The movie Braveheart premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 18, 1995. One of the things that were noted in countless articles was the historical accuracy. One of the things that made the movie was the music. The movie Braveheart lasts just under three hours and the soundtrack falls just under eighty minutes. It is hard to imagine the music not being part of the movie since it truly brings history to life. This is a ranking of all the songs from the Braveheart Soundtrack.
18. Falkirk – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
This song is named after one of the first battles for Scottish independence. However, the opening sounds more like a lament on how war can be devastating. The song stays consistent with a few interludes of deeper moments. Perhaps it signifies the introspective moments one must feel going into battle.
17. Attack on Murron – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
One of the things that spur William Wallace into action is the murder of his wife. Much of the percussion at the beginning of the song sounds like the ominous footsteps of a battle about to begin.
16. The Princess Pleads For Wallace’s Life – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
This song plays when Princess Isabella visits Wallace. Despite everything that has happened and him being imprisoned she still treats him with some dignity. Wallace refuses to give up his ideals. The music starts as the tears fall from her eyes.
15. Mornay’s Dream – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
This is one of the shorter tracks on the soundtrack. Yet, it only takes a minute to create a powerful song heavy with thundering percussion and a collection of instruments that sounds ominous.
14. Wallace Courts Murron – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
In the opening portions of this song, you hear the elation of finding someone you want to be with. As the song progresses, there are additional slower portions that capture not only the lilting feeling of falling in love but also the beautiful Scottish scenery.
13. Revenge – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
Like other tracks on this soundtrack, there is a brief quietude before the careful elements begin to show in the music. For this piece, the heavy influence on percussion translates well to the events that will follow.
12. For the Love of a Princess – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
Horner is a master of highlighting human emotion with his scores and this scene tells so more with this song echoing in the background. As the scene progresses viewers see the full circle of life.
11. The Legend Spreads – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
The reason we know about William Wallace today is through storytelling. The heavy influence of bagpipes in this song gives a strong reverence to Scottish culture.
10. Making Plans/Gathering the Clans – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
The percussion punctuations at the beginning of the song remind us what can happen when we organize together for a common purpose. This song is sparser than other tracks but allows listeners to fully absorb the bigger picture and the things to come in the movie. Near the end of the song, there is a brightness that reminds us that we can always move past things no matter how dark they may seem.
9. Betrayal and Desolation – James Horner, London Symphony Orchestra, and Choristers of Westminister Abbey
One of the most difficult things in life is when we are betrayed. Some retreat and others fight. With the heavy influences of strings in this song, there is that calm resoluteness of knowing that to leave your mark on the world, you have to stand for what you believe in.
8. The Secret Wedding – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
The haunting strings at the beginning of the song are the hesitation of following with the heart in a time of such chaos. It also shows the enduring power of love and how it can grow over time.
7. Sons of Scotland – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
Loyalty to the country is one of the primary themes of the movie. In this scene, you get a full portrait of Wallace’s character. The strains of the song play as a backdrop to one of the most powerful scenes in the movie.
6. Main Title – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
When listening to this track you hear the emotions in the movie encapsulated in less than three minutes. Horner places a well-rounded collection of instruments in the piece. Throughout this song, like many others in the movie you hear a heavy string influence.
5. Murron’s Burial – James Horner London Symphony Orchestra
The scene when Wallace buries his wife has an understated simplicity punctuated by tears and this song. Listeners can also hear reverence for loves lost.
4. A Gift of Thistle -James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra
One of the earliest memories of Wallace and his wife is when she brings him a thistle. In the sequence where this song plays you get a small taste of the romance that lasted until a death too soon between them.
3. End Credits James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra and Choristers of Westminister Abbey
There is a decided quietude in the song. It’s as if Horner knew viewers would need a way to regain composure once this biopic finished. You hear more of the beauty of Scotland in the music. Even though bagpipes don’t come into the song until the bridge you can still close your eyes and picture the countryside Wallace fought to protect.
2. Freedom/ The Execution/ Bannockburn – James Horner and London Symphony Orchestra and Choristers of Westminister Abbey
There are many different facets to this scene. Before the music starts, the music rounds out to many different scenes before Wallace is wheeled out for execution. You can hear the opening bars of the music as he approaches the gallows. The music ebbs and flows through the whole of the scene and runs a whole gamut of emotions about how different characters are reacting to what’s happening.
1. The Battle of Stirling – James Horner, London Symphony Orchestra, and Choristers of Westminister Abbey
There is an energy in this song as well as a quiet rage the countrymen of Scotland felt when defending their homeland. Horner’s score brings together the traditions of Scotland with this contemplative piece. Near the middle of the song, it shifts with a percussion bridge and heavy punctuations of strings.