A Songwriters Guide To The Movies

iDoCoach Blog "The Last Waltz"

iDoCoach Blog "The Last Waltz"


Almost Oscar time.

I not only love movies but have been inspired by them my whole life as a songwriter. I still keep a pen and paper handy hoping some gem will come out of a character's mouth. I’ve used more of these lines in some form in lyrics than I can count. Every co-writer and friend I have in this business knows the value of the inspiration and information you’re libel to get anytime you spend a couple hours in the dark with someone else's vision.

 Movies are a songwriter's resource for life.

Here are a few movies with music that I love. Rather than try to express why I love each of these I’ve included a link for you to decide for yourself. Impossible to name them all but I picked 20 to start, no particular order and I tried to keep my comments short! Hope you'll share this and add some of your own favs.


  1. A Hard Day's Night            Beatles!         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Hard_Day's_Night_(film)
  2. 20 Feet From Stardom      Lisa Fischer!  http://twentyfeetfromstardom.com
  3. Greenwich Village             Folk               http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1941541/
  4. Sound City                      Valley Rocks    http://buy.soundcitymovie.com
  5. History Of The Eagles       American Band   http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2194326/
  6. Who the F**k is Arthur Fogel? Who knew? http://whothefisarthurfogel.com/reviews-links/
  7. Amadeus                          Pre Prince      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amadeus_(film)
  8. Woodstock                         60's                 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066580/
  9. The Harder They Come    Jimmy Cliff       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Harder_They_Come
  10. Muscle Shoals                    Alabama Soul  http://www.magpictures.com/muscleshoals/
  11. Standing In The Shadows Of Love   Motown! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314725/
  12. The Commitments              Irish Soul         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3paf2TLrgsg
  13. The T.A.M.I Show                 James Brown!!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.A.M.I._Show                    
  14. Purple Rain                           Prince Genius   http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087957/
  15. Oliver                                     Lionel Bart       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver!_(film)
  16. The Last Waltz                      The Band      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077838/
  17. Monterey Pop                        Meet Jimi !   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monterey_Pop
  18. West Side Story                    Great songs  http://www.westsidestory.com
  19. Stones In Exile                      Love 'em      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1609157/
  20. Don’t Look Back                    Dylan           http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dont_Look_Back

Hall Of Fame  “This Is Spinal Tap!” Stonehenge! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N63XSUpe-0o

Photo: David Gans

Wikimedia Commons

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About Mark Cawley

Mark Cawley's songs have appeared on more than 15 million records. Over a career based in LA, London, and Nashville his songs have been recorded by an incredibly diverse range of artists. From Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Wynonna, Diana Ross and Chaka Kahn to The Spice Girls, Tom Scott, Kathy Mattea, Paul Carrack, Will Downing and Pop Idol winners in the UK. He has had #1 records in the UK and throughout Europe as well as cuts in Country, Jazz & R & B. His groundbreaking website Song Journey created with Hall of Fame writer Kye Fleming was the first to mentor writers from around the world one-on-one online. He is currently writing and publishing as well as helping writers and artists worldwide with a one-on-one co-active coaching service, iDoCoach. In addition he is a judge for this years UK Songwriting Contest, a contributing writer to the US Songwriting Competition , a popular songwriting blogger and from time to time, conducts his own workshops.