What do Star Wars, The Exorcist, and The Lion King all have in common? As demonstrated in this web video from CBC Music, presented by CBC Radio 2 host Tom Allen, they all have soundtracks that feature the Dies Irae, a 13th century Latin hymn that listeners probably know as “that one sad song you’ve heard a thousand times.” The video traces the song, a meditation on death and the ending of the world, from its medieval roots through just a few of the many, many soundtracks it’s appeared on, including The Lord Of The Rings, The Lion King, and “Tubular Bells,” the theme from The Exorcist. And, apparently just to show off, they do it all in a single six minute take, weaving through the rooms and halls of the Toronto’s Bishop Strachan School, pausing occasionally to take in musicians performing the piece, or film footage highlighting its use. It’s a lovely little demonstration of the enduring power of this simple song, and a nifty visual accomplishment, to boot.
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