So, inadvertant soundtracks. Songs and music that attach themselves to events and moments and characters that they were never meant to attach themselves to. It happens a lot – heck, I remember mix tapes – and it’s probably another indication of how important music is to our society. Even when we think it’s just being background, somehow eventually forces itself to the foreground.
F’instance – for some reason, despite the de facto music to accompany any Superman story being John Williams’ theme from the Christopher Reeve movies, my Superman soundtrack is U2’s Beautiful Day, while Clark and Lois’s theme is When You Were Young by the Killers ("He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus/But he talks like a gentleman/Like you imagined when you were young"). I don’t exactly know why they’ve become associated with Superman in my increasingly messed up brain, but there they are.
I do, however, know why Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor Who is associated with Snow Patrol’s Run; that doesn’t explain why I’m forced to shout "I’ve finally learned the true meaning of Christmas!" when I hear the same band’s Chasing Cars (the explanation for that one is a long story, and it’s all down to the Relevant podcast).
Meanwhile, and I’ve mentioned this before, The Impression That I Get is the soundtrack to several nights in a pub, while The Touch from the animated Transformers movie is probably becoming a theme tune for a good chunk of my social circle. Maybe we should have it playing when our hypothetical pub quiz team makes its entrance.
Talking of hypothetical… I have a writing project that never seems to get written. There aren’t many words on the page yet, but I know it starts with a coach arriving at an American university to Jimmy Eats World’s Big Casino, and ends with a camper van driving away to the Atari’s cover of The Boys of Summer. In between we get:
- Girl All the Bad Guys Want (Bowling for Soup)
- Steve McQueen (The Automatic)
- Dead Ringer for Love (Meat Loaf and Cher)
- Poison (Alice Cooper)
- Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
- Ghost Riders in the Sky (Johnny Cash)
- Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
- It’s Cliched to be Cynical at Christmas (Half Man, Half Biscuit)
This is probably how writing projects die, when their track listings become longer than their narrative.
Anyway, I guess all this is true for everyone – we’ve all thought about what we want to be played at our wedding reception (there’s no sign of me getting married yet, but there is a list of song that, if they get played, the DJ don’t get paid…) or at our funerals (Be Thou My Vision).
So there’s enough comment fodder for you – tell me about your own inadvertant soundtrack. Because I bet you’ve got one…