The Best Uses of Jackson Browne Songs in Movies

Ever wonder what it would be like to simply sit down and hear how so many of these older generation singers got their start? Jackson Browne, first name Clyde, was one of the many that started his musical career when he was young and began to build a reputation as he got older and continued to strum his feelings into his guitar. For a long time he’s been a favorite of many and has been nominated for several awards and remembered for several of his songs that became well-known hits around the world. You could say that he’s been something of a sensation to a couple of generations but the truth is that his music has been reduced to a few hits that people remember from films and TV since they’ll be heard every now and then as a nice backdrop to the scene and possibly used to highlight a montage.

Here are a few of his songs as they’ve appeared in the movies.

5. Forrest Gump – Running On Empty

It’s really easy to feel something for Forrest since he didn’t ask for the life he received but made the best of it at every turn. He had a very nice mother that taught him a great deal. She wasn’t perfect obviously since she would go to any length to make sure her son was treated just like anyone else, but she was the kind of mother you stood beside since she was selfless and cared deeply for others. When she was gone, and when Jenny had left him without a word, Forrest did the only thing that made sense at that point, he went for a run. When he got to one coast he went back, and then back again, and so on until he’d crossed the US at least a few times.

4. Reign Over Me – The Birds of St. Mark

Reign Over Me is a film that is designed to make you either cry or feel that desperate sense of hopelessness in your guts that comes from realizing the loss that someone has incurred and the utter pain and gnawing ache that comes from the realization that nothing can fill it. When Sandler’s character is revealed as a man that has lost his family it’s hard not to feel sorry for him but it’s also hard not to think that those around him simply don’t and can’t understand what it’s like to truly lose what you value the most. Even his in-laws don’t seem to get it until the end when he finally tells them how he feels.

3. Invincible – These Days

Invincible is the true story of Vince Papale, a former Philadelphia Eagle that accomplished something great in his time with his team but has been largely lost to history unless your a Philly fan. The story obviously wasn’t one hundred percent accurate as most stories such as this aren’t, but at the same time it was great enough that watching it was something special to those that had been around when this happened. It’s not just any person off the street that can make a pro football team after all, especially considering that a lot of the athletes have been training since childhood to reach the pros.

2. Good Will Hunting – Somebody’s Baby

Will is a classic case of someone that’s been hurt so bad that he’s no longer willing to take a chance on new people in his life unless he has some sort of assurance that they won’t hurt him in return. He keeps everyone at a distance, including his friends. This last part is proven when it comes to Chucky’s admission that if Will stuck around for the next couple of decades he’d kill him for the sheer insult that being stuck in Boston would mean to everyone that believed in him. Will had too much potential to just throw everything away, and he had a woman that was willing to love him through anything, which is more than he needed to finally make a decision about his life.

1. Mr. Holland’s Opus – The Pretender

Mr. Holland wasn’t a perfect man, or father, or person in general. But he was the perfect teacher that was needed for those students that came to his class needing something in their lives that they hadn’t experienced before. Teachers are taken for granted far too often, and the role that music plays in our lives is simply not touched upon enough sometimes as it is a fact that music does make our lives much more interesting and in some cases more tolerable. Giving voice to the music is something that allows humanity to show the world and each other that there is something that doesn’t need explanation that makes us special.

Jackson Browne is still doing his thing to this day, proving that music is sometimes all you need to really enjoy your life.

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