Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Songs for a Tuesday morning: That's where I long to be . . .

"Here comes Randy.  He's alone.  What's his problem?"

That's how Budd Boetticher described the basic set-up of the seven films he made with Randolph Scott in the late 50's. 

Now me, I'm no stranger to the late 50's (except when I wear day makeup).  And yes, I've been depressed lately.  Frankly, I feel like that quote above should read: "Here comes Matthew.  He's alone.  What's his fucking problem anyway?" And because some films are comfort food, I've been spending a lot of time these last few weeks curled up on the couch watching old westerns.  Which means listening to a lot of western title songs.  (And whistling them, too, which has gotten me kicked out of a couple of bars.  With good reason--nothing clears out a Friday night March Madness crowd quicker than a whistled version of "Gunfight At The OK Corral.")

I wanted to give you a sample of what I've been subjecting myself to, and skim the cream rather than scrape the bottom of the barrel (cough)"Liberty Valance"(cough).  So here are two classic Western songs, one from a Howard Hawks film, and one from a John Ford film.  If they're not familiar to you, they deserve to be. 

The Hawks is from Rio Bravo, and if you followed The Sopranos, you heard this played under the credits of one of the episodes in Season 4.  Picture John Wayne listening to this.  Picture John Wayne having to listen to this.  While Walter Brennan makes faces at him off-camera:

My Rifle, Pony and Me - Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson

The Ford is from The Searchers.  It's the title song--not just the two excerpts played at the beginning and the end, but the whole thing.  Which makes you appreciate the genius of Ford.  Because to my tinhorn ear, the whole song is less than the sum of those two excerpted parts.  See if you agree:

The Searchers - Sons of the Pioneers

Till next time, I'm off to ride lonesome; see you seven men from now.

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