Okay, I was watching The Commitments the other night–the 1991 movie about the formation, hey day, and demise of an Irish rock band that tells the story of every band–and it got to the scene where Jimmy show’s up at Emelda’s sister’s wedding and the suck wedding band playing finishes and something plays in the background.

Now I’ve owned the VHS tape, the CD and the DVD of this movie for years.  It’s actually one of my favorites of all time, and I’ve never known anyone who knew what the song in the background was.  At one point, Jimmy says that the song is “something approximating music.”  This also is where the lead singer of the to-be-formed Commitments gets up and sings; when told late he did, he said in surprise, “I did?  I was pissed out of my brains.”

Nonetheless, I’ve never been able to figure out what the song was to at least give it a listen.

And then it hit me the other night.  iPhone.  Shazam.  iTunes Ping!

It took at least three tries in the clip to try to get Shazam to catch the tune.  The firs two times I was beginning to think it was going to continue to elude me.  But not Shazam.

Up popped The Proclaimers, the acoustic version of Letter from America.  Which from Wikipedia, you can read more about its meaning and history.

I then went to iTunes. Found the song.  Downloaded.  Ta Da!

Me, I’m just glad to know the answer to what’s been a 20-year mystery for me.

I can think of one other song floating around out there that I don’t know the name of, nor the performer.  When I snag it, I’ll share it with you.

Meanwhile, if you’ve never seen this movie, it’s hilarious.  A word of warning, apparently in Ireland using Eff is Effing normal….




  1. Jeremy Pepper

    Great movie, but I watched it with closed captioning on to figure out the dialogue.

  2. Donny Claxton

    Thanks for your comment. I’ve never thought about the closed captioning, but after watching it a thousand times, I can pretty much tell you what’s going to be said next.

  3. Darren

    Could have told you that in 2 seconds flat. and yes, here In Ireland eff is the norm. its used in inner Dublin in pretty much every sentence. The Committments still tour occasionally as a band. Bronagh Gallagher was in Pulp Fiction, Andrew Strong had a 6 album record deal with RCA, and Maria Doyle Kennedy still sings to this day….

  1. 1   World Wide News Flash

    The Commitments Mystery Song: Letter from America?Thanks Shazam App!…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…




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