Monday, June 21, 2004

Somewhere a Web for Us

I am back from my reunion, full of memories, good music, and wine. More on that in a different post. This is about my Father's Day presents. One was a delightful mug handpainted by my four-year-old daughter. She painted her name all by herself, and added a green flower. It is my new tea mug for school. The second gift was from my two-year-old son. As he has not fully explored his artistic abilities beyond some crayon scribbles, he decided to go with a purchased gift, with some help from his mother. I am quite excited with my Spider-Man DVD, so much so that I had to sit down and watch it when we got home from Wisconsin.

When I saw the movie at the theatre a year ago, I left convinced that I kept hearing quotes from West Side Story's "Somewhere." Specifically, I thought that I heard the opening three notes: Sol - Fa - Mi, with appropriate rhythm. So I was ready to hear this again when I watched the DVD. I was correct that Danny Elfman had quoted "Somewhere," but I was incorrect as to the specific quote. It is not the opening three notes, it is the first four notes of the second phrase: La - Sol - Fa - Mi, with appropriate harmony (IV - V - V7 - I, though sometimes in the movie it ends on vi).

I know this is committing the Intentional Fallacy, but I can't help but think that Elfman did this on purpose, as this quotation usually occurs during Peter's love moments with Mary Jane, including the final scene where he rejects her to protect her. It is an interesting take on "Somewhere, a place for us." In West Side Story, the two lovers are separated by violence, first with the killing of Maria's brother, and then with the shooting of Tony. In Spider-Man, the two lovers are also separated by violence, first with an attempted homicide by the Green Goblin, and then when Peter decides he cannot risk her life again.

But what really gets me is that I had the right citation, but the wrong melodic quote. How weird is that?

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