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A while ago I was mindlessly channel surfing and saw that "Star Trek: First Contact" was about to begin on one of the move networks. I hadn't seen it since watching it in the theater as a kid and I remembered enjoying it quite a bit, so I slouched back on the couch an settled in for some nostalgia. Hearing the familiar, welcoming Star Trek fanfare heightened my anticipation, and then something unexpected happened: as the main title played my eyed started to water a bit, and I didn't know why.


Sure, it's a beautiful theme, in all of it's Brahmsian horn/viola/cello glory




but I didn't even remember it from when I first saw the film. It's certainly not as memorable as a tune like the main title of The Godfather or Star Wars, but it has such a wonderful, peaceful quality.


Later I went to youtube and looked it up, and surprisingly it had the almost the same effect. Then I realized what had happened: the music had taken me back. Back to being a kid, back to a time when life wasn't so complicated. Somehow my subconscious had stored the theme away, and hearing it again opened up some locked away emotions.


I tried to think of some other movie themes that might have a similar effect, and I did come up with one: Field of Dreams.




I grew up in the country, surrounded by farms and cornfields, and my dad and I never quite saw eye to eye, so this is particular music is in my wheelhouse. I didn't see the movie until the early 2000s with some friends, and I had to excuse myself because most of the other people watching were laughing at the corniness of it all while the ending was making me cry, and I didn't want to come across as some sort of wuss. When the haunting opening horn theme fades into the gentle Joplin-esque piano tune I almost feel like I've stepped into a time machine twice: one for when I first saw the film, and one for when I was a kid running around in those fields.


I'd be curious to hear some other themes that have that sort of special connection for you.
 

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One theme that almost always brings tears for me is the opening theme to "The Joy Luck Club". Not so much because it takes me back to the time I watched it as because it brings the movie itself to mind - and "The Joy Luck Club" is an Olympic-class tearjerker of a film.
 
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