Gang Music


 Last weekend I saw the movie “Gangs of New York,” which was outstanding.  The music was so memorable and inspiring that I bought the soundtrack, which is so good that I wanted to tell you about it.  There are some 86 pieces of music in the movie, but the soundtrack CD has only 18 of them.  Still, it’s a very eclectic mix.   


“Dark Moon, High Tide” by Afro Celt Sound System has plenty of drums and bagpipes and sounds very similar to the music in “Braveheart.”  This kind of music really inspires me.  It’s one of the best songs on the CD.  

“The Hands That Built America” is a new song by U2 and is supposed to be the theme for the movie, but I don’t really care for it, and I used to be a huge U2 fan.  

“Shimmy She Wobble” by Othar Turner and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band is the real theme of the movie.  This song is played throughout the movie, and it will be in your head until at least the next morning.  A fife and drums are the only instruments in the song, which is like nothing you’ve ever heard.  The sight of the Dead Rabbits Gang marching to battle combined with the sound of this song is simply unforgettable.  

“Breakaway” by Sidney Stripling is a remarkable song that I believe is played during a couple of quiet scenes in the movie.  It’s simple, plucky and repetitive, and sounds like it’s being played on an old phonograph.  Don’t try to understand the words to this song, because you won’t be able to.  But the tune is so catchy that the song doesn’t need any words.

“Signal to Noise” is a new song by Peter Gabriel that I believe is played during the first big fight scene.  It’s OK.

“Dionysus” by Jocelyn Pook sounds just like a song by Enya.  You can listen to it on the movie’s website.

“Brooklyn Heights 2” by Howard Shore sounds like an old Civil War-era tune.  A good song with a violin and a banjo.

“Morrison’s Jig/Liberty” is an upbeat tune that sounds similar to a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CD.  I like the title.

“Unconstant Lover” is a good tune sung by a woman with an Irish accent who is accompanied by a violin.

“Paddy’s Lamentation” by Linda Thompson is a hauntingly beautiful song that is performed a cappella, with an Irish accent.  The lyrics describe what happened to many Irish immigrants who came to America in the early 1860s seeking a better life (which is also depicted in the movie):

Well meself and a hundred more, to America sailed o'er
Our fortunes to be made we were thinkin'
When we got to Yankee land, they shoved a gun into our hands
Saying "Paddy, you must go and fight for 
Lincoln "

Here's to you boys, now take my advice
To America I'll have ye's not be going
There is nothing here but war, where the murderin' cannons roar
And I wish I was at home in dear old Dublin

 If you’re an audiophile like me, you’ll want this CD for your collection.  You can buy it here.


Your rating: None
strike's picture
Columns on STR: 33

Strike edits Strike The Root.