Tuesday, January 20, 2009

happy inauguration day

we got a new president today. that's always pretty exciting news. i woke up early to watch the festivities. one of the funniest parts (for me) was when they announced that john williams had prepared a piece for the occassion. i'm a fan of his movie scores and immediately named "back to the future" as my favorite. boy did i have egg on my face when my roommate, adam, corrected me, "alan silvestri did back to the future." serves me right for illegally downloading that song my freshman year of college and believing it when it said john williams was the composer. anyway, williams did the scores for star wars, superman, indiana jones, hook, home alone, ET, and jurrasic park - all of which are among my favorite theme songs.

adam was telling me about how a lot of classical music buffs dislike john williams because of his tendency to "borrow" from other composers. i quoted swingers, "everybody steals from everybody." adam agreed. then, about a minute twenty into this song that john williams wrote for the inauguration (called "air and simple gifts"), the song starts to sound uncannily familiar. "it's the beef it's what's for dinner song!" i immediately exclaimed. and it was. it definitely was. "air and simple gifts" is four minutes and twenty-four seconds long and literally two minutes and sixteen seconds of it is the "beef it's what's for dinner" song (aka "hoe-down" from "rodeo" by aaron copland.)

but after doing a little research i found out the melody was actually from an old quaker song called "simple gifts" that was written back in 1848 (that explains the williams' title) but there's even some speculators that think it was an old celtic tune before it was a quaker tune.

like i said, everybody steals from everybody. stole that from swingers. and it was said a million times before that movie was ever written. anyway, it was a nice inauguration. the inaugural address was very well done. and the song john williams wrote was cool as well. check out "air and simple gifts" if you like:

No comments: