Cantina Band

Cantina Band

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Updated Jan 15, 2018 at 04:49PM EST by Matt.

Added Jan 15, 2018 at 03:39PM EST by Matt.

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"Cantina Band," also known as "The Cantina Theme," is a memorable song from the soundtrack to the 1977 science fiction space opera film Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope. Since first appearing in Star Wars, the song has been a fan favorite, inspiring a host of covers and remixes.


Composed by conductor John Williams, "Cantina Band" first appeared in the film Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope, which premiered on May 25th, 1977.[1] In the film, the protagonist Luke Skywalker leaves his farm home and enters the Mos Eisley cantina, a bar. Skywalker's mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi says, "Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."[2]

When they enter the bar, Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes are performing. The song they play, known colliqually as "Cantina Theme," is listed as "Cantina Band" on the Star Wars soundtrack.[3]


Later that year, recording artist Meco released a funk version of both the Star Wars theme and "Cantina Band" (shown below, left). On October 1st, 1977, the "Cantina Band" single hit #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 list. The song would go on to sell two million copies, becoming the biggest-selling instrumental single in the history of recorded music.[4]

On June 6th, 2006, Wookieepedia user C3PO the Dragon Slayer identified the name of the song that Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes perform as "Mad About Me."

Two months later, one of the earliest appearances of the songs on YouTube was posted by YouTuber[6] pierrelp on September 10th, 2006. The video Hot Club of Tucson "Cantina Band" (shown below, right) received more than 148,000 views in nearly 12 years.

Five years later, on October October 7th, 2011, YouTuber[7] Franc Massioniste uploaded "Cantina band 9 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds," which plays the song on repeat for that amount of time. The post (shown below) received more than 8 million views in seven years.

One of the most popular type of video remixes involving the song features unconentional covers. On May 28th, 2007, YouTuber[8] Gerry Phillips posted "manualist plays star wars- cantina band on his hands!" In the video, a man plays the song while squeezing his hands together, creating a squeaking sound. The post received more than 942,000 views in nearly 11 years.

On January 11th, 2018, Redditor [9] smallgoblin posted a video in the /r/StarWars subreddit of someone writing math equations with pencil. The sound the writing makes resembles "Cantina Band." In four days, the post (shown below) received more than 68,000 points (89% upvoted) and 1,300 comments. It has since become the fifth most-upvoted Star Wars subreddit post of all time.[10] On YouTube, the video received more than 5.5 million views in five days.

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