉

  2. Oh, that was an original and great post! Thanks for the reminder of all theses great film music. Love the Lord of the rings:-) Remember well the godfather song as well! Love story-… omg – kleenex please….:-)

    1. Thank you so much, Eli. They are worth treasuring forever I think, each of the pieces ever written! But, of course, there re many more that I couldn’t include because it had to be only 7! Love Story, I know…still makes me go for the tissues, every time I watch it!

  3. I love the idea of this post Esha. LOTR theme, Godfather and Breakfast at Tiffanys I am familiar with and love! Hey what about My fair lady and Sound of Music? Nowadays it seems only animation movies have notable musical themes…sad isn’t it?

    1. Thanx much, Kala. And, yes, totally agree, there are many more. I love MFL and the SOM too as you rightly mentioned. I had to keep to only 7 of my favs for the challenge, you see! 🙂

  4. Oh I loved reading this as some of the tunes flitted in and out of my head; a couple I have to listen to again and have marked to come back to this post with headphones which for the love of Murphy’s law are absconding just when I need them 😉
    Lovely theme Esha

    1. Thanks a lot. Glad to share them, Shalz. I know…Murphy’s Law, always at work at my end too! 😉 Do try and listen when time permits. You’ll love them. I listen to the instrumentals especially when I’m writing.

  5. Good list, but I would rate Also sprach Zarathustra (2001 Space Odyssey), the theme of Rocky series (gonna fly now), the man with the harmonica (once upon a time in the west), the good, the bad and the ugly theme all very high. But that absolute number 1 for me is the most iconic of them all – James Bond theme.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, quite a few good ones in the list you mentioned. I loved the Zarathustra and the good, the bad and the ugly theme too. Hard to include all my favs when they say its got to be only 7 for the Challenge, you see!!

  6. Having lived in the Hindi heartland from most of my life,world music never reached me. The only band I came to know was Backstreet Boys and that too was in early 2000s. Thus this post was pretty educative for me. I do believe our taste in music has lots to tell about us. I am going to add all these tracks to my playlist and play them while I have my peaceful time with a cup of tea.

    1. Glad to have your thoughts on this one. This is a piece that was after my heart. Not sure how many love and appreciate this kind of music from the present generation (unless they are music lovers, of course!) But you’ll love them, at least most of them I know for sure. If you do listen, I’d love to hear from you about it. 🙂

  7. I’ve not heard any from Lord of the Rings because I must be one of the few people in the world who hate this series….But I agree with you about the other six. They are truly all time classics

    1. I know, Sunita. It wasn’t before I heard the theme from TLOTR that I ever imagined I’d like it. The rest are great pieces of music, as am sure we and our parents’ generations will vouch for!

Would you like to leave your comments below? :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.