My friend Andrew told me that he found the opening sequence from “Your Woman” by White Town quite similar to John Williams’ “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back. Andrew thought that White Town took the tune from Williams’ theme music for Darth Vader. However, after researching it, he discovered that the sequence actually comes from “My Woman” by Al Bowlly. Thus, it seems as if Williams ripped the notes from Bowlly, too.
Here is Al Bowlly’s “My Woman” (A.D. 1932):
Here is White Town’s “Your Woman” (A.D. 1997):
Here is John Williams’ “Imperial March” (A.D.1980):
T.S. Eliot stated it well: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” I suppose that the same holds true of composers and musicians.
I am a quite biased in favor of Williams’ version. The Empire Strikes Back is one of my favorite movies, and when I hear the march, I feel a thrill.