{SQT} So Many Theme Songs, So Little Time

Wrapping up the week quick takes style; fortified with vitamins W T H.

Okay, so based on a very deep discussion I had with my mom and husband, this week it’s all about the TV show theme song. (No wait new reader come back!) As I was loudly singing the ‘Dukes of Hazard’ theme song to Fulton one evening, my husband remarked, “they don’t write theme songs like that anymore.” Which instantly lead to an intense conversation about great TV theme songs and the golden era of TV theme songs.

Granted, I don’t watch much…or any prime time TV anymore but last time I checked,most shows use rock, pop or instrumentals at the opening. Gone are the days when a theme song summed up the entire back story of a show in sixty seconds a la Gilligan’s Island.

1.

Now you know exactly what you’re signing up for the next half hour. And what about the Fresh Prince of Bel Air? (Currently dancing to this one…EXTENDED VERSION.)

2.

Or, Fulton’s favorite, the Dukes of Hazard? (The one song which Edie is demanding her guitar instructor teach her.)

3.

There all such catchy ditties that easily become lodged in your brain. My mom quickly added The Beverly Hillbillies.

4.

Right away you know, if you hate black gold, hillbillies or Beverly Hills, this show is not for you. And even the songs that didn’t give the specific details, remember Love Boat, Laverne and Shirley, Bosom Buddies, Fame. Silver Spoons, Family Ties, Gimme a Break, Webster, Mr. Belvedere, The Jeffersons, The Facts of Life or Different Strokes?! (Can you tell I’ve spent A LOT of time “researching” this.) They’re the best!

5.

Or FALL GUY!

6.

GOLDEN GIRLS!

7.

For the record, I grew up watching most of these shows during the summer, when I was off school and they were already into syndication.

WHOSE THE BOSS!

Bonus!

The only fairly recent show we could think of that fell into the complete story theme song category was The Nanny.

Can’t. stop. watching. videos….

If you’re got an afternoon to kill, or are looking for a way to entertain the kids, these videos are a lot more palatable than almost any modern children’s show. Because I enjoy making my children uncomfortable, I will be playing these selections on loop all day while sharing awkward memories from my childhood. A glass or eight of boxed wine at 5..or 3, will top off what sure to be a stellar day all around! History class for the day: NAILED IT.
Why don’t more shows nowadays have such catchy songs? Or am I just not clued in? What favorite shows from your childhood did I miss? And what new themes deserve a mention?
When you’re done reminiscing, be sure to swing back to Jen’s for catchy Takes and not near enough details about Couch-gate.

17 Comments

  1. A couple of themes sprung to mind (the Jetsons and the Flintstones, for example, were classic) but my favorite theme song of all was from a show called Branded. It came on after the Disney Hour when I was a kid way back when. We were not allowed to watch the show, so all I know is the opening song (“what do you do when you’re branded … and you know you’re a man?”) Here it is in all its glory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXlUS5-ag_g

    • kmantoan

      CHEERS! That’s another one my husband and I have memorized. And the kids might now too since we kept singing it…poorly, amidst the original conversation. Can’t believe I forgot to add it!

  2. “Why don’t more shows nowadays have such catchy songs?”

    Probably because everything is gritty now, and its hard to write catchy little didies about things like making crystal meth in your basement, and examining mutilated corpses at crime victims.

    To the tune of the dukes of hazard:
    Just a simple crime lab
    Solving some crimes
    looking at bug larvae and brain fragments since the day they were born

    Searching crime sceeeeeeeenes
    See where the crimal’s been
    scraping off the pavement for bits of a spleen.

  3. Well Season 2-8 of Monk at least explained his OCD. And that’s fairly recent-ish. Hey Dude from the 90s Nickelodeon (actually that era of Nick in general had it not too bad.) I LOVE theme songs. In college I had a theme song mix and we’d play the theme song drinking game. First person to shout out the answer didn’t have to drink. It took about 30 minutes for the game to dissolve into something else but it was always fun. And now I am going to go listen to them all and see if I can’t come up with more.

    • Okay so a very small sample brought these songs that fall into your “tell the back story” genre: That’s 70s show, Tiny Toons, Jem, Charles in Charge, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Shining Time Station, Green Acres, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Boy Meets World, Reading Rainbow, Scooby Doo, Bananas in Pajamas, Muppet Babies, Garfield and Friends, Pokemon, Carebears and Happy Days.

      Which basically means theme songs of recent history aren’t good. The Big Bang Theory is catchy but doesn’t tell a story and many shows are skipping themes all together.

      I think it boils down to the idea that networks in general don’t make family programming. Sure there are kids shows. And adult shows. But gone are the days where everyone would sit down and watch The Cosby Show and there was something of interest for the whole family in the half hour.

      And with this comment novel I apologize, slink back to lurking and go listen to more theme songs to try and find anything that is still on TV that fits.

  4. We sing so many of the same songs! Right now my husband is learning the Cheers song on the piano, as that’s the one we’re netflixing now.

    THe one making me laugh the most right now, also netflixing, is WOnder WOman! Honorable mentions to THe Jeffersons – MASH – MOnkees – 3’s COmpany….

    You’re right…a more lyrical time….

  5. I love The Nanny, not just because the theme song is perfect for the show, but because it has some of the best comedic timing moments (I’m in theatre, comedic timing is hard to teach). And it’s FUNNY and I just realized I haven’t seen it in years because I don’t have a tv so I don’t see syndicated reruns.

  6. Growing Pains – you can’t forget Growing Pains. As long as we’ve got each other….good old Kirk Cameron. ;) As for recently, I do have to say I’m partial to the Friends theme song, Psych and Big Bang Theory. Not the same, but quality in my book. Which says nothing since I have no book.

Leave a comment and become my BFF.