Musings About Music In Film

5 Scores To... Mow The Lawn To

By Charlie Brigden lawnmower

I hate gardening. I absolutely acknowledge that I have no digits even approaching the colour of Yoda, and that just the idea of doing the garden fills me with dread, even though I am certainly not adverse to having a nice place for the kids. Because of this, my wife often has to bully me rotten into cutting the grass and as a result I usually get a bit testy. I solve this with my iPod. Often via the medium of heavy metal, as Metallica and Iron Maiden are handy steeds to ride upon while getting violent against plant life. But there are also some great scores that work a treat as you're out there kicking floral butt.

1. RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II (Jerry Goldsmith) This is the king. The undisputed champion. The world-beater of lawn-mowing scores. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is just that it's so fucking muscular. Goldsmith knew how to write a great action score, and here it's like he dissolved Stallone's testosterone into the notes themselves, embellishing those massive drums and that violent brass with the synth from hell. It's also about rescuing POWs from the jungle, so that kind of fits as well. Right?

2. PREDATOR (Alan Silvestri) It's payback time! Heaven knows that our trusty Flymo is the closest thing we have to Jesse Ventura's minigun, but at least we have the massively violent and tense score to the best Schwarzeneggar movie where he fights a giant alien. This is also jungle territory and Silvestri makes that known through huge percussion and chugging strings. There's something out there, and it ain't no man. It's probably an old deflated football, or maybe a possum.

3. INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (John Williams) Proponents of the second flick in the uber-archeology cycle describe Temple of Doom as a "white knuckle ride", indeed Roger Ebert described it as a "bruised elbow" movie, from jabbing your elbow into the seat rest every time something exciting happened. The movie is notoriously fast-paced, but there are moments that slow it down right to a crawl. For that reason, you need to start the album at the track named 'Saving Willie'. From there, you get a glorious section of brilliantly hair-raising music that hits musical heights few other scores of its ilk can reach. When you're done you can swish down the patio to the Raiders March.

4. BORN FREE (John Barry) This is not a total machofest, and here we show our sensitive side. Few people know one of the byproducts of lawnmowing is the conservation of giant cats, so we're already off to a good start. But one of the best things is that you can turn your job from a hard-fought chore into an idyllic afternoon sojourn via John Barry's majestic music. By synchronising the famous tune to every single perfect turn of the mower, you'll be the envy of your tone-deaf neighbours and will probably end up winning a BAFTA.

5. REIGN IN BLOOD (Slayer) Okay, so it's not a score, or even a soundtrack. But it's the greatest non-film music record of all-time, giving you the perfect mix of aggression and thrash funk to allow you to complete your task as quickly and as violently as possible, especially since the album only lasts seventeen minutes. If you're not a metalhound, substitute this for something like, I dunno, Transformers. You wuss.