Track of the Day: 'Jump Into the Fire' by Harry Nilsson

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Jim Doherty keeps the cinema series going:

Your question about film work immediately made me think of a mother number from Harry Nilsson. Scorsese’s use of “Jump Into the Fire” in Goodfellas is one of my all-time favorite musical moments in a movie. The tension of Ray Liotta’s character Henry Hill tracking the helicopter and wondering whether it is real or just a vision along with the menace of that song. Nearly perfect.

The only version of that scene I could find on YouTube is a trippy mashup version that swaps out the helicopter with the parachuting elephant in Operation Dumbo Drop—which definitely works on its own level:

(Submit a song via hello@. Track of the Day archive here. Pre-Notes archive here.)