Song of the Day: “Immigrant Song”

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Happy Thursday, Internet. In honor of the culmination of over ten years of Marvel heroes slugging it out on the big screen, we’ll be taking our songs this week straight from the soundtracks of some of our favorite Marvel films.

So far, we’ve looked at only one, from the soundtrack to “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. That’s on me for not getting a post up yesterday. But still, I think “Blitzkrieg Bop” is a good enough song to hold anyone over for just one more day.

Next up on our roster, we have the soundtrack to “Thor: Ragnarok”. Our song of the day, “Immigrant Song” is featured not once, but twice within the film. As we’ll see, “Immigrant Song” is the perfect fighting theme for Thor. Considering how much it probably cost to get the track, it’s no wonder it was used twice.

Thor: Ragnarok

“Thor: Ragnarok” marked somewhat of a turning point within the deluge of formulaic plots we’ve all been subject to. Rather than having the Avengers team up once more to fight another big bad, we get Thor, trying to recover from the death of his father, and also stop his evil sister Hela from destroying his home and the universe. Okay, so maybe it’s not so different from the others.

But one quality that Taika Waititi brought to “Thor: Ragnarok” that really made the movie stand out, was his sense of humor. This is a subjective opinion, but I think it’s one of the funniest Marvel movies to come out (although, I definitely laughed more during “Endgame”).

In the opening scene, we get to see Thor first have a charming, albeit one-sided conversation with a skeleton, before jumping into the first action sequence. And it’s here where we get our first listen of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” in the film. The song, about vikings sailing the sea, references Norse mythology in the lyrics. And Norse mythology, of course, is where Thor, Loki, Odin, Hela, Asgard, and Ragnarok come from.

The placement of the second use of “Immigrant Song” is the final bookend during the film’s climax. Because it makes the best fighting music. That, and the fact that this is a Thor movie. And when you have a song with the lyrics, “hammer of the gods”, the two kind of go hand in hand.

Immigrant Song

There are actually quite a few lines within the lyrics to “Immigrant Song” that echo moments and themes in “Thor: Ragnarok”. Take one of the first lines we hear. “We’ll drive our ships to new lands”. This is the ultimate fate of the people of Asgard. By the end of the film, their home has been destroyed, and they’ll be searching for a new one on the horizon.

The last two lines of “Immigrant Song” touch on a similar note. “So now you’d better stop and rebuild all your ruins / For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing”. These lines echo the journey of not only Thor and Valkyrie, but also the Executioner (Karl Urban). In fact, if you go back to watch, these lines come in right as the Executioner drops his ax, and decides to help his people.

Final Thoughts

Again, I can’t stress enough how happy I was when I first heard Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” blasting over the trailer to “Thor: Ragnarok”. It was perfect. Maybe a bit too on-the-nose, but in a way that I’m more than happy with. There aren’t too many uses of classic songs in movies that I can say that for, but this is one of them.

 

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