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[Analysis] My Heart Will Go On - CANACANA family

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Titanic'
<Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Titanic'. Merie Weismiller/Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox>

One of the highest-grossing films: Titanic

One of the highest-grossing films of all time, with a worldwide gross of over $2 billion is James Cameron’s Titanic. The R.M.S. Titanic, the most prized possession of the White Star Line and, at the time, had its tragic maiden voyage in James Cameron's epic, action-packed romance; Titanic. In the dawn hours of April 15, 1912, she, the "ship of dreams," the most opulent liner of her time, brought nearly 1,500 passengers to their deaths in the icy seas of the North Atlantic. The movie is a love story of Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet respectively, and Jack’s tragic end with the sinking of the ship. However, he still stays in her mind, even after so many years of the incident. This emotion has been greatly captured by the theme song of the 1997 movie, My Heart Will Go On.   

Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On

My Heart Will Go On is sung by Celine Dion, with lyrics by Will Jennings written by James Horner along with record producers Simon Franglen and Walter Afanasieff peaked at number one and ruled the charts worldwide. The song also received many awards in 1999 Grammy in the categories of Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Song Written for Visual Media and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In the previous year, the song won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. 

<My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from "Titanic") · Céline Dion | Celine Dion official YouTube channel>


Cover art of My Heart Will Go On
<Cover art of My Heart Will Go On>

My Heart Will Go On

'Titanic' OST

- Album: 'Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack'

- Artist: Celine Dion - Composer: James Horner

- Release date: November 24, 1997

- Label: Columbia, Epic


The first few seconds of the Tin Whistle playing, young Leo, with the majestic ship are the initial melody of the song till we hear an angelic voice. The gentle Ballad feels like we are experiencing Titanic, in the waters along with the vibrato of Celine Dion singing first lines; where inevitably now all the people listening will sing along- ‘Every Night In My Dreams, I See You, I Feel You.’ Celine Dion my heart will go on represents one of her best singles and also it became her signature song. It became such an important song for Celine Dion that she said: 

“I will perform My Heart Will Go On for the rest of my life

and it will always remain a very emotional experience for me”

What is 'My Heart Will Go On' meaning?

This theme song of Titanic shows how instruments can bring out the lyrics and with this reflects the feelings of Rose for Jack when he became one with the sea. The song lyrics – My heart will go on depict that even though Rose doesn’t know where Jack got his peace, she knows that he will always be her heart and will stay in her heart forever. The song has the idea of promise; the promise of happiness despite never being able to be together. The lyrics also show pure love for one person to another. The voice of Celine Dion with the instruments like tin whistle, flute, piano, and violin alongside the amazing lyrics makes this song apt for the mega-hit Titanic. 

The song emphasises the ‘distance’, for example in the lines - “Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart does go on. Once more you open the door, And you are here in my heart, and my heart will go on and on…” This also shows the differences in the social distance of the class of Jack and Rose. Finally, there was again the distance between them after the ship sinks, this time forever. But all this distance is don’t matter, because now Jack is in Rose’s heart and he will be in her heart till her heart goes on. This is the kind of love that is hard to forget. The song from Titanic will complete its 25th year after release this December 2022. 

Key and chord progression

The notes are in E major A, B, C#, D#, E, F# and G# where the chords are also in E major. This song can be played in C# minor relative minor. The verses follow the chord progression of E–Bsus4–Aadd9–E–B. The chorus has the chord progression of C♯m–B–A–B. The song modulates to A flat major.

The song is higher complex than the average song in terms of chord-bass melody. 

The song is easy to follow the vocals and to listen to, so it is a popular song to sing in karaoke. There are many streaming services and even on YouTube there are karaoke versions and can listen to Celine Dion my heart will go on.

Arrangement Analysis: CANACANA Family

There are uncountable arrangements, re-creations and renditions of this song, be it a flute arrangement, guitar chords, piano and violin versions, along with many remarkable singers who created magic with this song, but one of the wholesome YouTube channel from Japan is CANACANA family. 

A music graduate, CANACANA family, she does compose music like classical, pop and even anime songs into BGM. She has this passion for music alongside her responsibility to her family and son. Her brother edits the video to be uploaded on YouTube, hence the YouTube name. She hopes that her piano music can relieve stress, can relax tension and help through her music. Joined YouTube in 2017, with 1.32 million subscribers along with over a billion views in total in 2022. 

Her arrangement titled - My Heart Will Go On- TITANIC- Sheet Music- 4K60p- piano cover- CANACANA family was uploaded in November 2019, has 4.5 million views has been well received by her subscribers and also by the admirers of the Titanic’s iconic song. 

The song is played in E major with the lyrics played in the video, so one can enjoy the melody along with the beautiful lyrics. CANACANA family kept the composition true to the original composition.

<The introduction of 'My heart will go on' piano sheet by CANACANA family |>

The melody appears twice in the stanza, with a changed lyric every time. The chorus follows the verse right away and has a unique musical line that is repeated twice with two distinct lyrics. A bridge is followed by a second verse with the same tune but different lyrics. The song comes to a conclusion after the song's last bridge and the last line of the chorus. The harmony of the song is constant with lyrics being changed. The song has no closure in the verse, it gives the feeling that it is not finished. The lower notes come stunningly in the piano as well. 

There is a change in pitch in the last chorus, the pitch rises and changes the key. This depicts the change in the emotion of the lyrics. The song has a huge emphasis on the lyrics. With the change in lyrics, the emotion of the music that is being played is changed. Getting warm with a louder texture of the song is added. You can see her sheet music of her arrangement here.

While listening to CANACANA family playing the song, we get into the scene where Jack is in the water and saving Rose on the log, the love where someone is much more important than our own life, the music gives us goosebumps and tears trickled down our faces.  

True to her words, her music does give calmness and it gives positivity even in tough times like it gave Rose when there was no Jack. It is a experience for people who just want to enjoy the song or want to learn the music or even to sing along, practice the chords, and add other friends with other instruments as well, it becomes a celebration.  

As Rose promised to Jack that she will never let go and survive no matter what, her heart will always go on similarly we should also go on with life, for ourselves and our loved ones.  

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