Bright Eyes (Art Garfunkel song)
|Single by Art Garfunkel|
|from the album Fate for Breakfast and Watership Down|
|B-side||"When Someone Doesn't Want You"|
|Art Garfunkel chronology|
"Bright Eyes" is a song written by Mike Batt and performed by Art Garfunkel. It was used in the soundtrack of the 1978 British animated adventure drama film Watership Down and as such is considered the theme song of the film and the later television series also titled Watership Down. The track appears on UK and European versions of Garfunkel's 1979 Fate for Breakfast and on the US versions of his 1981 album Scissors Cut. It was the biggest selling single of 1979 in the UK.
Written by Mike Batt for Watership Down at the request of director Martin Rosen, the song relates to the transition into death highlighted by the close shave of Hazel, a rabbit character in the film, when he is shot by a farmer, and then, years later, when Hazel (then Hazel-rah) finally departs his body and enters the world of spirit.
The song was immensely successful in the United Kingdom, staying at number one in the UK Singles Chart for six weeks in 1979, selling over one million copies, becoming the biggest selling single of that year in the UK. It has sold 1.2 million copies. In the United States, it failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100. It reached #27 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
|Australian Singles Chart||2|
|Austrian Singles Chart||3|
|Dutch Singles Chart||1|
|German Singles Chart||3|
|Irish Singles Chart||1|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||2|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||3|
|Swedish Singles Chart||3|
|Swiss Singles Chart||2|
|UK Singles Chart||1|
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In 1979, Swedish singer Siv-Inger recorded the song with lyrics in Swedish by Margot Borgström, as Varför (Why), on the album Liv och kärlek (Life and Love). and charted at Svensktoppen with the song for 10 weeks between 30 March-1 June 1980, peaking at fourth position.
In 1980, five-year-old child performer Matthew Butler performed a version of the song on the ITV children's series Tiswas dressed in a grey furry rabbit costume. Butler, his costume and his rendition of the song (which was released as a single by CBS Records) became a staple part of the programme for the rest of its duration.
The song was later covered by Stephen Gately in 2000 and used as the theme song of the Watership Down animated television series. It was released as a double A-side with his single "New Beginning". While Mike Batt, who wrote the original song, composed an entire new score. This new cover went on to earn the TV show a nomination for a Gemini Award, for best original score.
Art Garfunkel went to number 1 with this lovely tune to Watership Down in 1978/9 followed closely by the Nolans cover version, which is as lovely as the original. From there first album 1979 simply entitled Nolan Sisters.
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Probably the book that is super inspiring is a book called Watership Down by Richard Adams. It's from the late 70s, about talking rabbits, and it's a very grounded-in-reality book. It's not a kids' book, but it has to do with these talking rabbits and their adventure, and there's a lot of metaphors and crazy stuff. And that's always been a very inspiring thing. If ever I'm feeling dry, or going through writer's block or something, I just even leaf through some pages of that book and I'm like "Whoa, I have to go make music!"
"I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor
|UK number one single
14 April 1979 - 19 May 1979
"Sunday Girl" by Blondie