Songcatcher

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Songcatcher is a film about a woman by the name of Dr. Lily Penleric who decides to publish a book of all the songs she has discovered from the people living in the mountain. The songs that many of the people sing were learnt from their parents and/or great-grandparents all of them originating back to old England and Scotland before the settlement in the United States. Dr. Penleric comes across many different men and women, husbands and wives, who use singing as a way of expressing their emotions. After taking the offer that Mr. Giddens practically forces upon them Mr. and Mrs. Gentry pull out a violin and sings a song to express the melancholy of their new situation. Another scene of the film shows a whole community of mountain people gathering around having a good time while men and women play different instruments to accompany those who are dancing. For the mountain people singing is their ultimate form of expression and is cherished just as highly as the land itself. At one point Dr. Penleric even goes on to explain it as, “it’s like the air you all breathe.” Between the story that the lyrics unveil and the sound that the instruments provide it is a history in and of itself that each of these songs hold.

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