04 February 2004
Where Songs Come From
On writing songs for
film: Bono and 'In America' director Jim Sheridan, discuss.
'When the U2 frontman agreed to write a song for director Jim Sheridan's
film In America
, writes Kevin Winter of Associated Press, the
key was crafting lyrics and a melody that would extend the melancholy
wistfulness of the final scene.
"Film is part of my education," Bono said, sitting with Sheridan on
a patio at the Chateau Marmont hotel during a recent visit to Hollywood.
"Growing up in the north side of Dublin, our experiences of art and
culture came from music and movies. So that's always been a part of
is loosely based on Sheridan's childhood memories
about the death of his brother, mingled with his adult experiences
emigrating with his wife and two daughters from Ireland to New York
City in the 1980s. Bono watched a rough cut of the movie in 2001 and
began crafting lyrics and melody for the song Time Enough For Tears
drawing off elements of film's score by Maurice Seezer and Gavin Friday.
Andrea Corr, who sings with her siblings in the Irish pop group The
Corrs, performs the lullaby over the closing credits.
"It's definitely about death and all those Irish melancholy songs.
We're great at singing songs about death," Bono joked about the tune.
Sheridan wasn't sure at first that he wanted a song, but felt it might
reinforce some of the emotions the film explored. "It's a kind of
poetic coda," Sheridan said. "The audience is not going to listen
to that and reinterpret the film through the song. But if they listen
to it over time, they get an added perspective that carries a lot
of weight -- but lightly."
With U2 and sometimes on his own, Bono has worked on a lot of theme
songs for a lot of movies, including Gangs of New York
and the James Bond thriller Goldeneye
they are what Bono described as "adjuncts," unrelated pop tunes tagged
onto a movie as a promotional device. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss
Me, Kill Me
from 1995's Batman Forever
was one of those,
along with Elevation
, which turned up in 2001's Lara Croft:
The singer seems to have more affection for songs written specifically
for a particular film story, like The Hands that Built America
from Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York
, a mournful rock ballad
that traveled from the film's Civil War-era riots in the 1860s to
the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just prior to the terrorist attacks.
The band had an Oscar nomination for that one last year, but lost
to Eminem. Bono didn't get a nomination this year, although In
three others, including best original screenplay for
Sheridan and his daughters, whose memories he drew on for the script.
was a chance for Bono to collaborate again with
the filmmaker, a longtime friend who once owned a theater in Ireland
where Bono performed rock songs as a teenager. "He's been a mentor
to me," Bono said. "It's like he's always been a presence in my life.
... and Jim's pitched this film not just to me, but to anybody in
Dublin for the past five years at every pub he's found himself in."
They previously worked together on Sheridan's 1993 film In the
Name of the Father
, about a man wrongly imprisoned for an IRA
bombing in London. Bono, Friday and Seezer co-wrote the theme You
Made Me the Thief of Your Heart
for singer Sinead O'Connor. "There
are songs you have to rob. There are songs you have to put together
slowly, the ones you have to carry on your back for a while. And then
there are songs that are gifts. 'Thief of Your Heart was one like
that," Bono said.
Read the whole of this article here
More on the film here