Sabtu, 29 Januari 2011

What's the song playing during Faust in "Tombstone"?

: tombstone

Why: That same music plays on every disc of the audiobook of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Maybe it is a Faust thing? I guess it would make sense, whatwith the Devil and graves and whatnot.

Answer: It's called "Danse Macabre"! Maybe you have heard it:

It was written by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns and first performed in 1872.
According to legend, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death calls forth the dead from their graves to dance their dance of death for him while he plays his fiddle represented by a solo violin with its E-string tuned to an E-flat in an example of scordatura tuning. His skeletons dance for him until the rooster crows at dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year.
The piece originally had words, too, by French poet Henri Cazalis, "based in an old French superstition." Saint-Saëns later reworked everything and changed the vocal line to a solo violin, but here is an excerpt (in translation obvi):
A lustful couple sits on the moss
So as to taste long lost delights.
Zig zig, zig, Death continues
The unending scraping on his instrument.
A veil has fallen! The dancer is naked.
Her partner grasps her amorously.
The lady, it's said, is a marchioness or baroness
And her green gallant, a poor cartwright.
Horror! Look how she gives herself to him,
Like the rustic was a baron.
Zig, zig, zig. What a saraband!
They all hold hands and dance in circles.

: IMDb

The More You Know: Not at all coincidentally, Chapter 5 of The Graveyard Book is called "Danse Macabre." One night, some of the dead folk and some live folk have a little get-together and chant stuff like this:
Time to work and time to play,
Time to dance the Macabray.

One to leave and one to stay
And all to dance the Macabray.

Rich man, poor man, come away.
Come to dance the Macabray.

One and all will hear and stay
Come and dance the Macabray.

Step and turn, and walk and stay,
Now we dance the Macabray.
Anyway, I just found out here that Bela Fleck does the ones on the audiobook. Fun!

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