A song came on the radio recently that immediately induced a huge smile and sudden desire to call someone to tell them that the Sandlot song was on the radio. Not “Green Onions” by Booker T and the MGs/Tom Petty, but the song from the Sandlot (sorry, Tom). This doesn’t happen all that often, but there are some songs that will be- for better or for worse- forever linked to certain movies and scenes.
As much as I would like to have the most inclusive, well thought-out list of songs immortalized by movies, I’ve almost certainly forgotten a couple. Please try to forgive me.
Ferris Buellers Day Off, Twist and Shout covered by the Beatles
Matthew Broderick is so stinkin’ cute in Ferris. No one does a better twist than he does, and I maintain that few things will put you in a good mood as quickly than listening to this song and thinking of Mr. Bueller entertaining the masses.
The Departed, Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones
I realize that you don’t hear the whole song, and that there’s dialog over a lot of it, but whoever was is in charge of picking music could hardly have done a better job choosing the opening song. When you hear the telltale opening riffs of Gimme Shelter behind the grainy footage of Boston riots and Jack’s raspy mob-boss voice, well, it’s damn near perfect.
Blow, Black Betty by Ram Jam
If I had a theme song for when I walked through an airport, I can only hope it would and sound half this cool. Being Johnny Depp wouldn’t hurt either.
All of them. I could only pick one. Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Not many movies can really compete with the astronomically high bar set by the Forrest Gump sound track, so in the name of fairness I whittled it down to one. The song itself was iconic before Forrest, but add a helicopter, dangerously serene Vietnamese scenery and a naive Forrest you’ve got yourself one hell of a scene. The rest of the tracks recieve honorable mention.
The Sandlot, Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs
If your movie is going to be forever immortalized by a song, at least it’s a good one.
Old School, Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
Not the most thought-provoking, intellectual movie ever made, but try to tell me you don’t think of Frank drowning every time this song comes on. And yes, I know they poached the song and the swimming pool concept from The Graduate, but Robert De Niro can’t compete with Will Ferrel in terms of sheer ridiculousness. Ridiculousness sticks. (For the record, The Graduate is one of my favorite movies).
Big, Chopsticks, originally “The Celebrated Chop Waltz” by Euphemia Allen under the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli.
If I ever meet Tom Hanks, I’m going to tell him that Big has been one of my favorite movies since I was in 1st grade. Not that I admire his humanitarian efforts, or that I loved him in Cast Away, but that to me he’ll always be Josh Baskin. I’ve seen it 327 times and I still watch it every time it comes on. So take a peek at the scene that launched a thousand renditions of chopsticks on 1988 Casio keyboards and that prompted every kid who ever saw the movie Big to beg for an over-sized floor piano for Christmas.
Top Gun, That Loving Feeling by the Righteous Brothers
Before he was crazy, Tom Cruise was a babe. He may be short, but put the man in a white Air Force uniform and most women would be inclined to forgive him for that. But he went the extra mile and forever changed the context of the Righteous Brothers classic.
Pretty in Pink, Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding
Otis Redding can really do no wrong, the man is a legend in his own right. Which is why it’s so wonderfully anachronistic to see Duckie sporting every ’80s trend simultaneously while miming the great Mr. Redding to an appalled Andie. One of the best scenes ever.
I know I’ve missed some good ones, so please let me know what I forgot! Hope this makes your day a little more entertaining.