The theme to 'Jurassic Park' hasn't aged a day John Williams' score was, true to form, unforgettable — as Jeff Goldblum remembers in an interview with NPR.

The theme to 'Jurassic Park' hasn't aged a day

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There's a new "Jurassic Park" - excuse me - "World" movie out now. "Jurassic World: Dominion" reunites Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern and Sam Neill from the first film and also features the now-classic theme by John Williams. Tim Greiving examines the unexpected legacy of that music.

TIM GREIVING, BYLINE: You know the theme. Everybody does.


GREIVING: In 1993, composer John Williams defied the usual monster-movie tropes and wrote a score that plays to the awe and reverence these small human characters have for the majestic prehistoric beasts brought back to life. Instead of horror, he wrote a hymn.


RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH: (As John Hammond) Welcome to Jurassic Park.


GREIVING: One person who appreciated that music right away was Jeff Goldblum...

JEFF GOLDBLUM: (Vocalizing). Yeah, yeah. Amazing. Amazing.

GREIVING: ...Who played chaotician‎ Ian Malcolm in "Jurassic Park."

GOLDBLUM: Music can do something - can't it? - that storytelling - words and pictures - can't do. It really - you have corresponding notes in your innards - you know - that it touches and plays upon.

GREIVING: Just like he'd already done with "Jaws" and "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones," John Williams came up with a theme that leapt out of the movie and got stuck in the ears of pop culture, which, of course, means parodies like this melodica cover that's been viewed more than 18 million times on YouTube.


ATTENBOROUGH: (As John Hammond) Welcome to Jurassic Park.

GREIVING: But it isn't just played for laughs. The "Jurassic Park" score is beloved by many composers and even pop artists. None other than Lizzo is a John Williams fangirl, as she explained to MTV in 2019.


LIZZO: Oh, my God. When you hear it, you can just see a stegosaurus, a brontosaurus, and you can just see their necks and [expletive]. And you can hear, like, the (imitating dinosaur), the (singing) bah bah, bah bah, bah bah bah, bah bah bah bah.

[Expletive]. (Singing) Bah bah bah bah.

That [expletive], OK, you know it's hard if it can go well in a trap song.

GREIVING: And when Jeff Goldblum does jazz concerts with his band, he always caps the night with a performance of the theme. He even has lyrics for it.

GOLDBLUM: But I didn't make them up. I found at one point a long time ago, and then I - you know, I repeated it as a joke here and there. You know, (singing) and Jurassic Park, scary in the dark. I'm so scared that I'll be eaten.

GREIVING: For a movie about gigantic dinosaurs eating humans, the tune is pretty versatile. Look no further than the sheer number of weddings that have used the "Jurassic Park" theme. Sarah Davis, an electric utilities consultant in Seattle, wanted her bridal party to enter to this music.

SARAH DAVIS: I felt, like, the joy and excitement and anticipation and kind of possibility, like, everything that the theme encapsulates and communicates. You know, the first time people are actually seeing dinosaurs is hopefully, you know, maybe a similar feeling you might want when you're getting married.

GREIVING: Sarah's husband, Jesse Schumann, is sitting beside her listening to all this.

JESSE SCHUMANN: Are you sure you weren't doing it to be funny?


DAVIS: Well...

SCHUMANN: I thought that it was a running joke.

DAVIS: No, I don't think it's a joke. I mean, it's...

SCHUMANN: (Laughter).

DAVIS: It's such a pretty song.

SCHUMANN: No, it...

DAVIS: And it's lovely.

SCHUMANN: It is. It is. It is.

GREIVING: It is. And it lives on whether in jokes, in countless sequels, or at our most solemn occasions. For NPR News, I'm Tim Greiving.


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