indy4

John Williams and Implicit Lyrics

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As far as I know, JW is the only composer that does this? Some examples of what I'm referring to:

- The the last 3 notes of the theme that opens the Superman March Concert Version-->SU-per Man!

- The first 3 notes of the Superman theme that we hear after the osinato build up-->SU-per Man!

- The first 4 notes of the Raiders March-->Innnn-di-an-aaaaaa

- 0:19 of "Harry's Wondrous World"-->Ha-rry-PO-ter, Ha-rry-PO-ter

- first 2 notes of main title from Star Wars-->Staaaaar-Waaaaars

Am I crazy, or are these legit?

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Well, his music is definately operatic at times...and honestly, I sometimes put words to the music... the way it plays out reminds me of a chorus standing off to the side of a stage, murmuring to eachother about whats going on.

Another example of what you are saying is like the Solo horn opening to "Theme from Jurassic Park"

-Jur-ASS-ic PAAAAAARK!

:-p

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Am I crazy, or are these legit?

Make this a poll and we'll let you know.

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The beginning of Snowy's Theme -- "Tintin tintin tintin tintin tintin TINTIN tintin tintin..."

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The beginning of Snowy's Theme -- "Tintin tintin tintin tintin tintin TINTIN tintin tintin..."

:lol:

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I do not think these lyrics are a conscious thing on Williams' part.

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Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Jurassic Park might be stretching it a bit, but I think Indiana Jones and especially Superman were intentional.

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As far as I know, JW is the only composer that does this? Some examples of what I'm referring to:

- The the last 3 notes of the theme that opens the Superman March Concert Version-->SU-per Man!

- The first 3 notes of the Superman theme that we hear after the osinato build up-->SU-per Man!

- The first 4 notes of the Raiders March-->Innnn-di-an-aaaaaa

- 0:19 of "Harry's Wondrous World"-->Ha-rry-PO-ter, Ha-rry-PO-ter

- first 2 notes of main title from Star Wars-->Staaaaar-Waaaaars

Am I crazy, or are these legit?

ROTFLMAO

Yeah right!

In the Titanic score, didn't you hear the TI-TANIIIIC, TI-TANIIIIIIIIC! ? :P

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Or how about in the beginning of the Suite - "MUU - LAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!!!!!!"

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JJJJJJJJJJ JAWS JJ JAWS

:-\

Why are you stuttering my good man? Are you alright?

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Is this thread JWFaners on drugs?

Is this the "state the obvious" thread BloodBoal?
JWfangirl1992 likes this

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I also like how JW masterfully incorporates the word "Tintin" in almost every track...

For example, the "Theme from Tintin":

Tintin-ti-TIN-TIN! Tintin-TI-TINTINTI!!!

:lol:

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Is this thread JWFaners on drugs?

Is this the "state the obvious" thread BloodBoal?

We've been down that road before, Finnish boy. "Never again", we said. So don't start it all over again!

But yes, it is another the "state the obvious" thread. Obviously.

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I've always thought the theme from SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL seems to say "It's Sun-day Night Foot-Ball!".

Not Williams, but I love Kaplans interpretation of the Silvestri theme from NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, which seems to say just that. Niiight at the Museeeeeeum. :)

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Some examples of what I'm referring to:

- first 2 notes of main title from Star Wars-->Staaaaar-Waaaaars

Ever since I heard this on the radio about ten years ago, I've never quite been able to listen to the main titles of Star Wars without thinking of this:

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Actually this is a real technique ("Cantabile", i.e. singing) composers sometimes use to find the "hook" of the melody.

Williams himself explained it a bit when putting Rita Dove's words into music for the song cycle Seven for Luck.

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Yes I've noticed this.

Also many of Williams 60s scores include a main title song, so it's probably a habit of his that comes from this.

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Am I crazy

Yes

or are these legit?

No

I do not think these lyrics are a conscious thing on Williams' part.

Yes

I think Indiana Jones and especially Superman were intentional.

No

JWfangirl1992 likes this

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Superman is the only one that sounds possible. And even so, I have hard time believing that.

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Superman is the only one that sounds possible. And even so, I have hard time believing that.

If I'm listening to it in the car, my 8 old year son and I will "sing" along to Superman.

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I have heard of a couple of examples of this happening. For example, I remember seeing a behind-the-scenes video where the composer of the X-Files theme said it was set to the imaginary lyrics, "X-Files is a show . . . with music by Mark Snow." That was probably a joke, though.

You could find this pattern in virtually any theme, though. ("Gone WIIITH the Wind, Gone WIIIIITH then Wind!")

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You could find this pattern in virtually any theme, though. ("Gone WIIITH the Wind, Gone WIIIIITH then Wind!")

I think the thing that separates this examples from Superman, Indiana Jones, or Harry Potter is the accented syllables. You wouldn't emphasize the word "with"if you said "Gone with the Wind," but the second note is clearly the dominant one of the musical phrase.

When you say "Harry Potter," for example, you would emphasize the "Po" in "Potter" more than any other syllable. When you say "Superman" you accent the first syllable the most, the third syllable the second most, the second syllable the least. The musical phrase does the same. When you say "Indiana" there's usually a bit of space between the first and second syllable.

The other thing that separates these examples from Gone with the Wind is that it makes sense for them to be proudly declaring a character name. Indy and Superman are both macho heroes who you might picture saying "I'm SUPERMAN!" Harry Potter is a name that often discussed in the wizarding world, even if he's not particularly macho in Sorcerer's Stone. That doesn't really apply to GWTW.

You could say the same about Star Wars, since the yellow text is proudly declaring "Star Wars" in the beginning, but I think that's difficult to prove given that the rhythm isn't very unique and the world is only 2 syllables.

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You could say the same about Star Wars, since the yellow text is proudly declaring "Star Wars" in the beginning, but I think that's difficult to prove given that the rhythm isn't very unique and the world is only 2 syllables.

If you listen to the alternate takes on the Star Wars main title in the Binary Sunset (Alternate) track, earlier versions began the main title without a single chord, but two notes that clearly sound like the verbal phrasing of 'Star Wars'.

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How bout we try Hook?

Hook, Hook, Hook hookhookhookhook Hook hookhookhookhook Hook

Hook, Hook, Hook hookhookhookhook Hook hookhookhookhook Hook....you get the point....

In all seriousness, I think Williams has only used the technique for Superman, not the many other films listed here. The Superman thing (as many of you know) have been pointed out by someone else in a interview (that I don't remember well)...

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Yeah, Dick Donner talks about it on the commentary track for Superman: The Movie. It's been a while since I listened to it, but as I recall he talks about how he realized the theme was saying "SUP-ER-MAN!" the first time he heard it, and that he pointed it out, but (I think) Williams said he didn't do it intentionally.

I need to revisit that commentary track. It's really great.

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I read somewhere that Richard Rodney Bennett used the technique to compose the opening piano piece in his score to Murder on the Orient Express.

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This technique is for real, as some members have already pointed out. It was prevalent in Golde Age scores by Steiner (who did this a lot!), Korngold and others, and I'm wondering a little whether this technique might actually be endogenous to film music! I certainly can't recall encountering it in any other genre. And it makes sense in a way: It is really a matter of sonic "branding". The Steiner Gone With the Wind-example is a very good one, but there are countless others. Korngold would actually at times more or less set to music an entire opening crawl, as in The Adventures of Robin Hood.

Whether or not Williams does this consciously, I couldn't say, but I don't see why not, as this is a practice he is certainly very familiar with, and it would be completely in tune with his hommage-approach to a score such as Star Wars. And the later practice of theming a score on a main title song is sort of related to this, I suppose.

Smeltington likes this

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I recall in the commentary on the Brazil laserdisc, someone (probably Terry Gilliam, I'm guessing, it's been a long time) said that Michael Kamen deliberately scored the fanfare for Robert De Niro's character Harry Tuttle so that it sounded like someone could sing "Harry Tuttle!" along with it. Most notably in the scene where Tuttle jumps down some sort of zip line kinda thing when leaving Lowry's place.

So I'd say it's not unique to JW. :)

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If you look for something long enough and want to find it badly enough, you will.

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I don't know why, but every time I see this thread pop up I accidentally mis-read it as "John Williams and EXPLICIT Lyrics," two things that really couldn't be much further apart.

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R2-D2 had his share of explicit lyrics in each movie, but we'll never know because they were always bleeped out.

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So I'd say it's not unique to JW. :)

To add on to this point, there is a feature on the Blu-ray release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes that talks about Doyle's score. Apparently for the cue "Cookies", the whole rhythm was based off the phrase "I gotta cookie for ya". It was really fun watching Doyle get a kick out of that!

http://t.co/esSq5b53

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