Songs To Soothe

July 19, 2011

5 lovely game songs to soothe the mind, settle the stomach, fall asleep to when your  body’s on the mend.

Minecraft – Sweden

Back during my early days of playing Minecraft, I happened to chance upon a zombie pit while digging for coal in the side of a mountain. Because this was on Blue Kae’s multiplayer server back when all of us were still invincible, I was able to rid the place of the undead rather painlessly, plant my torches around the spawning pen and loot the treasure box at my leisure. Amidst its contents, I found a record.

Of course, it was another handful of days or so before I found the diamond block necessary for the (literal) centerpiece of my jukebox. I stuck it in, and the synthetic and upbeat “Cat” began to play. I think working on my in-game beachfront property to this tune is what made me fall in love with C418 and Minecraft music. When I bought the Volume Alpha soundtrack, this song “Sweden” was and remains one of my favorites.

It’s also my alarm because it’s such a beautiful song to wake up to.

Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer – Villages of Khitai

Thanks to composer Knut Avenstroup I think Age of Conan has the best soundtrack of any MMO. We had Helene Bøksle’s haunting vocals spicing up the soundtrack for Hyborian Adventures, but the Asian-themed expansion required something different. But the result is no less beautiful. I mean, my GOD, listen to this. If you’ve never listened to the whole thing, do yourself a favor or at least go to what in my opinion is the best part, which starts at approximately 1:39.

Oh, and a funny thing about the above video is, whoever made it actually grabbed one of the screenshots they used from this very blog. At 0:36, I was like, “Helloooooo, that’s familiar”. It’s my very own Khitan alt Xiaohuli.

Rift – Stillmoor

Inon Zur is another genius in the music composing business and he does a lot of games. Rift actually has a pretty good soundtrack all around, but the first time I set foot in Stillmoor and I heard this beautiful tune I was floored. Still patiently waiting for the day Trion decides to release the soundtrack separately, digital download would be nice.

But this might not actually be as soothing as I think it is, because really, only the intro is like that and even listening to that part actually gives me chills every single time.

Lord of the Rings Online – Red Stone and Golden Leaves

Same as I wrote last year, the song “Hills of the Shire” remains my favorite LOTRO track, even though the Tom Bombadil theme comes close (seriously, doesn’t that song just make you want to kick off your shoes, put on a floppy hat and prance around in a flowery field outside) but ever since I hit level 30-ish this “Red Stone and Golden Leaves” song has started growing on me. It’s probably not a coincidence that this is around the time you get to Rivendell, and that’s the song that plays when you enter the city.

Dragon Age: Origins – I Am The One

Another gem from Inon Zur. I think everything sounds infinitely more awesome when sung by a woman with a somber voice in an unintelligible language, in this case, the Dragon Age elven language. Heruamin lotirien. I don’t know what any of it means, but it doesn’t make me love it any less.

There is also a DJ Killa remix which if I remember correctly played during the end credits. I don’t know what it is, but when I heard it I just thought it was the perfect conclusion. Is a song still considered soothing if it makes you cry?


  1. The Elven to English translation for I am the One is:
    Translated from the elven tongue:

    elder your time is come
    now I am filled with sorrow
    weary eyes need resting
    heart has become grey and slow
    in waking sleep is freedom

    we sing, rejoice
    we tell the tales
    we laugh and cry
    we love one more day
    — From “In Uthenera,” traditional elven song of unknown origin.

    It’s on the Dragon Age wiki under Codex entry: In Uthenera
    It’s kind of sad about an old person ready to die.

    I love everything Inon Zur does. Video game music is so beautiful and under appreciated.

    • Unfortunately, that’s not the same song. 😦 Actually from past searches when I was looking up lyrics for “I am the One” I saw others also confusing the lyrics from In Uthenera for that one. The song, as well as it says on the codex you linked, is actually the lyrics and meaning for the song known as “Leliana’s Song”, which is this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAANKFPchtA

      The lyrics for “I Am The One” are completely different, as can be seen when listening to the song and comparing to those elven lyrics on the page you referred to. It’s still driving me nuts because while I’ve been able to find the lyrics, to this day I have not been able to find anywhere that gives the translated meaning.

      I’m a fan of everything Inon Zur does as well, when I look at all the games he does he’s so flexible and amazing.

  2. Very good choices. The Rift and DAO songs I was not familiar with. I liked with your LoTRO choice, that’s one of the most poignant songs in the game to me.

    • LOTRO is chock full of good songs! Like I was saying, my favorite from the game is Hills of the Shire, but I gotta say I’m pretty fond of the Bree Land Jig as well. Perfect traveling/riding song 😛

  3. minecrafts music reminds me so much of Lost, it drives me nuts.

    • Lost? Really, eh. I don’t even remember much music from that show.

  4. […] in MMOs, from Age of Conan to Minecraft, and I’m really glad she did. There’s some absolutely beautiful work out there that I wasn’t aware of: Inon Zur is another genius in the music composing business […]

  5. How very strange…sometime I think the blogosphere has some cosmical powers – in any case, I was just going to (finally) publish a post on some of my favored MMO tracks today which I have been putting off for weeks and months, haha! I’m a big sucker for MMO/RPG soundtrack, great to see there’s more like us out there who still appreciate that side of today’s games. and very nice picks I didn’t all know about, thanks for sharing! =)

  6. Inon Zur is very talented. I’ve enjoyed all of the music he has composed, from heartfelt songs like “I Am The One”, even to the town themes I’ve heard from games like Tera. His style sort of reminds me of Yasunori Mitsuda, who is another of my personal favorites.

    Excellent choices in songs. I’ve only had the chance to listen to two of them, but if the others are along the same vein I’m sure I’ll enjoy them just as much.

    Musical pieces in MMOs have gotten more sophisticated over time. I can see why symphonies play MMO pieces now. But I suppose you could say that about video game music, in general. There used to be a day when music was just some 8-bit midi that looped endlessly; now, music in video games is every bit as complex as any classical piece.

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