previous page: 7.2 Who wrote the theme music for "ER"?
page up: ER FAQ
next page: 7.3.2 "Third-party" songs used in "ER"

7.3.1 "Third-party" songs used in "ER"


This article is from the ER FAQ, by Rose Cooper cooper@acm.cse.msu.edu with numerous contributions by others.

7.3.1 "Third-party" songs used in "ER"

[What was that song playing at the beginning of...?]

- The beginning of the episode "John Carter M.D." [222]
featured a pretty sizable chunk of a song called "If You Want Me To
Stay" by Sly and the Family Stone, the seminal pop/funk band from the
late 1960s and '70s. If you want to buy a CD that has this song on
it, buy Sly & the Family Stone's "Anthology" or the soundtrack to the
motion picture "Dead Presidents". (Warning: there's now a companion
album to the latter called "Dead Presidents Volume 2" which does not
feature this song, so be sure you get the right one. Heck, get both
of them just to be safe.)

{Personal note: along with teasing the serious alt.tv.er "MALIK DID IT!!!"
crowd, and questioners on the name of the brilliant actress CCH Pounder
(who, by the way, has been perennially robbed in not having been nominated
by The Powers That Be for the dual role of doctor *and* hospital!), this
question is my favorite one to address. If my strange idea of humor comes
across as being snide, it's not meant to be; it's just that those three
truly Frequently Asked Questions are the most fun for me to play with...}

- At the beginning of "Fathers and Sons" [407], "Pony Boy" by the
Allman Brothers Band is played (info courtesy Eric Diebert). In the same
episode, not far past the beginning, Doug slides into his deceased father's
car and turns it on [yes, without a key. Apparently, Old Cars let you do that.
But I digress]; soon after, the sound of "Take Five" by Dave Brubeck fills the

- The <snort> "jazz [song] playing on car radio" (quoted from
closed captioning) at the beginning of "Carter's Choice" [413],
"Walking On The Sun" by Smashmouth, contains the memorable lyric
"It ain't no joke/I'd like/to buy the world a toke/and teach the world/
to sing/in perfect harmony". Like I said in that episode's Cliff Notes,
I'm ready for A Coke And A Smile, Bobby Simone...

- Not quite at the beginning, I know, but Jeanie and Scott sang a
short duet to Green Day's "Time Of Your Life" in "Gut Reaction" [418].
Jeanie also sung it at Scott's memorial service in "Shades of Gray" [419],
instead of the song she was going to sing, "Simple Gifts", the lyrics to
which can be found at

[What was that song playing at the end of...?]

- That Olde Ne...uh, that great old party song, "Tequila", was a
strange consolation for Carol after her aborted wedding in "Everything Old is
New Again" [125].

- Katy Lindemann reminded me that the song "It Came upon a Midnight
Clear", which is on the ER Soundtrack CD, is featured at the end of "A
Miracle Happens Here" [210]

- "Blackbird", by The Beatles, was used rather well in "Motherhood"
[124]. As Scott Hollified said in his review, "The lyric 'You were only
waiting for this moment to arrive' achieved a special significance with
the newborn infant at hand". And as Emiliano Severoni recently reminded
me, Susan also sang it to baby Suzie in "Take These Broken Wings" [221].

- "Calling Dr. Hathaway" [319], elicited another Bandstand [if you
don't catch that reference, you're probably too young to be reading this
anyway...] pick by Scott Hollifield: "Once again, the 'ER' producers show
off an unerringly impecable taste in pop music, by ending this week's show
with Elvis Costello's 'Every Day I Write the Book'"

- From Eric Methot: "I finally found the song used in 'Mark and
Cynthia's love scene' in 'Freak Show' [408]. It's 'At Last' from Etta James
(Vol 1 The Best of Etta James-Chess Records). Very good album and vol 2 is as

- The end of the Christmas episode "Do You See What I See" [410]
featured the wonderful version of the Christmas classic "Do You Hear What
I Hear" by Gladys Knight and The Pips (to which I owe Jeanne
[jeanne@401kforum.com] a nod of humility for her hippin me to the true
title). [But it shoulda been "Do you see what I see", eh? :-]

- In "A Bloody Mess" [417], Elizabeth, Anna, and Carol's Slumber
Party And Cosmopolitan Taste Test was accompanied by Tori Amos' "Crucify",
from the disc "Little Earthquakes".

- Aretha Franklin exercised her chops all too briefly, singing
"The Night Life" in Corday's apartment during "Shades of Gray" [419].

- Multiple readers (chief among them Martin-Guy Richard) directed us
to Carlos Santana's webpage <http://www.santana.com/Channel/> to have a listen
to "Samba Pa Ti" (from his "Abraxas" album), the song that filled the halls at
the end of "Day For Knight" [501].

- We're still looking for both the name and artist of the music Peter
played for Reese [*not* "Reece" yet at that point] at the end of "Split Second"
[502] (I'm thinking it was something by Miles Davis).

- *Though there were any number of responses given to this one on a.t.e,
Jacqueline (no last name given) left this note, regarding the name and
title of the Jimmy Smith jazz organ tune that Carter danced with Roxanne
to at the end of "They Treat Horses, Don't They?" [503]: "Found a little
more info for you from Amazon.com: Album title: Standards...Audio CD
(February 10, 1998); Number of Discs: 1...Emd/Blue Note; ASIN:
B000005GVH...[title]: 'Ruby'."


Continue to:

previous page: 7.2 Who wrote the theme music for "ER"?
page up: ER FAQ
next page: 7.3.2 "Third-party" songs used in "ER"