James Bond Songs
(film comments by Mark R. Leeper)

(It may seem that I have been writing a lot about the James Bond films. The reason for this is that I actually have been writing a lot about the films. I had one such discussion going and it sprouted another such discussion.)

Here we are continuing the discussion of the lyrics to the title songs from the James Bond films. Well, I am anyway.

The title song for THUNDERBALL may have been the best Bond ditty up to that point. Just about every line describes Largo, the villain. The only bad line is the one working in the title. "He strikes like Thunderball." Who or what is Thunderball and how does Thunderball strike? Are we talking about something nuclear?

Really I am picturing a dark storm cloud punctuated with bolts of lightning on its surface. But the story for the film is thin and is driven by coincidences, more than with most Bond films.

After this high point we fall to YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. The lyric goes:

You only live twice or so it seems,
One life for yourself and one for your dreams.
You drift through the years and life seems tame,
Till one dream appears and love is its name.

And love is a stranger who'll beckon you on, Don't think of the danger or the stranger is gone.

This dream is for you, so pay the price. Make one dream come true, you only live twice.

I don't think that is about anything in the film. I would interpret the song for you but frankly, I cannot figure out what it is talking about. There seems to be sort of an Australian aborigine philosophy there that you live half your life in the Dreamtime. Then suddenly an invader from the Dreamtime shows up in the wrong world and that is love. There is some concept that love is both dangerous and expensive, but it is worth it because it has your name on it. Besides you have to take one dream from the Dreamtime and make it real in our world because there is just the real world and the Dreamtime. I don't know what I'm talking about.

ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE had no main title song, but it did have a rather nice love song "We Have All The Time In The World" that almost entirely makes sense in the context of the film. Of course this lyric pictures a life that will get boring:

We have all the time in the world,
Just for love,
Nothing more, nothing less,
Only love.
It sounds like they will get bored with each other all too soon.

Now DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER has a song that restores some of the earlier nuttiness.

Diamonds are forever,
They are all I need to please me,
They can stimulate and tease me,
They won't leave in the night,
I've no fear that they might desert me.

Diamonds are forever, Hold one up and then caress it, Touch it, stroke it and undress it, I can see ev'ry part, Nothing hides in the heart to hurt me.

I don't need love, For what good will love do me? Diamonds never lie to me, For when love's gone, They'll lustre on.

Diamonds are forever, Sparkling round my little finger. Unlike men, the diamonds linger; Men are mere mortals who Are not worth going to your grave for.

I don't need love, For what good will love do me? Diamonds never lie to me, For when love's gone, They'll lustre on.

Diamonds are forever, forever, forever. Diamonds are forever, forever, forever. Forever and ever.

This song is about some woman who gets odd tactile pleasure I can hardly imagine from fingering diamonds. I would not like to think about it. I hope after one of these sessions she at least had the grace to have brought some Windex to give the gemstones a quick once-over. How sharp are the edges of a cut diamond?

Now the claim has been made that there is a male chauvinist taint to the Bond films. Here clearly is a feminist song if I ever heard one. Never mind the fact that the singer seems to have deep psychological problems and in addition is doing things with diamonds that not only seem rather kinky, they are bound to reduce the value of the stones on the open market. Also her attitude will probably ruin her social life as well as the luster on the diamonds. These are images best not dwelled on.

That was the last time that Sean Connery would play James Bond for Eon Productions. He did repeat the role in the remake of THUNDERBALL for another set of filmmakers, but that does not really count. I am getting into the swing so I will talk about the next few next week.

					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2021 Mark R. Leeper