Monday, January 04, 2010
My Avatar Will Go On
Last week, as the four of us—me, Janet, Jamie, and, for a short time only, special guest and firstborn Nick—left the theater after our second viewing of Dances with FernGully, I noted with some alarm that the first two notes of the chorus of “I See You,” sung by the lovely and talented Leona Lewis, sounded identical to the first two notes of “My Heart Will Go On.” Since the tempo of the two songs is similar as well, I unfortunately spent much of the rest of the evening mentally singing, “near, far, it’s your avatar/ I believe that Eywa does go on....”
This pedestrian observation led Nick to ask a pointed and difficult question: since when, exactly, have these blockbuster movies adopted versions of the Soaring Ballad as their theme songs? Historians of the Soaring Ballad note that its use spans a variety of genres, appearing even in the work of “rock” bands on the soundtracks of Michael Bay films. “Did it all begin with The Bodyguard?” Nick asked. “Goodness, no,” I replied. “I mean, you’d have to include Maureen McGovern’s classic, Academy-Award-winning [!!] ‘(There’s Got to Be) A Morning After’ from The Poseidon Adventure, and, uh....” Whereupon, dear readers, I realized that I did not know what to say.
This was most disconcerting. Not merely because I am usually quite willing to mouth off about the origins of art forms about which I know nothing (and you know, I still get smooth-jazz spam as a result of that damn post), but more crucially because I think it is my job, as Nick’s father, to provide him with answers to life’s important questions, even if these answers are totally wrong, so that he will continue to look up to me as a font of all human knowledge. But on this one, I have to admit, I got nothing.
So, friends, any ideas? Who can we blame for the Rise of the Soaring Movie Theme Ballad?