Tori Amos sings on ‘Good Omens’ soundtrack & closing credits (listen)
As mentioned, the Amazon and BBC adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett's satirical apocalyptic novel Good Omens, which stars David Tennant and Michael Sheen as a demon and an angel, respectively, is out today (5/31) on Amazon Prime Video for your weekend binge-watching pleasure. (The series also features Jon Hamm, Frances McDormand and more.) Also out today is the series' soundtrack, composed by David Arnold (Independence Day, Casino Royale, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, etc). The very last track on it is a cover of Eric Maschwitz and Manning Sherwin's 1939 standard "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square," which has been performed by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller, and others. The soundtrack version is from Tori Amos, a longtime friend of Neil Gaiman's, and it also plays during the series' end credits. Listen to it, and the rest of the soundtrack, below.
Neil discussed having Tori sing on the soundtrack in an interview witih The Verge:
Q: You had Tori Amos record an original cover of that song, which is an old standard. What’s its significance here?
Neil: It’s an English song, although I believe it was written before the war, by an expat from France. And it just lists the strange things that happen one night that have never happened before.
The book has the line “for the first time ever, a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.” That was mine because I liked that idea that, for once, a nightingale actually did sing in Berkeley Square. The whole point of [the song] is, there are all these things that never happened except this one time… and there’s a lyric about “there were angels dining at the Ritz.”
And then while writing, I spent probably four days listening to versions of “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” Every version on Spotify, every version on YouTube, going, “There’s a version I have in my head that I need to finish with. It’s got to be dinner piano, and it has to go into somebody singing it and breaking your heart.”
I listened to version after version, and [the one I envisioned] didn’t exist. So I reached out to Tori Amos and said, “Please come into the cutting room, I want to show you stuff.” And I showed her what we were doing and showed her the end, and I just said, “Look, will you do this thing? Going from dinner piano, we’ll bring in some strings, but I want you to sing the song.”
All I requested of her was just the first verse or two, and she actually does three verses and a little wrap-up. It seems to be the only time I’ve ever run into people that say they’ve sat and watched the whole of the credits, just because they wanted to listen to Tori singing and find out how it ended.
Tori's last LP was 2017's Native Invader, and she recently gave the commencement address at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where she studied as a child (and was kicked out of when she was 11). She was awarded the George Peabody Medal, for people who have made exceptional contributions to music in America, and you can watch her speech below.