"In The Halls of the Mountain King" theme in "M"

Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of Mountain King theme from Peer Gynt, as used in Fritz Lang's M.

The tune is impish, lively, magical, just the sort of tune you would use to enchant a child away from her parents--or, looking at it a different way, the kind of tune that would run through the mind of a childlike killer, one whose life bears uncomfortable parallels with the hero of the opera from which the song is taken (about a man who at one point in his aimless, chaotic life, is fascinated by trolls--a race of magical creatures).

It's the kind of melody that can put a smile on the listener's face. Which is why Lang's chilling use of it in M is so memorable, because it turns all connotations upside down and instead suggests fairy innocence being stalked by dark and shadowy monsters.

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