Television. A medium that I so rarely, of late, have time to indulge in. That said, some of my favourite childhood memories revolve around TV shows. Nostalgia plays a big part of my feel-good-ness with regards to classic television. And, of course, theme songs tend to stick in my head. The best shows are the ones that, even now, I can sing along with during the opening credits. Or theme songs that are noteworthy and interesting, not to mention that they make me smile.
Since so many of my days are filled with talk of music, this topic was broached not long ago. Singing ensued (not by me… funnily enough, I’ve apparently yet to find the right time to sing loudly for all to hear…). Laughter follows and the idea for a new Top 5 list was born.
So here it is: The Top 5 TV Theme Songs (According to Me Anyway)
Feel free to sing along.
5. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Watching the show now, annoys me (Carlton’s dancing is no longer amusing…). But I cannot resist sticking around for the opening credits. This is Will Smith pre-Scientology-annoying-actor-type at his best. Barely post-Parents-Just-Don’t-Understand, when he and Jazzy Jeff were introducing all the middle school white girls to the world of what I like to call “Rap Lite”. I still know every word, verbatim. In fact, I may admit to sitting here and singing it while typing. A fact that either makes me quirky and cute or something of a complete nerd.
4. All in the Family
A bit before my time, but it was caught in reruns for years following. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh at the blatant non-PC nature of the show or be aghast that I was still watching. Whichever the case, the off-key singing and Edith’s screeching never failed to make me laugh. That it was so popular (even hitting the Billboard chart in ’72.. thank you Wikipedia for that tidbit) despite it being terrible music (or because of it) is something of an enigma.
3. Muppet Show
So often the highlight of my childhood week was sitting down to watch the Muppets. The opening is classic childhood nostalgic goodness and makes the list for being funny, memorable and a huge part of my TV watching routine as a kid.
Honourary mention to Fraggle Rock, of course. Although Muppets trumped them. Sorry Fraggles.
2. Fall Guy
Okay. Lee Majors. The fact that he sings his own theme song (and that the lyrics reference his own ex-wife, Farrah Fawcett) gives him a place on the list. And I was reminded of the show (which, admittedly, I had completely forgotten about) when the theme song was performed, verbatim, much to my delight. It’s campy, it’s slightly cheesy and it is classic 80s (although I wouldn’t classify my performer as any of those things). Although it makes me giggle that I shoved aside my feminist nature to include this kind of theme song – the lyrics are hysterical. And, hey.. I didn’t say it. Lee Majors did.
A deserved second place finish.
1. The Littlest Hobo
Who can resist a cute little dog, roaming around, helping people? It is the Canadian version of Lassie. Dog on the lam, finding trouble and saving people. I don’t know anyone who didn’t grow up with this show. And who still can’t sing the theme song. Sometimes we sing it to our very best friends on their birthdays because they loathe the “Happy Birthday” song. Sometimes people randomly break out into the theme song out of nowhere and make us laugh. I dare you to not smile while singing along.
Side note – the original list that inspired the conversation about creating this list was created by Alan Cross and can be found here (an equally great list, and you all know how much I enjoy lists). http://www.alancross.ca/a-journal-of-musical-things/2012/4/4/top-ten-tv-theme-songs-of-all-time-2012-edition.html
Of course, I would like to point out that he notes that Greatest American Hero’s theme hit #2 on the Billboard charts (and “when is the last time we saw that” to paraphrase). I’d like to counter with the obvious “last time” : The Friends Theme Song: “I’ll Be There for You” by the Rembrandts. A song I came to loathe and, therefore, did most certainly not make my list.