When you think Sex and the City, you think Sarah Jessica Parker. Sean Connery doesn’t really come to mind. But as it turns out, a special performance dedicated to the late actor inspired a memorable moment in 2008’s Sex and the City: The Movie.
The New Year’s Even scene ‘Sex and the City: The Movie’ is a fan favorite
In one of the scenes from the hit series’s first feature film, Carrie Bradshaw takes the subway—yes, the subway—to make it to Miranda’s house in time before the ball drops at midnight on New Year’s Eve. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly breaking down this scene, director Michael Patrick King said the moment was all about “this desperate need to connect to somebody that actually matters to you.”
The musical backdrop of the scene is Scottish singer Mairi Campbell’s cover of “Auld Lang Syne,” a Scottish tune written by Robert Burns in the 1788. It’s basically the one New Year’s Eve song, and it’s all about not letting go of old friendships. Pretty fitting for a scene all about close friends wanting to be together on New Year’s Eve.
A Scot herself, Campbell told The Sunday Post in 2019 that her cover being used in the film greatly helped her career.
“[Sarah Jessica Parker] must have remembered the performance, because nearly 10 years later she wanted our version for the film,” Campbell told The Sunday Post.
Mairi Campbell sang ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at the 1999 Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Sean Connery
Recorded in the ’90s, Campbell’s cover of “Auld Lang Syne” caught the attention of the Kennedy Center Honors. She was invited to perform it alongside her husband, musician David Francis, at the 1999 ceremony. Their performance was part of the tribute for Connery. (The Scottish-born actor died on Oct. 31, 2020.)
As fate would have it, Parker’s husband, Matthew Broderick, was also part of the 1999 Kennedy Center Honors. (He was recruited for the tribute to actor Jason Robards.)
Sarah Jessica Parker pitched Mairi Campbell’s ‘Auld Lang Syne’ for ‘Sex and the City: The Movie’
Parker told Entertainment Weekly that while she and King were trying to figure out the perfect song to dub over the New Year’s Eve scene, she remembered Campbell’s cover.
“My husband had been a participant in the Kennedy Center Honors, and that year they honored Sean Connery,” she said. “He came home and he said to me, I heard a cover of ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ This Scottish singer stood on the stage and sang it, and he said it was the most heartrending thing he’d ever [heard]. I can’t remember how we somehow got our hands on that CD, [but] I was undone by that. I could not get over that. I said to Michael, I want you to listen to something and I don’t know that we can get it and I don’t know if it’s available and I don’t know if it’s what you’re thinking, but I think you need to use this music in that sequence.“
As King said of his reaction, “She played it for me and I was like, Oh yeah. It’s just spectacular, because it’s more emotional than any other version of ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ It’s not quite as sad, it’s more female. It is magical and mystical and emotional and weird, and it just is so much better because you’ve never heard it before.”
Sex and the City fans still talk about the New Year’s Eve sequence’s use of “Auld Lang Syne.” They apparently have Sean Connery, Mairi Campbell, and Matthew Broderick to thank.
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