The Ballad of High Noon
|"The Ballad of High Noon"|
|Songwriter(s)||Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin|
Lyricist: Ned Washington
It is the theme song of the movie High Noon, sung over the opening credits by Tex Ritter, with its tune repeated throughout the film. It was awarded the 1952 Academy Award for Best Original Song, and was performed that night for the Academy by Ritter. The song is about the film's main character, Will Kane (played by Gary Cooper), and the moral dilemma of his new wife, Amy Fowler Kane (played by Grace Kelly), abandoning (or "forsaking") him because he chooses to stay and fight (and risk being killed) instead of running away with her after their wedding. The song refers to how he can't have a safe life with her until he has eliminated the threats that face him, and he wants her to stay with him just a while longer until it's all over and not give up on him for good. The song's lyrics significantly foreshadow the final set-piece of the film, in which Amy returns to help save Will, though this is only obvious on repeat viewings.
In the context of film music, "The Ballad of High Noon" is acclaimed not merely for its musical integration with High Noon's score, but also for expounding lyrically on the themes of honor and obligation which define the film. It is placed at #25 on "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs". Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.
- Johnny Bond (1976)
- Harry Brandelius with Sune Waldimir's orchestra. The Swedish lyrics were written by Sverker Ahde. The Swedish title is "Du får ej lämna mig". It was recorded in Stockholm on July 2, 1952, and released on the 78 rpm record His Master's Voice X 7817.
- Walter Brennan
- Roy Clark
- Faron Young (1963) Released on the album Faron Young Aims At The West, Mercury Records SR 60840.
- Connie Francis (1961)
- Frankie Laine (1952) – US #5; UK #7
- Nana Mouskouri (1993)
- Steve Oliver (2002) - Released on the album "Positive Energy", Native Language Music (Re-released 2009 Amazon Music Remastered edition)
- Dean Reed (1982)
- Tex Ritter (1952) – US #12
- Sons of the Pioneers
- Legião Urbana
- Olavi Virta, whose version was recorded on July 7, 1953 and released in 1954. The lyrics were translated into Finnish by Tapio Lahtinen (under the alias Kullervo).
- Waldemar Matuška (1964) "Buď pořád se mnou" with Czech lyrics by Vladimír Dvořák.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 134. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- The Making of High Noon, hosted by Leonard Maltin, 1992, interview with John Ritter. Available on the Region 1 DVD from Artisan Entertainment.
- Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-06. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
- Allison, Deborah (2003). ""Do Not Forsake Me: The Ballad of High Noon" and the Rise of the Movie Theme Song". Senses of Cinema.
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