Here's a song whose impact I suspect is almost entirely dependent on seeing the movie from which it comes, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and even more specifically the scene with which it is associated in its context. In effect I am recommending with this a 161-minute movie, and I know that's a lot to ask. Odds are reasonably good if you read this blog that you have seen it, so I call your attention to the scene in which Eli Wallach's Tuco is tortured for information in a Civil War POW camp. An impromptu POW orchestra, assembled for the purpose, is instructed to play when prisoners are tortured, in order to mask the sounds of the screams. This is the song they play. Truly, it's ludicrous—the song is a narrative device, it doesn't mask screams, it's quiet. It sounds the way you and the cowed orchestra feel in the moment, knowing such depravity goes on in this world, in tandem with the powerlessness of the situation, which must be accepted. The music is slow, ponderous, yet filigreed and lovely, and for all its simplicities it verges on the ornate. It's also a production piece that would likely not even be easy to reproduce on a stage with a soundboard, let alone standing at dusk in the open corner of a POW camp in the Texas desert, moaning vocal lines, blowing sweet harp, tapping fragile notes on a xylophone. The scene is thus almost funny, yet deeply moving at the same time. The brutalities inside the cabin, the expressions on the faces of the musicians outside and of the leering guards who find it all a big joke, and the mournful music itself—the heart is absolutely rent.