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Saturday, January 01, 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird: Elmer Bernstein's Opening Theme

 


 

If there's a more moving opening theme in the history of pictures, I haven't heard it. Try and ignore the racial politics, and focus on the music.

1 comment:

John Robert Mallernee said...

Mr. Stix, Et Alii:

I'm sorry, but that particular movie theme doesn't move me.

The most memorable motion picture music for me was, "THE EXODUS SONG", which really did "move" me.

I first heard it on the radio, when I was boy in El Paso, Texas.

It was a record of a piano duet by Ferrante and Teicher.

I was so moved by what I was hearing on the radio, that I persuaded my parents to take us to the drive-in movie, so we could watch the show.

I didn't know the story was about the birth of modern Israel.

I thought "EXODUS" would be about the events that occurred in the book of that name in the Bible.

I was so moved by that music, that later, I either purchased or stole the paperback novel at a corner drugstore, so I could read the story.

That was when I learned that the movie rarely matches the book, because the book can give much more detailed information than a movie can, due to the constraints of time limits.

I was so moved by the music, that I taught myself to play it on the piano, picking out the melody with my right hand.

When I was in the United States Army, another soldier showed me how to play triad chords with my left hand, and then, "THE EXODUS SONG" began sounding much better.

At some point, I learned there were words to the song, and how I learned them, I can't remember.

But, I learned those words and would frequently sing them a capello.

I was always singing something, even as a boy, where I learned to mimic what I was hearing on the radio, and I continued my constant singing when I was a soldier, always performing a capello.

If other folks were amused, or thought I was weird, it didn't bother me a bit.

I was so moved by the music from the movie, "EXODUS", that when I was serving in Viet Nam, I volunteered to extend my tour of duty an additional six months, just so I could get a special thirty day leave and go visit Israel.

Later, when serving in the Republic of Korea, I learned to accompany myself by strumming a few simple chords on a guitar.

Finally, I could sing "THE EXODUS SONG" while playing guitar!

If you go to the YOU TUBE web site, you can find my channel by searching for "writesong" or "John Robert Mallernee".

Once you find it, just click on "FAVORITE MOVIE AND TV SONGS", and then you can watch a video of me playing my guitar and singing, "EXODUS".

Also, I wrote a poem, "MY TRIP TO ISRAEL", and I learned to sing an English version of the Israeli national anthem, "HATIKVAH", and to sing "EL SHADDAI".

Each of those videos is posted at the YOU TUBE web site.

So, that's how hearing one movie's theme song "moved" me, over and over and over again, throughout much of my life.

Other motion pictures, whose theme songs have motivated me are the 1960 version of "THE ALAMO", "GONE WITH THE WIND", "HOW THE WEST WAS WON", "THE SOUND OF MUSIC", "MAN OF LA MANCHA", "FLAMING STAR", "PAINT YOUR WAGON", "THE GREEN BERETS", "THE GOODBYE GIRL", "NORTH TO ALASKA", "BELLS OF SAINT MARY'S", "G.I. BLUES", "THUNDER ROAD", "DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE", and "EMPIRE OF THE SUN".

In fact, there's really too many to list, but you'll see the videos of me singing those songs at my YOU TUBE channel.

Since Marilyn Monroe is my cousin, I just had to learn "RIVER OF NO RETURN".

I like the music from "DOCTOR ZHIVAGO", but I haven't yet learned to sing it.

No, I ain't no professional, and I didn't used to be somebody famous (I get asked that question a lot).

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Gulfport, Mississippi 39507