Song of the Day: Kris Kristofferson, "The Pilgrim, Chapter 33"
I'm re-watching Taxi Driver because it celebrates 40 years this week, and I realized two things about it musically this time around. First, I completely forgot that Bernard Herrmann did the score, which is really lush and subtly haunting. Considering more recent Martin Scorsese work is often associated with wall-to-wall Rolling Stones songs, it's a nice change of pace.
The other thing I forgot was that when Travis goes on his first date with Betsy (played exquisitely and cooly by Cybill Shepherd), she quotes a Kris Kristofferson lyric from "The Pilgrim, Chapter 33" to him. It comes from Kristofferson's 1971 album The Silver Tongued Devil and I, which is an exceptionally strange LP that I mostly know for "Epitaph (Black and Blue)," which was Kristofferson's tribute to the late Janis Joplin. "The Pilgrim, Chapter 33" has an odd little spoken word bit at the end, wherein he notes that the song was inspired by a handful of celebrities he had met.
Anyway, a few beats later, Travis gives Betsy that Kristofferson record, just a few moments before he takes her to see Swedish Marriage Manual and kicks off his downward spiral. Even when he's just relying on score, music is exceptionally important to Scorsese.