Once Upon a Time in the West

Mark Knopfler’s homage to the Sergio Leone classic, obviously. Leone, of course, was the Italian film director who invented the ‘Spaghetti Western’. Mildly derogatory nickname aside, Leone’s films have over the years earned acclaim for their inventive cinematography, dramatic pacing, and excellent use of Clint Eastwood. One of the most acclaimed features of Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns was the music, composed by Ennio Morricone. Morricone’s soundtracks have become as iconic Eastwood’s squint, and that, I think, is what’s being homaged to here. You can hear it in those mournful first notes, and to a lesser extent in the lyrics too. It’s kind of a rough, tough, unjust world, dangerous and violent. Not a world for the weak, the sentimental or the unarmed.


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