Song of the Day: “Never Ending Story”

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Today, we’ll be looking at what is possibly the best song from the soundtrack to Stranger Things Season 3, “Never Ending Story”. If you haven’t watched all of the newest season yet, be prepared for some mild spoilers. The main one being that this song is surprisingly sung by members of the cast, and has no doubt already been remixed somewhere on the internet.

If you’re just joining us this week, you might have noticed that we’re doing things a bit differently. In honor of the recent release of Stranger Things Season 3, all of the songs we’ve covered this week come straight from the soundtrack. Because of this, we’ve been up to our necks in the ’80s. No regrets.

Instead of looking at the artist and making an in-depth analysis of the lyrics, we’ll be focusing on the scene “Never Ending Story” is used in, as well as its significance to the show, and the time period.

This song appears in the Stranger Things Season 3 finale, so be warned. There are spoilers ahead.

“The Battle of Starcourt”

The final episode of Stranger Things Season 3 brings all of its various threads together for a satisfying ending. Joyce and Hopper infiltrate the Russian base underneath the mall while the gang splits up, with Eleven and company waiting out the Mind Flayer/Billy, and Dustin and company communicating via radio.

But oh no, something goes wrong. Hopper needs a super obscure number called Planck’s Constant to open a door. While Dustin can’t remember it, he knows someone who does. The girl he met at summer camp, Suzie. But before Suzie will give him the number, she has one demand. That Dustin sing “their song”.

What follows, is probably the best impromptu cover of an ’80s classic film’s title track. That’s a pretty narrow niche, but still. The vocals from Gaten Matarazzo and Gabriella Pizzolo were surprisingly good. Who knew that Dustin had a killer set of pipes?

Never Ending Story

For those unfamiliar with the song, “Never Ending Story” comes from the 1984 live action fantasy film adapted from a book of the same name, “The NeverEnding Story”, directed by Wolfgang Peterson. In the film, a young boy finds himself in a story between the forces of good and evil.

The theme song to the film was written by Giorgio Moroder and performed by English pop singer Limahl. It was released as a single in 1984, going on to peak at No. 6 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Given that Season 3 of Stranger Things takes place in the summer of 1985, “Never Ending Story” would be a song that kids especially would be intimately familiar with. Especially if they’re nerds.

Dustin and Suzie’s duet cover rendition is surprisingly close to the original Limahl version, which makes sense. It was a good choice by the creators to include the instrumental accompaniment, as it turns what could have been a dragging two minute slog of A Capella into an upbeat high point of the episode, and season.

Lyrics

While the lyrics don’t do much, they do reveal an apparently important part of Dustin and Suzie’s relationship. Although they’re hundreds of miles away from one another, they make up for it with passion.

“Turn around
Look at what you see
In her face
The mirror of your dreams”

“Make believe I’m everywhere
Given in the light
Written on the pages
Is the answer to a never ending story”

Th line, “make believe I’m everywhere” seems to be the one that hits home for this young couple. Distance is hard, kids.

More than anything, the performances by Gaten Matarazzo and Gabriella Pizzolo made the choice work. If they can both still sing as well once they fully come out of puberty, they may just have a career in music ahead of them.

Final Thoughts

While every season of Stranger Things has felt like an additional love letter to the ’80s, at least they’ve been done with passion. Though “Never Ending Story” isn’t my personal favorite reference in Season 3, it may be the most well done one. It was certainly the most surprising.

That about does it for our song of the day today. We may be back with another for tomorrow, but until then, enjoy your Thursday.

 

 

 

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