Tarsem Singh's New Film Mirror Mirror and the Mad Search for the Mystery Song

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I recently read an interesting story of a song that improbably found its way into the Mirror Mirror soundtrack, but only through a great deal of effort.

Mirror Mirror is a film adaptation of the Snow White fairy tale.  It’s directed by Tarsem Singh, who I remember from the video he shot for the 1993 Deep Forest song “Sweet Lullaby”.  It is one of the most brilliant and compelling videos I’ve seen:

Here’s the story in brief:  Tarsem Singh grew up in the Punjab area of India and heard a song sung by Iranian superstar Googosh back in the 1970s (Bollywood Films were very popular in Iran of the time, and vice-versa, Persian music has been popular in India for hundreds of years). Singh never forgot this song, called “I Believe”(in love).  When filming Mirror Mirror, which is in theaters now, Singh remembered this song from his childhood and knew that he had to get it into the film.  He finally found the handlers of the Googoosh song, but that was a cover of an obscure song penned and performed by an American woman forty years ago.

Then came a wild goose chase to track down the original writer and performer.   They finally found out who the author was, a woman named Nina Hart, who sang it in Milos Forman’s first U.S.  feature film Taking Off.  Singh et al searched all over the U.S. for Nina Hart—there were many women with that name.  Finally, through a stroke of luck, they found the woman they were looking for, one Nina Griffiths, a now-retired airplane pilot for a major carrier, living on a leaky boat off the coast of Florida.

With the royalties she gets from having her song—the only song she ever wrote and recorded– once again in a feature film, perhaps Griffiths can fix her leaky boat or perhaps even buy a new one.

Iranian superstar Googosh’s 1978 version of “I Believe in Love”

Nina Hart’s original version: