Listen to Dido and A.R. Rahman’s ‘If I Rise’ from ‘127 Hours’

Posted by · 10:04 am · November 5th, 2010

Two years ago composer A.R. Rahman managed to sweep the music categories at the Academy Awards.  One of only two nominations “Slumdog Millionaire” didn’t translate into an Oscar was original song “O…Saya” — because the film’s other key track, “Jai Ho,” won instead.

This year Rahman is back in the mix with the vibrant score for Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours,” and specifically, the original song “If I Rise.”  Dido provides the vocals on the song, which plays sporadically at key moments during the film’s climax and finally plays in full over the closing credits.

At the end of the day, this could be a formidable contender in the race for Best Original Song.  It’s well-placed in the film and that will go over well when voters sit down and watch all of the contenders in context.  At the very least, that’s enough for the track seriously threaten a nomination.

Interesting to note: Music was a defining characteristic of Aron Ralston.  He was a big Phish fan who traveled around the country to see their shows.  But, as James Franco told me, Boyle couldn’t bring himself to put the band’s music in the film.  To say the least, he’s no fan.

But some of it survived.  The shirt Franco wears in the film is a Phish shirt, and there is one point when the character sings a Phish tune.

Have a listen to “If I Rise” below.


[Photo: Wikipedia]

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43 responses so far

  • 1 11-05-2010 at 10:14 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    “In fact, the only nomination “Slumdog Millionaire” didn’t translate into an Oscar was original song “O…Saya” — because the film’s other key track, “Jai Ho,” won instead.”

    It lost sound editing to TDK, unless you were talking about music categories only?

  • 2 11-05-2010 at 10:19 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Nope, that’s a goof on my part. Thanks.

  • 3 11-05-2010 at 10:20 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Well, it was poorly worded, in any case.

  • 4 11-05-2010 at 10:28 am

    Katey said...

    Boyle told me Phish actually offered all of their music for free to use in the film, but as he diplomatically put it, their 20-minute jams couldn’t really fit into what he was going for. As someone forced to listen to a lot of Phish thanks to my brother when we were growing up, I was pretty grateful he left them out.

  • 5 11-05-2010 at 10:29 am

    Graysmith said...

    I can’t imagine this will be nominated, but I have to say I quite like it. Nice, mellow vibe.

    It’s not Sting doing to accompanying singing is it? It sounds Sting-y.

  • 6 11-05-2010 at 10:47 am

    Mike Manfre said...

    I was wondering what the song was near the end of the definitely wasn’t this…it sounds like Sigur Ros – Festival. Anyone know for sure?

  • 7 11-05-2010 at 10:48 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Ditto, Katey.

  • 8 11-05-2010 at 10:51 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Festival is used in the film, yes.

  • 9 11-05-2010 at 11:15 am

    RyanT said...

    It’s nice and it may well be nominated, but it won’t win.

  • 10 11-05-2010 at 11:53 am

    Maxim said...

    It really does sound like Sting initially, doesn’t it? I don’t think it’s him though. The voice is too young sounding.

    And, honestly, I think this song will win. Sonically it reminds me of “Down to Earth” from “Wall-E” (of all things). It doesn’t matter that it’s mellow or not isn’t very catchy. I think it’s got a lot of things going in it’s favor. First of all, based on what Kris wrote, it’s used in the most key places in the film.
    Second, as crazy as it sounds, the song is like “I Need to Wake Up” on sedatives (think about the lyrics). The academy may love this kind of manipulative cr*p (I have little against the song per se but I am NOT a fan of the movie at all and don’t like how the song is used. Guy actually spoke about that too.).

    Most importantly, the Academy loves anything that’s at least semi-exotic sounding. The more exotic, the better (and that’s the only point of weakness for this song). Gooing all the way back to “Last Emperor” and “Red Violin”, all through “Frida”, “Crouching Tiger”, anything Santiolalla and, I believe, Rahman. I’m not saying that they were all undeserving but the pace has certainly quickened in the last decade. If they could gave Santiolalla two best score Oscars, you know there’s more than just objectivity at work.

    That said, I’ll be laughing pretty hard if Alan Menken walks away with a ninth Oscar. Or tenth. Now, that won’t happen but if it did, it’d be a hoot.

    And as for the whole Phish thing, Boyle is not required to like them, but man, their stuff should have been there. It really takes away from the particularity of that character. It would not have been hard to make it work somehow. Not as a score (too meta), but just something he listened to by himself. But I guess that would have required Boyle to make different kind of film and not the one he had made that’s really less about the character and more about his pain.

  • 11 11-05-2010 at 12:02 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Might it be Rahman?

  • 12 11-05-2010 at 12:20 pm

    Tipu said...

    It starts off with Dido’s vocals followed by Rahman singing ‘If I Rise…’

  • 13 11-05-2010 at 12:27 pm

    Loyal said...

    I think there is something to be said for including a song by Dido that Ralston wouldn’t listen to in a million years (I’m sure he’s polite enough about the track while doing publicity for 127 Hours).

  • 14 11-05-2010 at 12:59 pm

    Duncan Houst said...

    Not so sure about calling it a contender for Original Song. It seems a little too soft and somewhat repetitive if you ask me. If I were to hear this during the telecast, as a viewer I would not be particularly rooting for it to win.

  • 15 11-05-2010 at 1:07 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Given the nature of its usage, it’s absolutely a contender.

  • 16 11-05-2010 at 1:20 pm

    Graysmith said...

    That it’s Rahman himself singing sounds very plausible considering the song is only credited to Dido. If it were anyone remotely famous they’d share the credit.

    Having listened to this a few times now (!) I have to say, it works. I’m still not sure it can compete, but on the other hand it seems like such a lousy year for songs anyway that maybe it has a shot. Being a probable Best Picture nominee can’t hurt it’s chances.

  • 17 11-05-2010 at 1:38 pm

    Gautam said...

    Ya .. being an Indian .. and having listened to hundreds .. of Rahman’s song.. I can guarantee yoo all that .. the voice after Dido’s is actually Rahman himself ..
    similar to what he did in O Saya .. with MIA ..

    and he does it quite often .. in Hindi songs too .. he mixes his voice so well with the other singer .. it seems just perfect …

    In b/w a extremely nice song … I can only pray he wins it again ..

  • 18 11-05-2010 at 1:40 pm

    Zack said...

    I apologize for the tenuous connection, Kris, but do you think any of the songs from “Scott Pilgrim” have a shot a nomination? I know it wasn’t released in prime season, and it seems like they’ve had a lot less affection for the goofier original songs lately than they used to (I still think “Blame Canada” is my favorite nominee ever). Sorry again that the only link to this is by category, I just wanted to know what you thought?

  • 19 11-05-2010 at 1:41 pm

    Zack said...

    *at a nomination. Fuck.

  • 20 11-05-2010 at 1:55 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I wouldn’t bet on it. I don’t think many members have or will see the film, for starters.

  • 21 11-05-2010 at 4:49 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    The Original Song category can not seriously be predicted until the enveloped gets opened. It’s a bit silly to speculate on that, even though it’s fun.

    And Scott Pilgrim being an Oscar nominee is even worse than Norbit being that.

  • 22 11-05-2010 at 6:05 pm

    David Vega said...

    The score is nothing special, I think it’s a bad approach to the movie. But the the music branch knows nothing about scores so who knows! Maybe it will win!

    This song is far better than the score (that’s an easy statement…) but it’s a bit…how do I say this… boring? Rahman best soundtrack in the last two years is ‘Couples Retreat’, check that out.

    ‘I see the light’ from Tangled is not the best effort of Alan Menken but still the best song of the year so far.

  • 23 11-05-2010 at 7:52 pm

    Kylee said...

    Far from Rahman’s best, but easily the most mesmerizing song of this year so far.

  • 24 11-06-2010 at 4:50 am

    francofanforlife said...

    easy win for 127 hours music. no major contenders this year. Hans zimmer score in inception is loud and boring just like TDK

  • 25 11-06-2010 at 7:19 am

    joey said...

    Am I the only one who thinks this song is boring as all get out?

  • 26 11-06-2010 at 12:45 pm

    Todd said...

    Love the song, especially the children’s chorus toward the end. So haunting!

  • 27 11-06-2010 at 6:27 pm

    Voland said...

    One of those songs you instantly forget, as soon as it ends. If that’s one of the favourites for a win, wow…

  • 28 11-07-2010 at 4:39 am

    Kalyan said...

    Heavenly, Divine, Spiritual, Soothing Song…A R Rahman Rocks again.

  • 29 11-10-2010 at 11:06 pm

    Tilak said...

    This may be a strong contender for at least a nomination….the score by A R Rahman is not his best (we say that all the time) but it is apt for the movie…which is more important….Couples Retreat soundtrack was fabulous, but it sank without a trace…

  • 30 11-12-2010 at 5:26 am

    Shahid said...

    For anyone with any doubt as to who the male voice is. as a person who has been following A R Rahman’s music since 1994, i absolutely and utterly guarantee to you that its him! :) Great song. Dido sounds awesome too

  • 31 11-21-2010 at 2:16 am

    Stephen Marshall said...

    I’ve got hooked to this song! But I think one needs extreme hearing to understand the lyrics correctly!! Well who cares, sometimes it even sounds like french!!! :D

  • 32 1-19-2011 at 6:09 am

    Donnovan said...

    This song has won critics choice award for best original song!

  • 33 1-26-2011 at 9:15 pm

    Harshad Sonaje said...

    A.R. Rahman is the best music composer India has ever produced..I hope he gets an Oscar again..

  • 34 3-11-2011 at 3:13 pm

    Telperien said...

    i always wonder what the name of the song is in 127 hours that Aron is listening to in hes headphones when he parts with two girls.. it’s not in the soundtrack, and no lyrics in the song, it’s so hard to find.. please, anyone who knows? :(

  • 35 3-14-2011 at 1:21 am

    Vipul said...

    Telperien….even i’ve gone crazy about the song which aron listens to on his headphones..unable to find…please…people…help..!

  • 36 3-24-2011 at 12:41 am

    jrnuri said...

    i gone crazy too about that song aron listens after he left the girls

  • 37 3-24-2011 at 12:42 am

    jrnuri said...

    i couldnt find that song despite i tried to find for a week. please help me folks

  • 38 3-27-2011 at 12:38 am

    qwe said...

    so i’m not the only one…been looking for this song for over a month!!

  • 39 4-25-2011 at 4:30 am

    ali said...

    please some one say that song name im searching it for a long time too

  • 40 6-10-2011 at 3:19 pm

    The true said...

    Free Blood – Never Hear Surf Music Again
    aron headphones song

  • 41 6-23-2011 at 4:46 am

    ali said...

    song is not
    Free Blood – Never Hear Surf Music Again