May 23, 2009

Random Musing/Song of the Day: In the Deep

"In the Deep" is a touching song written and performed by Bird York, which appears in the 2005 Best Picture, "Crash," and which was nominated for the Oscar for "Best Original Song" (and unfortunately lost to the underdog "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle and Flow"). Interestingly enough, Wikipedia informs me...

There was some question as to the song's eligibility, as it had appeared in the film "The Civilization of Maxwell Bright" as well as [Bird York's album] "The Velvet Hour," both of which were released before "Crash." However, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences determined that the song had been commissioned in 2001 or 2002 by "Crash" director Paul Haggis for use in the film, prior to its other uses; thus, it was eligible. This was likely a precedent for 2006 "Best Original Song" winner "Falling Slowly," which was also used in other media before the film it was commissioned for, "Once," was released.
This brings me to another interesting point: "Falling Slowly." Yes, I ranted about its ineligibility once, but I see how Bird York's eligibility (at least under the Academy's conditions) would serve as a "precedent." However, I now do not see "In the Deep" as eligible for "Best Original Song" because it, in fact, is apparently not as "original" as I thought. Even if Haggis had commissioned the song before its uses in other films and media, it still doesn't make the song any more "original" (read: first, new) three uses later. But oh, well.

Anyway, I did not post this song as "Song of the Day" in order to tear it to shreds, so I will leave you with it. Every time I hear it, I get chills because it is so haunting. York's hypnotic vocals and the mellow instruments in the background are enchanting and perfect for the scene in "Crash" in which they appear—the scene that unites everyone. Enjoy. (I was unable to embed this scene into my blog, but to watch it, simply click here).

UPDATE (5/23/09, 4:01 PM CST): I just received a kind note from the Webmaster of! (This is a first!) Here it is:
Ben -

Thank you for your lovely comments on Bird's song IN THE DEEP. While Wiki is not completely inaccurate - it isn't exactly completely accurate regarding the origins of the song and the eligibility, either. However, that's not really why I'm dropping this line.

Your comments regarding the effect of the song are eloquent and heartfelt, and much appreciated. Thank you for taking time to highlight her work in your blog. I'm going to pass it along to her, as I know how much it will mean that it's still out there making ripples and people care enough to pass it along.

Best Regards,
I think it is interesting that both of us, the Webmaster and I, find the song's Oscar appeal noteworthy, but, in the end, we still come back to the effect of the song itself: pure magic. "In the Deep" is truly one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, and it continues to give me chills every time. Coupled with the footage from "Crash," it will certainly chill you (in a good way), too.

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