Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Song to the siren"

I watched a bootleg dvd of 'The Lovely Bones' the other day with a friend. Not that I was expecting much from the film, but I was especially disappointed with the selection of music. It is bad enough that "Alice" by the Cocteau Twins is featured in the film (and the trailer) but someone had the gall to include This Mortal Coil's version of "song to the siren" to sappy effect.
I can't remember when or where I first heard the track, but I do recall it taking my breath away. Dark, subtle and hauntingly beautiful, the song gave me chills and still does. At the risk of sounding sentimental, only a few songs have managed to burrow so deeply into my heart and I feel very protective of them and their use in film and TV. This Mortal Coil's "song to the siren" has no place in 'The Lovely Bones.' It has also been used in 'Lost Highway' (1997) and 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (2003) but I feel it somehow fits the scenes in those films a little better. That being said, enough is enough. I firmly believe that once a song is used on a soundtrack it shouldn't be used again and some songs shouldn't be whored out on soundtracks in the first place.

"Song to the siren" was originally written and performed by Tim Buckley in 1970:

But I much prefer the version by This Mortal Coil released in 1983:


On the floating, shapeless oceans
I did all my best to smile
til your singing eyes and fingers
drew me loving into your eyes.

And you sang "Sail to me, sail to me;
Let me enfold you."

Here I am, here I am waiting to hold you.
Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you here when I was full sail?

Now my foolish boat is leaning, broken love lost on your rocks.
For you sang, "Touch me not, touch me not, come back tomorrow."
Oh my heart, oh my heart shies from the sorrow.
I'm as puzzled as a newborn child.
I'm as riddled as the tide.
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Or shall I lie with death my bride?

Hear me sing: "Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you."
"Here I am. Here I am, waiting to hold you."

Here it is being used in the trailer for 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (2003):

and featured in a scene from 'Lost Highway' (1997):

The End

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