Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Theme Songs

I’ve always loved theme songs.

When I was a kid and I’d hear the theme to a favorite TV show come on, I’d be beside myself with excitement. The first few notes was all it took and I’d go running to wherever the tune was coming from.

Once, when I was probably about four, my sister and I were hanging out with my dad. Out in the living room, I heard the theme for Sesame Street. Thrilled, I ditched my dad and went running. The little sis was right by my side.

Which turned out to be mildly problematic. For her.

See, the hallway wasn’t quite wide enough for the two of us to barrel down it at the same time. And in my excitement to get to the television, I may or may not have ALLEGEDLY tripped my sister, causing her to fall, hit her face into the molding, and bite through the skin under her bottom lip. If I was responsible for this (I can neither confirm nor deny) it was a total accident. I certainly would never have done anything to jeopardize an interruption free viewing of Sesame Street….or have intentionally caused my sister any harm, of course. As it was, we ended up meeting my mother at the hospital where my sister got stitches. I didn’t get to watch any of the show. But I did get to color. So, win some, lose some.

The point is, theme songs have power. Okay, not really in the sense that they can make someone bodycheck her sister into a wall – that’s on me. But, it can set the tone for a show. And when done really well, can serve as a kind of musical embodiment of the main character/characters.

Here are five shows that sport some of my favorite theme songs:

The Brady Bunch

Maybe it’s just because of the countless episodes of this show I’ve watched with my mother, but how can you not sing along with this? Honestly, I’d like to see every show put out a song that so clearly defines its premise. I would pay good money to get one for Lost.  

The Big Bang Theory

Both nerdy and fun, just like the show. And who doesn’t like shouting out “We built the pyramids!”?


I’d be sarcastic and anti-social too if someone was standing on my neck. Just saying.

The X-Files 

The Roomie can’t even listen to this one. She starts yelling, covering her ears and running out of the room. It’s actually kind of fun. I love that it seems fitting for a horror movie, but also has an otherworldly quality.

This theme speaks a lot to the character of Angel. It’s got a heavy, sort of gothic feel to it, which clues the listener in to the rather maudlin aspects of the character’s life. But it’s the last couple of notes that really makes this one a favorite for me. After all that heaviness, there is a short hopeful trill. It works so perfectly for a character who’s tortured, but still hasn’t quite given up on the glimmer of hope that he can be redeemed.

How about everyone else? Do you have any favorite theme songs?


  1. I agree completely. One of my favourite is the theme song for The Avengers TV show. I think it fits the show grandly. All sassy and smooth and classy and fun.

    1. That is a good one! After posting this I thought of another one that I love. The Babysitter's Club TV show theme from 1990. Twenty two years later and I still remember all the words. =)

  2. I LOVE the theme song to Psych! I know you know that I'm not tellin' the truth. I know you know, they just don't have any proof!!! (Oh, and the Friends theme song of course!)