Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lend Me Your Ears and I'll Sing You a Song...

My blogging buddy Rae recently had a fun post challenging us to match the lyrical snippet from a theme song with its TV show. I must say, many of them had me stumped--even ones that I regularly viewed. It would have been easier for me to hear a portion of the tune as my most beloved theme songs had no lyrics--the wistful strains of the clarinet in the theme from Taxi, the soulful piano segueing into a jazzy refrain in the theme from Hill Street Blues and my favorite, the irrepressible bounciness of the theme from The Rockford Files.

The era of the great TV theme song seems to sadly have come to an end. A fact bemoaned by Ken Levine (writer for shows like Cheers, M.A.S.H. and Frasier which had very memorable theme songs!) and Paul Farhi of the Washington Post who says:

The reason for this is largely a result of the competitive dynamics of TV: So many channels, so little time to hook viewers. "Executives at the broadcast networks are operating in a climate of fear," says Jon Burlingame, the author of "TV's Greatest Hits," a history of theme music. "They're paranoid that if they haven't grabbed you in the first two minutes, you'll go away."
Actually it seems like great themes from much-loved TV shows stick with us just as much as we stuck around for them.

What's your favorite TV show theme song?


  1. Wow. It's impossible for me to pick just one. The two that get stuck in my head most often are The Facts of Life and Green Acres but there are lots others that I love. I've always liked the Murder She Wrote music for some weird reason and the Alias theme will pop into my head occasionally. And, finally, you'll laugh but I kinda adore the Mr. Belvedere theme song. Haha, I'm such a freak!

  2. When it comes to lyrical TV theme songs, I'm sort of partial to Cheers and The Greatest American Hero. Funny how these things get stuck in our heads. I even find myself singing the Sesame Street theme on occasion...