The 1985 movie theme song “St. Elmo’s Fire”, originally written about paralympian Rick Hansen, was retooled in 2012 as “Tim Tebow’s Fire” dedicated to Christian quarterback Tim Tebow. It’s kinda like when Elton John’s lyricist retooled “Pizza in the Wind” to become the hit we all know “Candle in the Wind” and then Sir Elton retooled it again after Princess Di died.
I just love title drops. See if this melody don’t make you want to get down on one knee and start Tebowing your fist into the Heavens. Click on the score to play/stop.
In the key of F#, the top melody moves down in triplets and then up on the “fire.” The bottom harmony remains on the D# and moves in contrary motion, down on the “fire,” creating a suspension over the V chord.
The verses of “St. Elmo’s” are in A Major and the choruses move down 3 steps to F# Major. However, the vocal register moves up, hitting the high C#5 on the “Saint” of the hook. The two keys, Amaj and F#maj are closely related with only one note difference.
The verses change key into the chorus via the Aeolian cadence: D Major to E Major, IV – V in Amaj, or vi – vii in F#maj. The choruses return to the verse using the D diminished 7th chord. Below is a simplified voicing of the chord. Drag over to listen.
The verses aren’t great, but the key change and the choruses make up for that. You can hear the hair in the guy’s voice and I’m pretty sure there’s a Rob Lowe saxophone blowing underneath the song somewhere.
Yeah, it isn’t a great song; I just like the movie and any momento movi to remind me of the death of great cinema.