Song of the Day: “I’ll Have to Dance with Cassie” from God Help the Girl

There’s no business like… Show Tunes Review Week business

I am not exaggerating when I say this is one of my 100 or so favorite songs in the world. It’s pop perfection. It’s the upbeat centerpiece of God Help the Girl, the fake musical-turned-real musical written by Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian.

Sung by Emily Browning (who, unrelated, is breathtaking in the American Gods adaptation), “Dance with Cassie” captures the youthful escape of dancing and longing for puppy love. Scored first with gentle piano, then building to a feisty blend of choral singers and strings, the song’s production is luscious and perfectly balanced.

The song is anchored by a silky-sweet chorus, and hinges on rhythmic, abrupt transitions between lines: “Shuffle to the left,” “shimmy on the spot,” etc. It amps the song’s spirits higher and higher until it finally fades into a repeated “I’ll keep on dancing…”

It’s perfect execution of a really outstanding composition, and I never get tired of it.

Somehow, the song was not nominated for the “Best Song” Oscar. It wasn’t even short-listed. I know people like to talk Alfred Hitchcock and Taxi Driver, but for me “Cassie” is the Academy’s greatest snub ever.

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