A Song on Sunday: Johnny B Goode

Updated on February 11, 2022

I have probably watched it more times than Star Wars

You probably thought that in A Song on Sunday we would only ever be featuring Indian songs. And this is certainly going to be true most of the time. Once in a while, such as this week, we will feature something a little different. And I can think of no better first entry in songs on Sunday that are a little out of place, than a time-traveling Marty McFly from 1985 singing rock and roll in 1955.

Back to the Future is right up there with Star Wars and James Bond as my top five cinematic treats as a child. I have watched Robert Zemeckis’s trilogy about the adventures of a time-hopping teenager and his mad scientist friend more times than I can count, growing up. I have probably watched it more times than Star Wars, come to think of it. I couldn’t, even if you put a gun to my head, choose one of the three as a favourite, because they all seamlessly run as one long movie in my head.

michael j fox as marty mcfly in the movie back to the futureOne of the most memorable scenes in the first Back to the Future involves Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) taking to the stage at the ‘enchantment under the sea’ dance, taking it up from the mellow set to something rather more upbeat. He belts out Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode to a bemused, enthused and ultimately stunned audience, going a little crazy in the solos.

It’s the icing on what is already, by that point, a thoroughly entertaining movie, and while there’s so many whiz-bang special effects and action set-pieces in the Back to the Future movies, this simple sequence of anachronistic rock & roll glee stands shoulder to shoulder with them.

Maybe you won’t get what the big deal is about this Song on Sunday. Maybe you had to have grown up watching Back to the Future to understand. Maybe you’re not ready for it.

But trust me, your kids will love it.