“What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home”
Taken from the album The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King: Original Soundtrack
As epic as the film itself, ‘Into The West’ is one of the best movie songs I’ve ever heard. Capturing the feel and importance of The Lord Of The Rings in a six minute ballad isn’t easy considering the duration of the film trilogy is somewhere in the region of one million years. I’d much rather listen to this song than watch the films, actually – it’s a little dose of magic, a bit of escapism soundtracked by one of the greatest voices in pop history.
Lyrically the song takes lots of influences from the style of the books and the way the characters speak in the film, which is a nice touch, but under some vocalists this would sound absolutely ridiculous. Annie Lennox has that otherworldly aura to her that means she can do something like this as convincingly as she does pop-rock or cold electro. ‘Into The West’ is a triumph in every way, especially because it ties in with the score of the film completely. There’s nothing worse than a film song that has no connection to the film.
‘Into The West’ won Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, making Annie Lennox an Oscar winner, which is pretty cool. It meant two classics won the award in two consecutive years, after ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem, which almost (but not quite) makes up for the fact that Dolly Parton two years later. That’s good for Annie though, because it’s make ‘Into The West’ the Official Best Song To Win Best Song At The Oscars In The Past Decade. And that is a prestigous award indeed.