What was the "Lancelot AttacK" music from Monty Python & the Holy Grail?

For a long time, I’ve been searching for a full version of the bombastic music played during Lancelot’s attack on Swamp Castle in the film Monty Python & The Holy Grail. So far, I’ve been able to find out that a) It was a piece of “stock” music provided by the DeWolfe company, b) It was also used in the movie Brazil, and c) checking the list of “non-original music” section of the movie’s IMDB credits against the listings on the DeWolfe website, it doesn’t seem to be the track “Desperate Moment” or “Starlet in the Starlight”—the only pieces from the movie credits that still appears in the DeWolfe catalogue.

So, I turn to you, fellow dopers, for your expertise and your help. What was the idenity f the “Lancelot Theme,” and can the full version be found anywhere?


Crap…nothin’? Not even a lil peep? :frowning:

I’m wondering if that might be the same music used in the 1970s B-movie on the Rapture, A THIEF IN THE NIGHT. Is it almost like a trumpet fanfare followed by two quick four-beats on the drum, in various configurations?

Well, here’s the clip from the movie. (Mp3, 870k, probably too loud for work.)

It sounds like the incidental music from some old film or TV series, like that dodgy old black and white Rocket Man series or something… in other words, clueless…

It’s called Flying Messenger, composed by Oliver Armstrong. It can be heard here.

Well, that definitely wasn’t A THIEF IN THE NIGHT music.

OK, so that’s answered… on the same subject, I’ve wondered about the music playing towards the end of the film, when Arthur and Bedevere are rowing out to the grail castle. It begins with a trumpet fanfare, and sounds a bit like Wagner (but I’m reasonably sure it’s not).


My wife teaches a class on Medievalism in music and she spends a couple of days on MP&THG. She’s been trying to track down the names of all the pieces with very little success to date.

(She even spoke with Terry Jones about it at an academic conference they both attended this year but he was little help. It was too long ago and he’d forgotten the names of the pieces.)

She has been able to identify one other piece. The music that begins to swell when the prince says “I … just want to … sing … !” is Kenneth Essex’s Starlet in the Starlight.

She’s particularly interested in discovering what music plays behind the knights when they’re riding with the coconuts.

Fear Itself … my wife asks **how ** did you come about this knowledge? If you know more about the Holy Grail music she’d love to pick your brain.

Fear Itself, you are the man. I am in your debt!

That, I think I can help you with—wikipedia has a link to the "hero theme.

Thanks for the link, although I’m not sure that gets her any closer to what the actual title of the piece is … .

It is less about my knowledge of Holy Grail than it is about my knowledge of production muisc services and how they organize their collections. Back in the 80’s, I produced some computer games that used production music which I licensed from a company like De Wolfe. I just noodled around on their site until I got the feel for how they categorized things, then did a search on the keywords “archive swashbuckling” and wouldn’t you know, look what pops up as the first match.

“Archive” is the keyword for all the old production music from the B movies and serials from the 30’s, 40’s and fifties. If Holy Grail licensed some of the music from Dewolfe, I’d bet they licensed most of it there. If I had clips of the pieces used in the movie, I would be I could track them down pretty quickly.

I’ve been struck by the similarity of the brass fanfare in Where Eagles Dare with the Lancelot theme. I’m not sure if the Grail bit is the same recording, a different recording of the same theme, or a different piece altogether, but they’re awfully close.

It would make sense, though, if the similarity was intentional. Eagles came out just a few years before the Pythons made their movie, and the sensational storming of the German castle by Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood could certainly be one of the movie touchstones parodied in Lancelot’s OTT gung-ho storming of Castle Anthrax.

I’ll try to remember to attempt a side-by-side comparison the next time Eagles is on TV (usually around a patriotic holiday). Unfortunately, IMDB doesn’t give a soundtrack listing for the war film.