The Music of ‘One Tree Hill’: “Does this Darkness Have a Name?”
It’s hard to believe it’s been six years since the school shooting-themed episode of “One Tree Hill“. I’ll never forget that powerful hour in which a gun-toting bullied Jimmy Edwards held his former friends and school class-mates isolated in a classroom as Peyton, whom he had shot, nearly bled out in the library with Lucas as their friends and family waited helplessly outside of Tree Hill High.
The entire episode was filled with amazing performances and haunting scores, created by composer John Nordstrom, which played in the back-drop of great dialogue and direction.
Episode 3.16 “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept” hit close to home to everyone watching; school shootings weren’t something of fiction — we had experienced them in everyday life; some more closely than others.
There was some controversy from OTH viewers and critics, but all in all I was glad Mark Schwahn paid attention to the voices of the students in these real life situations and let them be heard through this series. Maybe it spoke to you, maybe it spoke to them. Maybe a high school student watching the episode that identified with the bully or the bullied found some solace that changed the outcome of something in their lives.
It’s not like everyone had the perfect experience as a teenager.
As for One Tree Hill, this episode was also the one that marked the final episode for Craig Sheffer who played Keith Scott. Moments after Jimmy Edwards turned his gun on himself; Dan Scott entered the hallway and shot Keith, his own brother.
Tree Hill was never the same after this episode.
As Lucas carried a passed out Peyton out of the school due to the gunshot wound to her leg, and Brooke cried in relief that her friends were okay; it was Nathan, Haley, Mouth, Skillz, Rachel, and their classmates that listened to the horrors in the hallway from their classroom-turned-hostage holding room. All the while one song played — the only song to play in the entire episode — it was “God Bless the Child” by Michelle Featherstone.
This song is about a child who’s hurting emotionally and I found the lyrics perfect for describing the events we had just watched. The haunting sound and the emotion in Michelle’s voice could instantly brew tears in your eyes.
I will never forget this song and I’ll never forget this one hour in what will be one-hundred and eighty-seven hours of “One Tree Hill” history.