Music is a hugely important part of my life, so much so that if you gave me the choice of music or books I really don’t know which I’d choose. I think it’d be an even harder choice than chocolate or cheese. I love tv too, love finding a series that I can get really stuck into, the icing on the cake for me is always if a tv show gets the music right. Lots of shows use music well, but when a show gets it spot on I think it’s a truly wonderful thing.
I’ve spent the last few weeks watching Sons of Anarchy, one episode a night, and I’ve absolutely loved it. It has a great cast playing great roles, and the plots have left me with my heart in my mouth so many times. The thing though that really makes me geek out about the show? Its music. The soundtrack is generally a mix between rock and Southern rock, and brilliant covers. Many episodes have a cover version of a song, each works as a re-imagining of a song that fits the moment in the show perfectly (a lot of them are done specifically for the show including a number that are sung by the show’s Katey Sagal). It’s one of these that has been my most persistent earworm, it’s been with me now for weeks.
The 12th episode of the first season opens and closes with Forever Young, though two different versions both sung by Audra Mae. There is this version with musical accompaniment and some lovely harmonies:
And this virtually acapella version:
It’s an excellent episode already, but the use of this music to sandwich the episode content is a rather beautiful thing. I didn’t know the song at all before this episode, but when I looked the lyrics up I discovered it was originally by Bob Dylan. I’m not the hugest Dylan fan, but I gave his version a listen to understand where the song had come from. His version’s fine but it’s Audra Mae’s cover that I truly love.
I’m not entirely sure what it is that has drawn me so closely to this song, whether it’s the simple way it’s sung, or the beauty of so many of the lyrics. I do know that I’ve fallen asleep with it playing in my brain and I’ve woken up and it’s the first thing I’ve hummed. Most earworms are a bit irritating, and I’m always glad when they’re gone. This one hasn’t left me in over a month and I’m in no particular hurry to see it leave.