Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Wicker Man: great tunes

Yesterday evening, I don't know why, but when I went downstairs to start cooking dinner, I knew exactly what I needed to listen to: the soundtrack to The Wicker Man. Now I'm sure all of you reading this know only too well that The Wicker Man is, bar none, the greatest British film ever made. Some might argue that it's only the best British horror movie ever made, but to that I say: "Bollocks. It's the Best Brit movie ever."

Some of my American blogmates might think, "Well, that's cos you Brits don't know how to make films, so there's not much to choose from." Well of course that's silly. There are many many great British movies. Most, sadly, are from days long gone. But we did pretty well in the late 60s and early 70s, so there.

Anyway, this post isn't about the film; it's about the soundtrack, which if you don't have, you should buy NOW.

The music is so gently emotional. Folksy, and with darkly sexy pagan lyrics. Hypnotic. Evocative. Haunting. The CD packaging describes it as "ballads of seduction, fertility, and ritual slaughter". How can you go wrong?

Here are the words of probably my favourite track on the album, "Gently Johnny":

I put my hand on her knee
And she says, Do you want to see?

I put my hand on her breast
And she says, Do you want a kiss?

I put my hand on her thigh
And she says, Do you want to try?

I put my hand on her belly
And she says, Do you want to fill me?

The song "Corn Rigs" is also great. I think a snippet can be found here, along with "Willow's Song". Enjoy.


Blogger a.c.t said...

Someone else loves it to? Amazing. My favourite scene/song is the one when the boys are dancing round the maypole "And on that tree..........a flower".

I also love the song that Brit Ekland sings to temp the Sergeant through the wall. The Sneakerpimp's version of this called 'How Do' is fantastic. I also love Corn Rigs and The Landlord's daughter. Have you seen the uncut version? It's a shame that Gently Johnny is only on this version of the film and the quality of the uncut scenes is really poor.

25 May, 2006 10:43  
Blogger Cynnie said...

Brits make movies ?

25 May, 2006 13:41  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

ACT: I first saw The Wicker Man in 1988 on the greatly missed Moviedrome series. That series, fronted by Alex Cox, was probably what really got me seriously into films. I always watch the long version of TWM when I sit down to it, and I haven't seen the short version for quite a few years now. If you don't have the latest version of the CD soundtrack (2002), you should get it. "Corn Rigs", "Gently Johnny", "Willow's Song", and others are taken straight from the stereo master tapes. Previous CD versions lifted them from the movie and the quality was apparently significantly worse.

Cynnie: Yes, Brits make movies! Not many these days, and they're usually not very good either. But we used to be a force to be reckoned with. Way back when we had an Empire...

25 May, 2006 14:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corn Rigs is a Robbie Burns poem dont you know.

Whicker man is my fave film. I first saw it on moviedrome too. That was the greatest show ever.

I lend the DVD to people at work. Nobody likes it? I just cannot understand it. Its a fantastic movie. Christopher lee at his finest I think.

25 May, 2006 14:23  
Blogger Mike said...

It took me a few viewings to appreciate the film, but it's now one of our cult classics...and nobody has an excuse not to own the it because it came free with The Guardian a couple of months ago. The only gripe I have with it is that Edward Woodward's acting is a bit on the er, wooden side.

Soundtrack is excellent though. Can't believe they're going to remake it in the States soon.

25 May, 2006 16:01  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

RD: I didn't know that about the Burns poem, no. Moviedrome was great, at least in those early years. I don't understand how someone can't like this movie!

Mike, hi. Thanks for stopping by. And even if they didn't get it with The Guardian, it's reasonably easy to pick up the 2-DVD set for £2.99. I have - twice - within the past six months in two different shops!

25 May, 2006 16:23  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Well, I am going to have to go get this movie. I love horror movies, and how come I never even HEARD of this!!! Holy shit, you've got me ina frenzy now. (Frenzy, great British film)

Um, British films, well the joke goes how all British movies right now fall undertwo categories, a movie and then the genre of poor town, insane way to make money and save the day. I call it the Mickey and Judy British genre. Also mentioned in my A.I. post.

Um British movies I love? Well I am a HUGE Hitchcock fan. Love Nicolous Roeg, Ken Russell, Peter O Toole, maybe the greatest movie ever made, who David Lean?

25 May, 2006 17:38  
Blogger Cynnie said...

Oh!!.. I saw a movie once that had some overly madeup motorcycle riding women in it was black and white and cheesy as and a co-worker had to work a night shift and we laughed our asses off about that movie all night.
I wish i could remember the name.

25 May, 2006 23:35  
Blogger Meander said...

oooh a soundtrack to buy? you know i love soundtracks!

26 May, 2006 03:22  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

Awesome! I love horror movies, and I haven't ever heard of this one (probably b/c I'm a sad, young American... ahh, so much to learn). I'll run out and rent this ASAP. I just hope I can find it.

Oh, and I love Christopher Lee... so I'm way excited!

26 May, 2006 06:56  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

oh god no! jesus christ no!

what a way to go, an absolute classic!
prefer quadrophenia though (in no way stereotyping myself!)
and mcvicar
and the krays
and every carry on film/passport to pimlico/i'm all right jack/ladykillers etc, etc, etc.

and it's about time they re-ran tales of the unexpected.

any non brits, sorry if i am confusing you!

26 May, 2006 10:45  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Cynnie: It could be Girl on a Motorcycle.

Meander: Yes I do. Get your credit card out and head to

Martha: Thanks for your visit. Chris Lee is great in it, and he himself is a huge fan of the movie and the soundtrack.

FF: I know what you mean. But no spoilers please! The Wicker Man is so so so excellent when you have no idea what will happen. Tales of the Unexpected used to shit me up something chronic!

26 May, 2006 13:43  
Blogger Elder Faery said...

I love the Wicker Man songs and have crooned them to all my kids (Meadow, Willow and Ash) since they were born. I cannot remember how old I was when I saw the film, I think 16/17, but I'd already decided who I was and what my kids would be taught and this film just put the icing on the cake when I was at that embryonic stage. I'm amazed at how many men on the net like the Wickerman. I could never find anyone who liked it (they thought it a joke. I just love the film...and I think maybe it's time I showed it to my husband...maybe there's a chance he'll like it.

26 May, 2006 21:11  

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