Recently I walked into a restaurant with some friends and the song “You Might Think” by The Cars was playing. Like any average person, I was immediately reminded of the woefully under-appreciated one season CBS wonder known as “BrainDead“, or more specifically, the fact that (and this next part is going to sound super strange if you didn’t watch “BrainDead” which if true is LAME because I told you to watch it on this blog months ago!!!) when people’s brains were taken over by the alien bug things in the show they became obsessed with that song.
It got me thinking about other songs that weren’t necessarily made for a specific movie or TV show but are associated with that movie or TV show because of the memorable moment they were a part of. Take, for example, the song “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. Many associate it with the series finale of “The Sopranos” and its final moments that still leave people both mystified and irritated. Other, more musical theatre-inclined people associate it with its use in the series premiere of “Glee.” (Oh god, remember “Glee?”) It wasn’t written specifically for either of those things, and yet that’s what we often associate it with. So much so, that I once saw a piece of sheet music titled “Don’t Stop Believin’ (From the Television Series “Glee”).”
Another great example is the iconic Queen song “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Not that it needs to be associated with anything to be great, but often when I think of it I think of Wayne and Garth of “Wayne’s World” jamming out in their car. It’s a classic scene, made even more classic by the song playing in it. Ferris Bueller crashing a parade in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is memorable to begin with, but add The Beatles’ cover of “Twist and Shout” to the mix and it’s forever a part of cinematic history.
Putting a certain song in a certain scene can do so much. It can elevate a scene to new heights. It can take a moment from memorable to iconic. It can even give an older song a second (or third, in the case of “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Glee”) life with a new generation. Or, it can just make someone standing in a restaurant say, “hey, remember that weird show that only I watched in the summer of 2016?” Either way, it’s fascinating and worth thinking about next time a song you heard on a TV show or in a movie gets stuck in your head.
What do you think? Have any songs not made for but featured in a particular movie or TV show that have stuck with you? Are you regretting not watching “BrainDead”? Because you should be. It was great! Let me know on all of the above in the comments. And, before I go back to mourning the end of “Gilmore Guys” (check out my interview with them from back in the day!), I’ll say what I always do…