As extensive as our collection is, there are still plenty of never-published songbooks we wish we could someday have the chance to buy. Here, we make the case for some movie soundtracks that we believe should also be available in songbook form. Vote in our poll below to tell us which film scores you long to play on your pianos, guitars, banjos, and ukuleles.
- A Room with a View (1985) – Sure, you can find sheet music for the Puccini arias (“O mio babbino caro” and “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta”), but we would love to play the orchestral cues from the Richard Robbins score. And don’t forget how stirred up Lucy Honeychurch was after playing Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata. Bonus points if the songbook could include music for the W.S. Gilbert nonsense poem, “The Story of Prince Agib,” which floppy-haired Freddy Honeychurch sings, thank you very much.
- The Princess Bride (1987) – We’re grateful for this lovely arrangement of “Once Upon a Time…Storybook Love,” and delighted to have recently discovered that a few of Mark Knopfler’s other Princess Bride pieces are available for purchase on SheetMusicPlus (!!!), but how about a souvenir song folio for this beloved movie?
- Moonstruck (1987) – This movie puts us into a swoony good mood, so listening to the “Moonstruck” soundtrack has us bouncing back and forth between delicious fits of laughter and dreamy sighs. If nothing else, please can we have Dick Hyman’s cozy, swoony arrangement of “Musetta’s Waltz”? And that delicious rendition of “Moonglow”? For a deep cut, how about “Hey There,” the tune from “The Pajama Game,” which a moon-dreamy Louis Guss croons to his missus. And it would make us laugh if we could turn the page and play a bit of “that damn Vicki Carr record”! In front of all these people, please, somebody, publish the “Moonstruck” songbook.
- Henry V (1989) – O for a complete songbook from “Henry V”! We are grateful to Wise Publications for publishing the anthology Shakespeare: The Music, which does include two of Patrick Doyle’s elegant and triumphant pieces from the Oscar-nominated Kenneth Branagh film. And you can summon up a muse of fire with the simplified arrangement of “Henry V”‘s opening titles in the collection Shakespeare’s World (Faber Music), but why stop there? How we long to thunder and soar through “Non Nobis Domine” at our pianos!
- Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) – It’s not that we can’t find sheet music for standards like “You Made Me Love You” or “Isn’t It Romantic.” It’s that we long to play, for instance, the Harry James version of “You Made Me Love You” or Dick Hyman’s arrangement of “Just You, Just Me.” If we had a “Hannah and Her Sisters” songbook, we would be walking on air!
- The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) – Our correspondent from Cranbury, CT, nominated this gem, explaining, “Why do I love Vic Mizzy’s music? Let me clarify this. The main theme moves quirkily along like our timid yet intrepid hero, typesetter-turned-reporter Luther Heggs, moves through life, with sweet-natured silliness, ambition, longing, and some syncopated karate chops to jazz things up. The haunted organ theme’s rising bass line mirrors Luther’s increasing terror and his brave climb to the top of a haunted house as he investigates the source of this mysterious music: a spooky organ with bloodstained keys. Atta boy, Luther!”
- Enchanted April (1991) – We long to bask in the gentle sunshine of Richard Rodney Bennett’s music for this film about four 1920s women who find their sometime dreary London lives transformed when they rent a small and somehow magical castle in Portofino, Italy. Until we can get our hands on solo piano arrangements of Bennett’s compositions, we must content ourselves with Edward Elgar’s “Chanson de Matin.” That’s the piece played on the oboe by nearsighted George Briggs.
- When Harry Met Sally (1989) – Standards performed by Harry Connick, Jr. (some also arranged by Connick and Marc Shaiman). And we’d be pleased to see arrangements of other songs featured at key moments in the film; certainly Louis Armstrong’s version of “Auld Lang Syne,” and why not the Ray Charles version of “Winter Wonderland”?
- Some Like It Hot (1959) – The music in Billy Wilder’s classic film makes for a rollicking good time that we’d love to tap into on our piano: playful pieces composed by Adolph Deutsch, along with Matty Malneck’s arrangements of old songs, and, of course, Marilyn Monroe singing sultry and sassy renditions of “I Wanna Be Loved By You,” “I’m Thru With Love,” and “Runnin’ Wild.”