Bruce Springsteen, America’s greatest rock and roller, penning a tune for Harry Potter, the biggest British film franchise in decades. Seems like a creative collaboration made in a pop culture dream factory, eh?
Think again, muggles. In a recent Bruce Springsteen interview with Simon Mayo for BBC Radio 2, the E Street troubadour reveals that he once penned a song for a Harry Potter film. Only to have it shelved.
Per the Boss, “I’ll Stand by You Always” was a “big ballad”, inspired by his eldest son. He adds that the song “was pretty good […] uncharacteristic of something I’d sing myself”.
According to Brucebase, noting the song’s “mysterious history”, it “was ultimately rejected due to Harry Potter novelist/creator JK Rowling’s contractual stipulation that no commercial songs of any type be used in the Potter film series.”
Known for dark explorations of masculinity, relationships, and economic strife, Springsteen may seem an unusual choice for Potter’s high-flying world of wizardry. However, his soundtrack cred is as good as any popular artist’s
“Streets of Philadelphia”, from Jonathan Demme’s 1993 drama, scored an Oscar for Springsteen and remains one of his most poignant songs. He likely would’ve taken home another golden statue for “The Wrestler”, from the 2008 Darren Aronofsky/Mickey Rourke film, had it not been jammed up by Oscar BS.
Springsteen noted in the BBC interview that he’d like to see the song resurface in another children’s film.
For now, though, “I’ll Stand by You Always” remains stored away in the bowels of Hogwarts. Tracks 2, anyone?