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Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Music

Updated on August 20, 2013

Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Music

This lens is about the musicians who played their hearts out to make The Sarah Connor Chronicles win notice as having big movie theater quality sound with high production values.

You generally don't get music this good on a weekly TV series. This lens features Bear and the other fine musicians who contributed.

This top image is best seen at --

BearMcCreary.com

a personal note

I have decided to stop kvetching about all the remixes and remixes of remixes of SCC footage to make music videos instead of simply making fan-produced episodes. I made this fateful decision when I read somewhere that this is how some fans process their feelings.

I am more the cold unfeeling intellectual type myself but I understand that other people are different. If you want your music video featured or mentioned on this lens, then please make sure your video meets three criteria:

1. It is about the Sarah Connor Chronicles or its characters.

2. The music is within the spirit of the show. Enya singing "Sail Away" doesn't fit however much you or I may like her stuff. On the other hand, there is no law that states that all SCC has to be a downer. Perhaps that is what killed the show. It was all Greek tragedy or like Hamlet. Everyone died or was about to die.

3. It is your best work and something of which you are proud.

The Terminator Sound - (warning: I was not a music major, I'm doing my best here)

Brad Fiedel introduced and created the theme for the first Terminator movie, So when you hear Bear McCreary speak of a "Terminator" version of an old blues song based on a much older Biblical story (and sung by a Scottish singer), then this article should help you know what they are talking about.

Brad created a stark metallic sound and an emotionless impersonal theme for the first Terminator score. That's how ruthless and relentless got to be thought of as Terminator music for all following composers. Key elements include the distinctive, staggering, hammered five-note motif and the deep, four-note heartbeat-thumping rhythm for the T-100 character.

The score is industrial music. I noticed YouTube comments about all the movie noise drowning out the music. Like with The Fifth Element score, these soundtrack noises were part and parcel of the music not a failure of the Dolby people to reduce noise. For example, there are "heavy metal" sounds like an anvil being struck with a hammer, and a particular sound, similar to a reverse cymbal effect, which sounds like a knife being sharpened.

There are musicology analyses on the internet to which I will post links. Not all reviewers are kind.

T2 had slashing and grinding metallic effects, conjuring a fresh screeching sound for the T1000's morphing that is a distinctive motif for the relentless killer. A repeated, low, and almost distorted groaning effect utilizing a minor-third structure is officially this shape-shifter's identity, a competent altering of pitch to match the physical morphing. All this is over pounding, brutal percussion.

Brad Fiedel Interview about Terminator!!

More recent Terminator interview with Brad Fiedel

Check out Brad messing around on his keyboard with a rendition of the Terminator theme in a different style. Was this ideas he had for sequels that never came to happen?

Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles OST: 03 - Sarah Connor's Theme

You will notice that the premiere music and the series finale music are bookends and the story arc comes full circle. If you really love the show or have lost a loved one, then this is what being stabbed in the heart must feel like.

Listen for the wind which is a sonic reference to the Albuquerque desert and the car on the highway where this story begins. It is really amazing how Bear takes Brad's metal sound and moves you. I suspect part of the reason why people can't let go of this show is right here in this music.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - No One Is Ever Safe (Season 1 - Score)

Bear McCreary

Bear McCreary, Comic-Con

Musicians@Google: Bear McCreary with Raya Yarbrough

starts to talk about Sarah Connor Chronicles at 0:59:41

The Sarah Connor Chronicles Music - excerpt from Wikipedia

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles features incidental music composed by Bear McCreary. For financial reasons, the main theme of the Terminator film series, originally composed by Brad Fiedel, is featured only briefly in the TV series—mainly during the title sequence. McCreary has stated that his score is inspired by the tone of Fiedel's score in the first two Terminator films and since Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, he felt that the tone of the music should be consistent with that of the film as much as possible. He began working on the score by recording metallic sounds, using "oil cans, whale drums, chains, anvils, brake drums, garbage cans, thundersheets, tin cans...", after which he edited the samples and created his own custom library of metallic drums. For every episode thereafter, live metal percussion elements were recorded on top of the electronics. While Fiedel's scores were performed using synthesizers, McCreary chose to use an ensemble of electric string instruments instead.

A musical theme was created for each of the principal characters. The theme for Sarah Connor is the most frequently used theme in addition to being the longest and the most developed theme in the series. There are two main sections to Sarah's theme with one presenting her "bad-ass, stoic warrior" side and the other as "a loving mother". John's theme was originally composed for a specific scene in the pilot episode and performed with a solo clarinet to convey his loneliness and awkwardness. McCreary stated that the "musical ambiguity in the melody" is used to show John's transformation in the series. Although themes were also written for other characters such as Derek Reese, James Ellison and the "evil terminator[s]", no themes were written for Cameron during the first season because McCreary felt that "her character was defined by her relationship with John, Sarah and the others around her" so Sarah's or John's theme was used in most of her scenes.

The series mainly features McCreary's original score. Songs and instrumental music from other sources are used sparingly. Alter Bridge's single "Rise Today" was used for the promotion of the first season. Three songs have been used in the series so far: "The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash was used in the first season finale and a cover of "Samson and Delilah" by Shirley Manson was used in the second season premiere. Both songs were used as background music for an action sequence in their respective episode. The second season episode "The Mousetrap" features "Safe Within Your Arms" by Greg Garing. "Nocturne in C-sharp minor" by Frédéric Chopin was used in the first season episode "The Demon Hand". The episode "Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today" features the song "La Llorona", originally written and recorded by Chavela Varga but Bear McCreary made his own version of it. The episode "Adam Raised a Cain" features a moody cover of "Donald, Where's Your Trousers" originally written and recorded by Andy Stewart, performed by Garret Dillahunt and Mackenzie Brooke Smith at the closing. The record label La-La Land Records released the original television soundtrack for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on 23 December 2008.

Alter Bridge's single "Rise Today" - was used for the promotion of the first season.

different versions

Yes, I know that there are several versions of the same song. We all have our favorites. Pick yours.

TSCC Cromartie vs. FBI scene [HQ]

Cromartie is pointing a gun at Agent James Ellison.

TSCC FBI vs Cromartie Scene

Bodies of SWAT team members floating in swimming pool.

Terminator finale pool scene

Agent James Ellison's partner Greta Simpson in her last moments alive.

terminator SCC season,1 episode,9 final music «when the man comes around» (lyrics)

Sarah Connor sends Cameron out for a birthday cake for John. Although Cameron can X-ray the schematics of a vehicle like Arnold as "Uncle Bob", she is distracted by the birthday. This is why Cameron hardly ever lets her guard down and has trust issues.

After being blown up in the car bomb, she feels betrayed by the Connors (who run from her as if they planted the car bomb) and her original programming returns for a while.

Who planted the car bomb? One of Sarkissian's men? Derek Reese? Or Sarah Connor?

"Samson and Delilah"

“Samson and Delilah” is a song with a long history. It began life with Blind Willie Johnson, a blue singer in the 1920s.

Quotation from http://www.headbutler.com/music/blues/blind-willie...

“Willie Johnson had every right to sing the blues. When he was seven, an unloving stepmother threw lye in his face as a payback to her cheatin’ husband, blinding the boy for life. With no work prospects, he followed the path of many other blind black southerners: music. He taught himself piano and guitar, gathering lyrics from old hymnals. By the mid 1920s, he was performing on the streets of Hearne, Texas, collecting tips in a tin cup.

Only one photograph of Johnson exists, and much of his life story is anecdotal. Like the time he was arrested outside a New Orleans Customs House singing "If I Had My Way, I'd Tear the Building Down," a song about Samson and Delilah. A policeman thought he was inciting a riot.”

Excerpts from http://taco.com/roots/garydavis.html

“Gary Davis was born on April 30, 1896 to John and Evelina Davis in Laurens County, South Carolina. He was raised on a farm in the Piedmont section of upstate South Carolina, "so far in the sticks that you couldn't even hear a train whistle". He was one of 8 children, though only 2 lived to be adults. He was raised by his grandmother, who cared for him after he was given to her by his father; his mother being deemed incapable of caring for him.

There are differing stories about when and how Davis lost his sight. From interviews with Davis himself and with Stefan Grossman (a student of Davis) it seems that chemicals put in his eyes shortly after birth resulted in almost complete loss of sight by the age of three weeks. As an adult Davis has said that he was able to see shapes but not able to distinguish one person from another.

He recorded Samson and Delilah for the first time in 1956, a song based on If I Had My Way by Blind Willie Johnson.

Reverend Gary Davis was a powerful singer and a masterful guitar player. He was a giant in the field of acoustic blues and gospel music and many of the rock and roll legends of the 1960s learned his songs and his playing style, some from him personally. One of these was Bob Weir, who took lessons from Davis. The connection is obvious when you listen to the Grateful Dead perform Samson and Delilah and then listen to the Gary Davis version. Weir even uses the same vocal inflection at the end of the verses.”

Samson in the Bible was blinded by Delilah so it is not surprising that two blind blues singers should find inspiration in the story. After the Grateful Dead, Shirley Manson's version was used in the Sarah Connor Chronicles. We all know how Sarah likes to destroy things.

Quotation from Wikipedia:

“Upon her taking on the role of Catherine Weaver in Terminator and on the encouragement of series' composer Bear McCreary, Manson was asked by show runner Josh Friedman to perform and co-create a gospel arrangement of "Samson and Delilah" for the opening episode of the second season. After much interest, the track was released on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles season one soundtrack at the end of 2008.”

Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics to

" Samson And Delilah "

If I had my way

If I had my way

If I had my way

I would tear this old building down

Well Delilah, she was a woman fine and fair

She had good looks, God knows and coal black hair

Delilah, she came to Samson's mind

The first he saw this woman that looked so fine

Delilah, she set down on Samson's knee

Said tell me where your strength lies if you please

She spoke so kind, God knows, she talked so fair

'til Samson said "Delilah, you can cut off my hair

You can shave my head, clean as my hand

And my strength 'come as natural as any a man"

If I had my way

If I had my way

In this wicked world

If I had my way

I would tear this old building down

Talk, Yeah

Yeah, Talk to me

Yeah, Yeah, talk to me

Yeah, what happened then?

If I had my way

If I had my way

If I had my way

I would tear this old building down

Yeah you read about old Samson, told from his birth

He was the strongest man that ever had lived on Earth

So one day while Samson was-a-walkin' along

He looked on the ground and saw an old jawbone

He stretched out his arm, God knows, it broke like flint

When he got to movin' ten-thousand was dead, Mmm

If I had my way

If I had my way in this wicked world

If I had my way

I would tear this old building down

Well old Samson and the lion got attacked

Samson he jumped up on the lion's back

So you read about this lion had killed a man with his paws

But Samson got his hand in the lion's jaws

He rid that beast until he killed him dead

And the bees made honey in the lion's head

Good God!

If I had my way

If I had my way

If I had my way

I would tear this old building down

If I had my way

If I had my way in this wicked world

If I had my way

I would tear this old building down

Good God!

Samson and Delilah from soundtrack TSCC s02e01

Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles OST: 01 - Samson And Delilah

Shirley Manson - Samson & Delilah (HQ Original Version)

terminator SCC season,2 episode,1 intro music - «samson and delilah shirley manson» (lyrics)

If I had my way, if I had my way, if I had my way

I'd burn this whole building down

Delilah was a woman, she was fine and fair

She had good looks, and coal black hair

Delilah, she can ground on Samson's mind

When he saw this woman, she looked so fine

Delilah she climbed up on Samson's knee

Said tell me where your strength lies,

If you please

Then she spoke so kind and she talked so fair

'Til Samson said, Delilah, cut off my hair!

If I had my way, if I had my way, if I had my way

I'd burn this whole building down

People read about old Samson

As far back as his birth

He was the strongest man that ever lived on earth

One day while Samson's walking, walking along,

Looked down on the ground and saw an old jawbone

And he stretched out his arms

and his chains broke like thread

When he got to move, ten thousand men was dead

If I had my way, if I had my way, if I had my way

I'd burn this whole building down

If I had my way, if I had my way,if I had my way,

I'd burn this whole building down

Verse Three

Well, Samson and the lion got entwined in a fight

And Samson he jumped up

and took on the lions might

You wont know just how a lion kill a man with his paws

Well, Samson got his hands up round that lions jaws

And he ripped that beast and he killed him dead

And the bees laid honey in the lions' head

If I had my way, if I had my way, if I had my way,

I'd burn this whole building down

If I had my way, if I had my way, if I had my way,

I would burn this building down

If I had my way, if I had my way, if I had my way,

I'd burn this whole building down.

Samson and Delilah by Shirley Manson - TSCC

Shirley Manson 'Samson and Delilah' Official Videoclip + Lyrics

If I had my way

If I had my way

If I had my way

I'd burn this whole

Building down

Delilah was a woman

She was fine and fair

She had good looks

And coal black hair

Delilah

She can ground

On Samson's mind

When he saw this woman

She looked so fine

Delilah she climbed up

On Samson's knee

Said tell me where

Your strength lies

If you please

Then she spoke so kind

And she talked so fair

Til Samson said

Delilah

Cut off my hair

If I had my way

If I had my way

If I had my way

I'd burn this whole

Building down

People read

About old Samson

As far back

As his birth

He was

The strongest man

That ever lived

On Earth

One day

While Samsons walking

Walking along

Looked down

On the ground

And saw an old jawbone

And he stretched out

His arms

And his chains

Broke like thread

When he got to move

Ten thousand men

Was dead

If I had my way

If I had my way

If I had my way

I'd burn this whole

Building down

If I had my way

If I had my way

If I had my way

I'd burn this whole

Building down

Well

Samson and the lion

Got entwined in a fight

And Samson he jumped up

And took on

The lions might

You won't know

Just how a lion

Kill a man with his paws

Well

Samson got his hands up

Round that lions jaws

And he ripped that beast

And he killed him dead

And the bees laid honey

In the lions' head

If I had my way

If I had my way

If I had my way

I'd burn this whole

Building down

If I had my way

If I had my way

If I had my way

I would burn

This building down

If I had my way

If I had my way

If I had my way

I'd burn this whole

Building down

TSCC - Shirley Manson and Bear McCreary recording Samson and Delilah

Frédéric CHOPIN: Nocturne in C-sharp Minor (Op. Posth.) - used in the first season episode "The Demon Hand"

La llorona by Chavela Vargas

The episode "Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today" features the song "La Llorona", originally written and recorded by Chavela Varga.

I tried to find an instrumental version of this song but this is the version from the movie Frida.

La Llorona - sung by John Avila, orchestrated by Bear MacCreary

Here are the lyrics, in Spanish as well as English:

Salias del templo un dia, Llorona,

Cuando al pasar yo the vi; (You were exiting the temple, Llorona, when I sighted you)

Hermoso huipil llevabas, Llorona,

Que la Virgen the crei. (A beautiful blouse you had one, Llorona, I felt the Virgin's presence in you)

Ay de mi, Llorona, Llorona,

Llorona llevame al mar. (Oh, my Llorona, Llorona, Llorona, take me to the sea)

A ver a los pescadores, Llorona,

Que perlas van a scar (To see the fisherman, Llorona, What pearls they will take out)

La Llorona - sung by John Avila, orchestrated by Bear MacCreary

Sad song in "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" - performed by Garret Dillahunt and Mackenzie Brooke Smith

The song was written by Andy Stewart - "Donald, Where's Your Trousers?"

Season 2, Episode 21: Adam Raised a Cain

Donald, where's your trousers? - lyrics

I just down from the Isle of Skye

I'm no very big but I'm awful shy

The lassies shout as I walk by,

"Donald, Where's Your Trousers?"

Let the wind blow high and the wind blow low

Through the streets in my kilt I'll go

All the lassies cry, "Hello!

Donald, where's your trousers?"

I went to a fancy ball

It was slippery in the hall

I was afeared that I may fall

Cause I nay had on trousers

Let the wind blow high and the wind blow low

Through the streets in my kilt I'll go

All the lassies cry, "Hello!

Donald, where's your trousers?"

The lassies love me every one

But they must catch me if they can

You canna put the breaks on a highland man, sayin,

"Donald, where's your trousers?"

Let the wind blow high and the wind blow low

Through the streets in my kilt I'll go

All the lassies cry, "Hello!

Donald, where's your trousers?"

I went down to London town

To have a little fun in the underground

The Ladies turned their heads around, sayin,

"Donald, where's your trousers?"

Let the wind blow high and the wind blow low

Through the streets in my kilt I'll go

All the lassies cry, "Hello!

Donald, where's your trousers?"

Let the wind blow high and the wind blow low

Through the streets in my kilt I'll go

All the lassies cry, "Hello!

Donald, where's your trousers?

Donald, where's your trousers?"

Donald, where's your trousers? Sarah Connor Chronicles

John-Henry and Savannah Weaver

performed by Garret Dillahunt and Mackenzie Brooke Smith

Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles OST: 09 - Ain't We Famous, Performed by BrEndAn's Band

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles soundtrack (score)

"The Hand Of God" composed by Bear McCreary, from the episode "The Demon Hand"

Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles OST: 10

Motorcycle Robot Chase (from 'Gnothi Seuton') 2:48 - Featuring Captain Ahab

Aaron Roethe

Aaron Roethe was scoring coordinator / composer: additional music for 31 episodes, 2008-2009.

Aaron Roethe

Brandon Roberts

In 2007, Brandon became principal orchestrator on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for Fox. He was composer of additional music for the Sarah Connor Chronicles - 2007-2009. He also provided production for the 2008 soundtrack CD from La-La Land Records.

First link features "Cameron in the Warehouse", "Derek's Different Futures", and "John Connor cries".

"Derek's Different Futures" is a rather revealing title. Composers may or may not get complete scripts but they obviously get insights into what will happen.

Note the dates above. He was not called in late in the series but back before the premiere and the writers' strike though perhaps not as far back as Albuquerque.

Brandon Roberts

not sure if all versions contain the Shirley Manson performance and there may be minor differences between the versions

strange but true SCC musical fact

Besides La-La Land Records. Water Tower Music is also listed in the company credits for "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (2008) ... Soundtrack.

I seem to recall that the Warner Brothers 75th anniversary logo that begins each Warners movie features the WB water tower.

New Messiah by Dead Heart Bloom

This is the song that plays during the confrontation between Derek and Jesse near the end of "Today is the Day (Part 2)" from season two of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Morrissey/Smiths Reference on Terminator TV show

"Morris" (played by Luis Chavez) was introduced on the 2/11 episode wearing a T-shirt with the Meat is Murder album cover on it.

2 New Smiths/Morrissey References on Terminator TV Show

"Morris" on Terminator:Sarah Connor Chronicles had "Hatful of Hollow" on his MP3 player and in 2nd clip says Cameron will love The Smiths because she is dark. This is 2 segments merged together from the 3/3 episode.

Sarah Connor Chronicles soundtrack

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles-John Connor

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles fanvid

Sarah Connor Chronicles - Joy

Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles - Season 3 Trailer (Fanmade)

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

music from the show by Bear McCreary

typical battle damage sustained by Cameron

Sarah 's Theme

Terminator S.C.C. Opening ~ Ending Theme

The violent types tell us that we are supposed to enjoy seeing this ninety-pound girl (albeit with metal skeleton) get ripped open each week. Well, we sure fooled them. Cameron is easily the most popular character on the show or at least rivaling Sarah and John.

I wince every time I see Cameron getting hurt. I simply do not enjoy watching her get hurt. But I am probably the only fan who feels that way. What has this got to do with the music? Quite a bit. There is a theme for Sarah and John but not for Cameron. This was a deliberate decision of the producers because they wanted Cameron to be a nobody.

Nevertheless, the sadness you feel at the end is not just for Sarah feeling an empty nest for the first time as John cuts the apron strings or for John's homesickness. You also mourn the loss of Cameron who was alive in terms of the biological component of being a cybernetic organism with living skin and flesh; in terms of personality apart from what she got from Allison; and in terms of the ability to feel the sense of touch and rudimentary emotions -- no matter how much John sought to stunt their development.

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles End Theme

They say all great works are tragedies but you kind of feel like John in one episode where he attempts suicide out of depression over the way his life is programmed -- kind of like what his future self did to Cameron when he took away whatever free will machines have. And since terminators operate autonomously, cut off by time from their leader Skynet, they have some free will.

What does this have to do with the music? Again, the music is triumphal at the end. John gets his uncle back (an earlier version who does not know him) and then realizes that that girl is not Cameron. You really don't want to celebrate either the end of the Sarah Connor Chronicles or the end of Cameron. And this makes the finale music both annoying and deeply moving.

New or News - How can there be anything new as far as Sarah Connor Chronicles music?

On Sunday August 12th, 2012, I heard --

Bear McCreary - The Hand Of God (From 'The Demon Hand') [3:10] - Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

in the rotation at Live365.com an internet radio station.

I stopped what I was doing and paid attention and listened. Although my SCC fan activity is waning due to the unlikelihood of the series coming back, this music still has power.

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