True Blood: Are You Listening to the Music?

August 18, 2009 by  

lorena_billThe music for HBO’s True Blood is an integral part of the show. Whether you realize it or not, it is always there in the periphery to help set the mood for each scene. It sets us up for an important happening . It alerts our senses. We’ve already talked about the opening song Bad Things by Jace Everett. How about the music for the rest of the show?

Alan Ball and crew are beyond excellent at composing or finding the right combination of songs and music for each episode. For the “Release Me” episode, Alan Ball stumbled across an obscure track by the group Bad Livers. The band split soon after their 2000 album containing that particular song titled Death Trip, which is still available at the iTunes store.

Episode 6, “Hard Hearted Hannah” got it’s name from a song with the same title. A sultry Bill plays it on the piano while singing in an ever melodic voice. His maker, Lorena, saunters over to an unsuspecting, gullible couple while he plays. The song originated from the Tin Pan Alley style of writing, popular in the 1920s. Originally written by Martin Ager, it has been covered many times by talented artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Jim Croce to name a few.

We see the song as a flashback of Bill and Lorena playing their bait and trap game. (And yes, that actually is Stephen Moyer singing the song. He has performed in musicals prior to joining the cast of True Blood.)

The Houston Press blog leaves us with this quote:

Like the song says, “To tease ’em, and thrill ’em, to torture and kill ’em is her delight.” A perfect bit of gruesome vintage music from a show that’s already becoming a classic.

I have to agree. The song was perfectly suited to the scene, the era and the pair. Alan Ball is truly a master of setting the mood with music.


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