‘True Blood’ Toughens Up ’70s Ballad ‘You Light Up My Life’

Author: Steve Wiseman

True Blood is often celebrated for its interesting use of music, but last night’s episode was probably the only time the ’70s adult contemporary classic “You Light Up My Life” has been the kickoff tune to a vampire feast.

As a result of drinking vampire blood (something vampires apparently shouldn’t do), lead characters Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) – along with a group of other “vamps” including their former arch-nemesis Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) – were intoxicated, and recklessly walked through the streets of New Orleans. Upon stumbling into a bar where a girl was doing her best “You Light Up My Life” in karaoke, Edgington rambled onto the stage, grabbed a mic and started singing – a tasty appetizer to the vampires’ feast on the crowd.

True Blood Music Supervisor Gary Calamar told CBS Local that the song was written into the episode by writer Brian Buckner. Calamar said that the song “worked on many levels.” “You Light Up My Life,” which was written by Joe Brooks for the film of the same name that he directed, produced and wrote, has been interpreted to be about the love interest of the singer. But another popular interpretation is that the song is religious in nature, and is in praise of God, setting a different tone for the scene. Regardless of the interpretation, the song – a Grammy and Oscar-winning single that topped the charts for 10 weeks in 1977 – is not generally associated with violent film scenes.

A less unusual choice of music was at the bar Fangtasia, during a scene where newly created vampire Tara (Rutina Wesley) was pole-dancing before being confronted by her mother. The song playing during that scene was “Nobody Nowhere” by an Australian band called The Jezabels. Calamar says that he recently discovered the band (who have been together since 2007): “I was recently in Sydney, Australia for a music conference and I was turned on to them.”

The episode, titled “In The Beginning,” ended with a song of the same name by K’naan, a Somali/Canadian poet/rapper/singer/songwriter.

Next week’s episode, titled “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” will feature a previously released cover of the Tears For Fears classic by New York group Care Bears On Fire.

– Brian Ives, CBS Local

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