Eyes on Me vs. Old Time Pop

PhilsPhindings

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Featuring Final Fantasy 8, jazz and traditional.



Greetings fellow game music lovers,



next on our list is the poster song of Final Fantasy 8, the love ballad "Eyes on Me" which was sung by chinese singer Faye Wong and remained a pop culture staple that was frequently played on japanese radios at least well into the 2000s. It is generally connected to the character Laguna and plays in a for him character defining moment as well as during the end credits. We will concentrate on the refrain "Darling so there you are..." for now:



I have the suspicion that this portion is based on a standard that can be found mostly in old jazz bar songs. Which makes sense, given that the context the song appears in the game is a love ballad sung in a fantasy jazz bar. Some examples:


First we have the New Orleans Medley by Earl Palmer (1961), the section that is a remix of Fats Domino's 1940 song "Blueberry Hill":






Then Paul Whiteman - "Mandy, Make Up Your Mind" (1925):






Tutti Camarata - Trompeter's Prayer (1954):




Originally the tune might have evolved from traditional tunes. As an example I provide the 1960 version of "A Scottish Soldier" by Andy Stewart that sounds like an earlier evolution of the progression whose melody can be traced back to at least 1829 when Rossini adapted it for his William Tell:


 

PhilsPhindings

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Of course, this also manifests in bands that like to use traditional tunes like folk punk band The Pogues in their song "Fairytale of New York" (1987):


Marching music also seems to be fond of this kind of progression. Here an example from "Einzugmarsch" by Johann Strauß II (1885):



Phil out.
 

Dionysos

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The jazz similarities are particularly strong considering the context, I think. As you say, Eyes on Me was a bar song composed by Julia for Laguna (in the in-game canon) which later became the melody for the children they had with their respective spouses.
The New Orleans Medley by Earl Palmer in particular is a pretty close match.

And the Japanese pop analogy sits well for the particular ballad feel of the song too.

(I’m late to getting to these but I’m starting to now!)
 
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