“yellow jackets“composers and songwriters Craig Wedren And Anna Waronker He got the chance to write the original music and lyric contestant “Sit Right Down” for Episode 7 of the Showtime series.
“We dived deep into the blood, the disintegration, the descent, and the mind-shattering music,” Wedren says, referring to the events survivors have had to endure this season. The producers asked them to write a “MGM meets old-fashioned standard number Bob Fosse.”
The dream sequence takes place as follows: by Simone Kessell Lottie asks adult Yellowjackets to choose a therapy option treatment in a “wellness retreat.” played by Misty Christina Ricci, After choosing “Guidance” he finds himself in a sensory tank. He needs it. In the youth timeline, Misty (played by Samantha Hanratty) makes a new best friend in a theater lover, Crystal. However, Misty’s frankness with her best friend comes to a sad end when Misty confesses that she sabotaged the plane’s black box recorder, during the secrets that spread rapidly. Embarrassed, Crystal asks if Misty will “poison her” and she replies, “I’ll kill you”. A few minutes later, Crystal accidentally fell off a cliff and died. Meanwhile, adult Misty raises “deaths” after kidnapping a reporter and putting out her cigarette.
In the fiery dream sequence, Broadway star John Cameron Mitchell’s beloved pet bird Caligula assumes human form, while the sensory tank becomes a musical haven for Misty.
Misty’s face is superimposed in the background, and she watches Elijah Wood’s Walter dance to the melody with drawings of a pin, ax in a top hat, and black boxes floating in the foreground.
As veterans of the 90s —Wedren Shudder to Think group and Fighter of That Dog—Waronker calls the project a “dream assignment” because it used the musical songwriting and comedy skills they had been doing for years. “It was very quick,” Waronker says of the songwriting process.
Wedren admits that the musical theme and descending verse for “Sit Right Down” caught her immediately. “I took the guitar and started plucking it.” When Waronker came to work on the song, the two started changing the melody and changing the lyrics back and forth. “At the end of the day, I thought, ‘This is a show tune.'”
Waronker says their approach to the song, which features lyrics telling Misty to “wash with sound and sit down”, is to take a song with these classic-style tunes and use the lyrics in a ‘Yellowjackets’ style. it was multilayered with many meanings and it should have a sense of humor but not be overly funny and not be a joke.
He continues, “We knew it was a therapy session where Caligula gave Misty a pep talk about being murderous and that she just had to hold back and kill every motherfucker who got in her way. So we had a ball writing this because she was a punk… this kind of ‘Sweeney Todd’.
Speaking via Zoom from New York and having just seen the Broadway reenactment of “Sweeney Todd,” Wedren said, “I thought, ‘This is what I love about the Yellow Jackets’ the whole time. There’s blood, horror, humor, weird music, traditional music, and it’s very disrespectful. But there’s something grounded and rooted in it, and ‘Sit Right Down’ had a bit of that.”
While the collaborators wrote the song and dropped the music, Mitchell wasn’t on board at first—but he made the perfect addition.
Wedren said, “We were relieved because it was clear that we wouldn’t need to add anything, and he was just adding, adding and adding. Adding it was like whipped cream, caramel, and maraschino cherries on top of ice cream.
Mitchell, who penned the Tony Award-winning musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” didn’t need much guidance. “We need to set up a study and see if John can get out,” Wedren says. Instead, they sent the multi-hyphenous an instrumental he recorded at home. “When we got her back, it was like Liza Minnelli was meeting ‘The Exorcist,'” Wedren jokes.
In total, Mitchell provided them with six different versions of the tune. Says Waronker, “There was a variation of our favorite moments that we could shoot for the final version. I thought, ‘This is my job today, putting together John’s incredible vocals.'”
Watch “Sit at the Station” below.