"Melodies Of Life" is a ballad about the bittersweet nature of love and loss. The song's melody is integral to Final Fantasy IX, repeating in various forms throughout the game as the accompaniment to Zidane Tribal and Prince Garnet's romance.
This may not be the most popular decision, as many people often cite Final Fantasy VIII's "Eyes On Me" as the best song in the series. "Eyes On Me" captures the relationship between Squall and Rinoa; however "Melodies Of Life" does the same even more satisfyingly for Zidane and Garnet.
Its ultimate usage comes at the end of the game, where Zidane and Garnet are parted and Zidane is thought to be lost forever in the destruction of the Iifa Tree. As Garnet settles back into her life as a ruler, the song's lyrics find their most impactful footing.
They reflect Garnet's feelings of loss and loneliness, of her "dearest memories" with Zidane and her struggle to continue "picking up the pieces that remain".
However, despite its melancholy, "Melodies Of Life" is ultimately uplifting as both the music and the story conclude jubilantly, with Zidane's return and a heart-warming reuniting of the couple that ensures happiness all round.
There are many versions of this song, including its original Japanese lyrics. This particular version is performed by Susan Calloway as part of the "Distant Worlds II" live concert album. And when the song sounds this good recorded live, you know it's special!
Other Final Fantasy songs include: