A few days ago I was re-watching the BBC Proms special John Williams concert that I had recorded a few months earlier. During the orchestra’s rendition of Jaws I noticed something familiar. A sequence of notes that I had never associated with Jaws before, and they reminded me of something else. At first I thought it might be Home Alone that they were reminding me of, as that was written by John Williams too, of course. But I rewound and played it again and it hit me. It was ‘Heal The World’ by Michael Jackson.

It’s the bit in Heal The World at the start of each verse. Go listen to that on whatever music platform of your choice. Here’s the clip from the BBC Proms show below.

What do you think? I’ve had a look online and some other people have spotted this similarity too, but others say they think it sounds nothing like it. I’m curious as to what other people think. Here is someone else who spotted it more slowly in the end credits of Jaws.

I’m certainly not trying to blindly accuse Michael Jackson of stealing. I’m a huge fan of his work. But I’d just love to know what the process here was, and if there was any input from Jaws, even indirectly in his writing. I also think there have been some pretty harsh accusations in the past about songs ripping off other songs, where actually there is only minimal similarities. The Huey Lewis / Ghostbusters lawsuit had many people pro and against, before the final ruling. I’m also very aware that all artists are influenced by other artists, often indirectly, and sometimes you do just get some notes in your head from somewhere else and when you write something yourself you might come out with a sequence of notes that seemed to come naturally from inside you but have actually been inspired from elsewhere. It must happen.

Writing music can certainly be a touchy subject for sure. Some people do rip others off, and others are victims of coincidence and accused of stealing.

Let me know what you think about the Heal The World similarities above.