Saturday, May 11, 2019

For All My Years of Fandom

I make no bones about being an unabashed Ennio Morricone fanboi... the man is a legend, his movie scores are invariably interesting, even those he wrote for not-so-interesting films. In all of my years of fandom, I never knew that his theme for A Fistful of Dollars, perhaps my favorite of his pieces, was based on his arrangement of Woody Guthrie's 1941 paean to migrant farm workers, Pastures of Plenty:

Ennio Morricone collaborated with American singer Peter Tevis, with whom he recorded the unintentionally hilarious A Gringo Like Me ('there's just one kind of man you can trust, that's a dead man, or a gringo like me'... uh, that's two kind of men, guys). Morricone's arrangement of Pastures of Plenty adds a lot of bells and whistles to the song, literally:

Strip out the vocals, add some sort of ocarina sound, change the lead guitar riff a bit and, hey presto, you have the makings of fantastic opening theme for an oater:

I think Woodie would have approved of his song being used to score a film by an Italian socialist.

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