The first time I noticed the power of music in a movie, I was eight years old and watching Return of the Jedi.
Luke: I will not fight you.
Darth Vader: Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for… sister. So, you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the Dark Side, then perhaps she will…
And THEN. The music! I get chills just thinking about it. As father and son fought, lightsabers bright against the dark backgrounds, the swelling music elevated the moment to one that brought tears to my tiny eyes. I saved up my third grade allowance money and bought the soundtracks to all three films, just for that one moment. And it was totally worth it.
I continued to buy movie soundtracks throughout middle and high school. Although I don’t tend to buy them anymore, my old favorites still regularly blast from my car speakers. When words are too distracting, they are a great musical option that inspires peace and intense emotion. After all, these are the melodies that brought the fire to death scenes, declarations of love, and battle scenes. Below are some of my enduring favorites (click the song title to listen to it on YouTube), though not in order of preference:
- Gladiator (esp. “Now We are Free“)
- Finding Neverland (esp. “Dancing with the Bear“)
- The Two Towers (esp. “The King of the Golden Hall“)
- Peter Pan (esp. “Fairy Dance“)
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (esp. “A Narnia Lullaby“)
- Doctor Who (esp. “Vale Decem“)
- Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (esp. “The Kraken“)
- The Man in the Iron Mask (esp. “All for One“)
What are your favorite movie soundtracks? Leave a comment and let me know!