The Music of True Blood, Episode 1.9: The Joys of Love and the Series' Twilight Moment

Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood - which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston. With Season 2 just completed, Rocks Off is now working our way backwards through the episodes we missed as HBO begins reruns.

Episode 1.9, "Plaisir D'Amour"

"The pleasure of love lasts only a moment/ The pain of love lasts a lifetime." This is a sentiment expressed throughout classical composition turned pop single "Plaisir D'Amour" that rings true for this week's episode of True Blood. Having just saved Sookie from a vampire traitor by making him into a coat rack, Bill is set to be tried by a vampire magistrate for the murder he committed to keep Sookie from ending up a snack. To judge by Bill's fellow fanged friends reactions, the outlook is grim.

Written in 1780, "Plaisir D'Amour" (ironically translated as "The Joys of Love") was originally a poem by Jean de Florien, best known for his fables. Throughout the work is a bitter condemnation of the pain of loving an unfaithful woman. Though infidelity and loss of affection aren't problems that affect Sookie and Bill, both are racking up a heavy debt of consequences from their relationship.

The song has come down through the years to be re-worked as a minor pop hit for several artists, including the one used in the episode by Joan Baez. The melody was also used to create the seminal love song "Can't Help Falling in Love." It's a sad little tune filled to the brim with a variety of tears. Hopeless, desperate and very much in pain, it captures the existential heartbreak that is the meat of any modern vampire work. Guess we all have to have our Twilight moment.

True Blood airs at 9 p.m. tonight on HBO Zone.

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