From Song to Character

4 10 2010

Following the previous post about excellent songs in the Nightmare before Christmas, now I’ll provide one of my favourites.

Jack’s Lament. There is something very meaningful in this song; something deeper than just the tunes and lyrics. It serves the main character as who he really is: a sad, bored Pumpkin King under the name of Jack Skellington.

Even though you may just notice his miserable personality when first listen to it (which indeed is emphasized in this song), if you examine it more carefully, you will also find other traits in Jack Skellington. He’s fast and very light, with graceful ability to jump from tombstone to tombstone like a dancer. He’s also a little bit melancholic, with the boredom of his daily life and longing for a grand new adventure for him. And, more importantly, the excitement inside his skulls: he can jump, take off his head, and even play with it without feeling any pain. That’s because he’s been dead, I know, but there is deeper meaning why Jack takes off his head in the song. Presumably, it’s to reveal more of his graceful side, which might seem to be buried under this sad lyric.

And that’s why this song is wonderful. A song usually reflects the personality of whoever writes the lyric. But not the case with Jack’s Lament—it really shows Jack. Not the writer, but Jack. And I do believe it’s something we have to appreciate—this song really builds up his character from the very basic! 🙂

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