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Published on March 9th, 2011 | by Sinead Keogh

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TV Soundtracks: The West Wing

Maybe it was the release of The Social Network reminding us of Aaron Sorkin’s genius, maybe it was the fact that Martin ‘President Bartlet’ Sheen has been in town for JDIFF, maybe it’s just that it’s been far too long, but we’ve been re-watching our West Wing boxset here at Culch towers and my, my is it providing us with one hell of a good time.

Aside from the fact that the entire show is a masterclass in snappy dialogue and the cameramen seem to be forever managing continuous sweeping shots that follow characters walking down corridors and moving from room to room without a break (can you tell we’re in love?) this time around we’ve been noticing that the soundtrack was rather something too.

Here’s our top ten.

10. Desire, Ryan Adams (Season 6: King Corn)

9. Angel, Massive Attack (Season 4: Commencement)

8. Learn to Fly, Foo Fighters (Season 1: Mr Willis of Ohio)

7. For What It’s Worth, Buffalo Springfield (Season 3: Isaac and Ishmael)

6. Hanging By A Moment, Lifehouse (Season 3: Documentary Special)

5. Dark Blue, Jack’s Mannequin (Season 7: Tomorrow)

4. Jet Airliner, The Steve Miller Band (Season 7: The Mommy Problem)

3. Prelude, Cello Suite #1 in G Major, Bach (performed by Yo-Yo Ma) (Season 2: Noel)

2.  New York Minute, Don Henley (Season 2: Somebody’s Going to Emergency, Somebody’s Going to Jail)

1.  Brothers in Arms, The Dire Straits (Season 2: Two Cathedrals)

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About the Author

Sinéad edits books for her real job. She has never met a punctuation mark she didn't like. She likes cheese (both kinds). She is a lip-biter and a knuckle cracker. She has made a list of 50 things to do before she dies - you're not on it. In particular, she looks after movies, comedy gigs and the Event of the Week series for Culch. You can email her if you want, she loves attention. sinead@culch.ie



4 Responses to TV Soundtracks: The West Wing

  1. Darren Byrne says:

    In my humble opinion, you missed this beautiful track from one of the first episodes of season 4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr3E6mNRxHU

  2. Darren says:

    @ Darren, good call. Though it’s Barlett’s speech which makes that moment as powerful as it is.

    “The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight.”

    As a piece of trivia, that line was taken – I believe – from Tom Hank’s acceptance speech for his Philadelphia Oscar. But then the whole speech is gold.

    Congrats on making the Irish Blog Awards final, guys!

  3. Susan says:

    I see West Wing, I assume Sinéad. Glad to see I wasn’t wrong. Some things for the playlist here

  4. Bngr says:

    One of the best songs of all time was used in an episode where Amy was dancing to it in her apartment when Josh caught her. It was somewhere in the middle of the 7 yrs when she was on/off with Josh.

    Caravan by Van Morrisson.

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