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Author Topic: Jill's Theme or Deborah's Theme? Which is better?  (Read 7187 times)
tucumcari bound
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« on: September 06, 2006, 04:40:43 PM »

Both of these themes blow me away. In my opinion, Ennio Morricone has wrote two of the most touching pieces of music I've ever heard. Jill's theme from Once Upon a Time in the West is pure genius. Putting that movie into a whole other level in terms of it's greatness. Simply brilliant. Deborah's theme in my eyes does the exact same thing for Once Upon a Time in America. Equally beautiful, equally brilliant. But if you had to choose one piece, which theme would you choose? Shocked

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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2006, 04:43:01 PM »

Well Jill's theme is very downbeat but it does have a tone of pride and optimism in it. Deborah's theme is very melancholy and sad, definitely goes well with the lost love theme.

I guess it all depends on your taste. I can't decide which one I like better.

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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2006, 04:51:13 PM »

I like "Deborah's Theme" interspersed with the Main Title of OUATIA in the track "Friendship and Love" - talk about a sad song.  Cry

I have to say "Deborah's Theme" of those two.  It's up there with "Cockeye's Song", "Man With A Harmonica" and "Ecstasy of Gold" as my favorite songs from a Leone film.

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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006, 04:54:10 PM »

My favorite song from a Leone film is the Giu La Testa theme.

Of course followed by the other classics.

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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 05:04:52 PM »

I like "Deborah's Theme" interspersed with the Main Title of OUATIA in the track "Friendship and Love" - talk about a sad song.  Cry

I have to say "Deborah's Theme" of those two.  It's up there with "Cockeye's Song", "Man With A Harmonica" and "Ecstasy of Gold" as my favorite songs from a Leone film.

Amazing.  I was able to make a post without bringing up David Lean!  Grin

Wait a minute. . .  Lips Sealed

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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2006, 09:42:32 AM »

Yeah, Groggy, and I was waiting the hear your comparison of Morricone and Maurice Jarre, too!

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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2006, 02:21:49 PM »

Morricone did not compose "Deborah's Theme," though he was responsible for effectively scoring it. The film credits José Maria LaCalle (aka Joseph M. LaCalle) as the composer of "Amapola" (Pretty Little Poppy), which serves as Deborah's theme. He was born in 1860 in Spain, and died in 1937.

The tune is very similar if not identical to "Aquellos Ojos Verdes" (Green Eyes), which was composed by Nilo Menendez (1902-1987).

Oddly, both songs are on an album of Jimmy Dorsey's 24 Greatest Hits (http://www.amazon.com/Amapola-Jimmy-Dorsey/dp/B00004NRRX).

===

After raping and losing Deborah, we learn that Noodles retreats for a while into an opium-induced stupor. I'm not clear how long this period lasted -- Days? Weeks? Months? Long enough for his gang to notice his absence, anyway. Why would he choose opium, when alcohol was a much more obvious (and available) depressant? What was it that pulled Noodles up out of this self-destructive behavior? Was it meeting Eve? These are questions that might be resolved by the 'missing' footage.

Here's one thematic clue to the question "Why opium?" The lyrics to Amapola (Deborah's Theme), which I think are not heard in the movie, are suggestive:

    Amapola,
    My pretty little poppy,
    You're like that lovely flower, so sweet and heavenly.
    Since I found you,
    My heart is wrapped around you,
    And loving you it seems to beat a rhapsody.

    Amapola,
    The pretty little poppy
    Must copy its endearing charm from you.
    Amapola,
    Amapola,
    How I long to hear you say, "I love you."

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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2006, 04:14:25 PM »

cool info on Lyrics to Ampola thankyou.

I think he was in "sweet dreams" for most of the film.

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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2007, 09:56:56 AM »

I would choose Jill's theme. No doubt about it. It's flawless.

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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2007, 08:12:22 PM »

I would choose Jill's theme. No doubt about it. It's flawless.

I agree Jupa. The song is flawless!

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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2007, 03:32:06 PM »

Morricone did not compose "Deborah's Theme," though he was responsible for effectively scoring it. The film credits José Maria LaCalle (aka Joseph M. LaCalle) as the composer of "Amapola" (Pretty Little Poppy), which serves as Deborah's theme.
"Amapola" and "Deborah's Theme" are not identical, as anyone comparing the cues on the soundtrack album can discern. The two works are linked, of course, and various explanations have been advanced to explain how. Here are two, the first from the soundtrack's liner notes, the second from Frayling's Something to do with Death.

Quote
Most prominent among [the period songs featured in the score] is “Amapola,” the beautiful standard to which young Deborah rehearses her ballet steps. Written in 1924 by Joseph M. Lacalle, it is arranged in several different forms by Morricone, including one in which it plays as counterpoint to “Deborah’s Theme.” The slow version with clarinet playing the melody is what Deborah plays on her old Victrola while Noodles spies on her through the peephole.
  (John Burlingame 11-12)

Quote
‘Amapola’ was to be heard first, in a 1924-style arrangement, on Deborah’s wind-up gramophone; later, in an over-lush string arrangement, played by the seaside restaurant orchestra during Noodles’ big night out. The tune was also to be woven into Morricone’s ‘Deborah’s Theme’—transposed from A to E major—as if the two had blended in Noodles’ memory.
(Frayling 426-427)

So "Deborah's Theme" incorporates elements of "Amapola" but is not merely a re-scoring or re-arrangement of the tune, it is a new piece of music (much as, say, Future Sound of London's "My Kingdom" was a new piece of music even though it incorporated the sampled pan flute from "Cockeye's Theme"). Again, simply listening to the different cues should make the matter clear. To this layman's ear, "Amapola" sounds like "To See You is to Love You" (which you would know if you'd watched Rear Window as often as I have). "Deborah's Theme" doesn't sound like that at all.

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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2007, 12:10:46 PM »

You're quite right, Dave. My mistake.

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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2007, 04:44:22 PM »

Jill's theme without question.

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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2007, 06:04:27 PM »

Tough call, very tough call, at present as I'm listening to it, I'm gonna have to go with Jills. It reminds me of a certain theme in The Searchers when Ethan is about to leave his brothers house with Bond and his brothers wife comes over and gives him a coat, this presentation of the theme to me reminds me of certain renditions of Jill's theme in OUATITW.

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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2007, 07:52:11 PM »

Tough call, very tough call, at present as I'm listening to it, I'm gonna have to go with Jills. It reminds me of a certain theme in The Searchers when Ethan is about to leave his brothers house with Bond and his brothers wife comes over and gives him a coat, this presentation of the theme to me reminds me of certain renditions of Jill's theme in OUATITW.

Yeah, I know the music you're reffering to in The Searchers. That's another beautiful piece of music and it certainly resembles Jill's Theme. Good observation.

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