Emmylou Harris Pens First Big-Screen Song
Emmylou Harris has recorded songs for various movie soundtracks through the years, but she's never had one of her original tunes featured in a film until now. The iconic singer's 'In Rodanthe' runs over the ending credits in the movie 'Nights in Rodanthe,' marking the first time she's actually written a song specifically for a movie. Harris says it's a perfect match for her first writing gig in the world of soundtracks.
"I do really love the story and the setting," she says. "I kind of like sad stories and sad songs but I like them to have a little bit of hope in them, and I felt this filled the bill."
Harris did not read Nicholas Spark's book upon which the movie was based until after she got the assignment. Her mission was to write a song that wrapped up the story told in the film. Harris says she got the job because her publisher had been courting film people for the last couple years, telling them that she should be writing songs for movies.
"I was intrigued with the story when I first heard it and I especially loved it because of the location -- the eastern shore was a place I'd read about as a child in a book called 'Misty of Chincoteague.' When I saw the rough cut of 'Nights in Rodanthe' it was a lovely story and the scenery was as I had imagined it," she recalls.
"My song talks about how their love gave her the deepest cut (hurt) she would ever have yet at the same time the greatest joy. It was an experience that would continue to impact her life ... what she felt for him would change her heart and soul and her ability to experience life and love. The song had to have a certain sadness and melancholy but it had to ultimately be a joyful song. Her experience was something no one could ever take away from her and she was transformed by the power of love."
Harris says 'In Rodanthe' resonates with her, because she feels a need to write sad songs about love that either doesn't work out or that has its hardships. She cites the Buck Owens song that she recorded, 'Together Again,' as a good example of that theory.
"It is a happy song, because nothing else matters because they are together again. But I have to ask why they weren't together and there are many scenarios that could answer that question. Love is so intense, so empowering, a simple lyric like that can tell stories for a lot of different people."
Harris is also featured on the opening song from the soundtrack to 'Nights in Rodanthe' -- 'Way Down in North Carolina.' Other soundtracks that she is featured on include 'The Horse Whisperer,' 'Brokeback Mountain' and 'The Song Catcher.'