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Awesome Music / The West Wing

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  • The theme music. Performed live for your listening pleasure.
  • "Brothers in Arms", the time Charlie runs out in the rain with Bartlet's coat and the guitar kicks in. And the power walking.
  • Josh, Sam, CJ, and Toby welcoming Ainsley to the team with Gilbert and Sullivan posters and a rendition of "He is an Englishman".
  • The military funeral of a homeless vet juxtaposed with The Little Drummer Boy. The West Wing was always fabulous with song juxtaposition.
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  • The lead-in to the theme tune in the episode "25", which was helped by brilliant cinematography. Bartlet finds out that Zoey has been kidnapped and he immediately drops the photos of her he's been sorting and his glass of scotch. He then glances at Abbey, and as the background music crescendos, the camera zooms in on one of the pictures. The entire sequence takes twenty seconds, but it's a brilliant 20 seconds.
  • The Jackal as performed by C.J.
  • The bit towards the end of "20 Hours in America, Part II", where the staff find out that a pipe bomb has been set off in a university sports facility and Bartlet gives a beautiful and moving speech written on the fly by Sam, and all accompanied by the Tori Amos cover of "I Don't Like Mondays".
  • The use of Massive Attack's "Angel" at the end of "Commencement". It's the perfect balance of creepy, tense and trippy as Zoey realises she's been drugged and then her Secret Service detail realise she's missing, and the repetition of "Love you, love you, love you" as Amy questions Donna's feelings for Josh.
  • The scene in "Noel" where Stanley pushes Josh to tell him how he really cut his hand and it's shown that music is making him relive the shooting. It's an amazing scene, if more than a little heartbreaking, and the music that helps make it so great?
    Josh: It was the Bach G Major.
    Stanley: Did he play it well?
    • Not to mention that Yo-Yo Ma insisted on playing the music live for every take rather than use a recording.
  • Also in "Noel": when Donna and Josh walk out of the White House past a group of carolers performing "The Carol of the Bells" at the end of the episode, the sound of sirens begins to rise as they finish the song... calling back to Josh's diagnosis and the manifestation of his PTSD.
  • Two amazingly fabulous pieces, set back-to-back and interlaced with scenes from a play the President is attending, in "Posse Comitatus" (season 3 finale):
    • "Halleluja", sung by the late great Jeff Buckley over the death of Secret Service Agent Simon Donovan.
    • "England Arise", by the play's actors intercut with the assassination of the terrorist (but Defense Minister of Qumar) Shareef by British forces.
  • The montage in "The Mommy Problem" set to "Jet Airliner" by the Steve Miller Band perfectly captures the hectic nature of a presidential campaign.
  • From the Season 5 episode "7A WF 83429": The One-Woman Wail begins as Donna tells Josh "They've put up a memorial to Zoey on the Lawn. I want to go see it before I leave. Wanna come?" As they walk through the building, we are treated to scenes of the motorcade pulling up to a church, cops and Secret Service pounding the street, Leo alone in the Situation Room, and finally, Donna's quiet "Oh my God" as she and Josh come down the steps and we finally see the memorial: rows and rows of candles, flames as far as the eye can see down Pennsylvania Avenue, teddy bears, pictures of Zoey, flags, flowers. From the Trope Codifer of the One-Woman Wail, Lisa Gerard.


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