The first song you hear and the last song you hear in Avengers: Endgame are much more significant than you thought.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR AVENGERS: ENDGAME
It’s OK to admit Avengers: Endgame stirred all kinds of emotions you probably didn’t want to express among a throng of strangers.
The bleary-eyed look isn’t always conducive to public dignity.
FINAL WARNING FOR AVENGERS: ENDGAME SPOILERS
The clincher for a lot of fans was that final moment when Cap, having sacrificed any semblance of a normal life in the name of service, is reunited with his one true love, kickarse intelligence agent Peggy Carter.
Having travelled back in time to the 1940s, probably creating a separate branch reality in the process, Cap and his “best girl” are dancing cheek-to-cheek in a typical American suburban home of the era.
The song playing over the scene is It’s Been a Long, Long Time by Harry James and Kitty Kallen, which reached number one on the charts in 1945.
The song is about soldiers returning home from war — and you can’t classify the fight against Thanos as anything other than a war — featuring lyrics such as “Never thought that you would be standing here so close to me”.
It’s a perfect moment for Cap who has been trying to have that dance with Peggy since 1945. It just took a few extra decades to cash in that raincheck.
It’s not the first time the song has been used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Captain America: Winter Soldier, it’s the record Nick Fury is playing in Cap’s apartment when he breaks in.
And in that movie, when Cap visits an older Peggy in care, when she loses lucidity for a moment and sees him there, she says to him, “It’s been so long, so long.”
It’s not the only musical cue in a movie that was mostly Alan Silvestri’s orchestral score.
In its opening moments, Avengers: Endgame eschews the usual bars that accompany the Marvel Studios logo, instead cutting directly to Traffic’s 1967 song Dear Mr Fantasy.
The lyrics to that song also seem to thematically tie in with Endgame — and are a comment on entertainment in general.
“Dear Mr Fantasy, play us a tune, something to make us all happy, do anything, take us out of this gloom, sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy, you are the one who can make us all laugh, but doing that you break out in tears.”
Some fans have linked it to Tony Stark who started off as the song-and-dance man of the MCU with his playboy, showboating antics, before becoming a more emotionally centred, serious hero.
You could also apply the meaning to Marvel Studios, entertaining and distracting us from all the ills outside with its splashy movies, but its stories end up hitting us right in that spot we call our hearts.
Avengers: Endgame is in cinemas now
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