It was the legendary director Francis Ford Coppola who in 1972 shrewdly turned Mario Puzo’s novel hero, The Godfather, into a masterpiece film chronology. The Godfather is today amongst the greatest film accomplishments of American cinema in modern times. But besides the marvelous production, his greatest decision of all was to assign the scoring of The Godfather title songs to Nino Rota, the Italian film composer, who is a legend by his own right.
Nino Rota had the experience of three dozen films in 20 years before he composed the Godfather music, and in his scoring he incorporated Neopolitan jazz stylings into the Sicilian melody sensibility demanded by The Godfather. The result was a success fantasy in soundtrack work. A good example of the amazing quality of The Godfather music is characterized by the perfect mournful solo trumpet, the film’s title song. This Godfather title song has become the cinematic melody icon of modern times. It is a rare experience to watch a Godfather movie, especially the music. This masterful score by Rota, before he died in 1979, could have taken him places had he started working in and with Hollywood’s resources say ten years earlier.
The Godfather soundtrack was released under the same name by Paramount in the years 1972 and 1991.The track listing for the Godfather title songs include The Godfather Waltz, I Have But One Heart, composed by Johnny Farrow and performed by Al Martino, The Pickup, Connie’s Wedding, The Halls Of Fear, Sicilian Pastorale, Speak Softly Love, Apollonia, The New Godfather, The Baptism and The Godfather Finale.
Other notable songs that were part of the Godfather music and which have not been released to date as part of the Godfather albums include Che La Luna by Paolo Citarella, Manhattan Seranade by Louis Alter, I Have But One Heart, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Bells of St. Mary’s, Wedding Sequence, All of My Life, Mona Lisa, and the Baptism Sequence by J.S. Bach. All these Godfather songs have been listed in the Godfather films.
Godfather title songs have an amazing score that is thematically beautiful, aesthetically ecstatic, and enriched with a melody with Italian roots. The Godfather music has been a phenomenal creation, contributing highly to the films aesthetic appeal and popularity. The melodies are easy to hum around for many days after watching the film. The place of music in film has been redefined by the Godfather title songs, attaining a pivotal echelon of quality. It is the music that held and delivered on the promise of Godfather, the film, making the entire Godfather film series a rare phenomenon of itself. The song scoring especially stands out as among the greatest in cinema’s musical achievements.
The Godfather title songs include the Love Theme, done by Nino Rota, and which is the best known in The Godfather Trilogy. It appeared in all 3 films, known popularly as ‘Speak Softly Love’, the Love Song. The second was ‘The Godfather’s Tarantella’, by Carmine Coppola. This was an ethnic dance especially blending with the opening of The Godfather I. It depicts the wedding scene fabulously. The third was ‘The Godfather’s Mazurka’, also by Carmine Coppola, also serving the role of accompanying the wedding scene. Finally, ‘Every Time I look in Your Eyes’ was a melody composed by Carmine Coppola for Kay and Michael’s romantic dance. Actuallly, the melody’s orchestra and piano are heard severally in the film to consummate the romance theme of Michael and Kay. It is played when they are dancing at the opening party, in Lake Tahoe for both The Godfather I and II.
Nino Lota’s, ‘The Godfather’s’ also plays during Connie’s wedding dance. It accompanies the wedding scene in The Godfather where Vito dances with Connie on the lone dance floor which is a tradition of Italian weddings. Another of Nino Rota’s works is ‘Michael’s Theme’ which is closely associated with Michael for a sombre leitmotif to predict tragic developments in his life through the three films.
The Godfather soundtracks have been released by Paramount as an album twice in the films history. Their selling volume has largely been inspired by the fame of the film. The Godfather title songs and soundtracks have been a classic legend, alike to the theme songs in James Bond and Star Wars. A huge chunk of the Godfather music was composed by Nino Rota and scored by Donald MacDougall. The chronology has maintained a love theme in all the films. Nino Rota recently released an album of the Godfather title songs by the name The Godfather Waltz. This recurring title song has been used as soundtrack in the chronology and released also as an instrumental composed by Nino Rota for Paramount.