Tag Archives: television music

TV Sing-Along (A Monday Top 5)

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.  

Share Day – Gold Feet (free music Wednesday)

I used to be a reality TV junkie. I even watched the truly horrible offerings from Fox. True story – I once watched an entire season of Temptation Island, despite the fact I spent the entire time hurling both physical objects and blatant insults at my tiny college television in fits of hormone driven rage. I was also pregnant at the time, so watching that show was an exercise in masochistic self-proclaimed insanity.

One day I realized that I spent more time being angry AT my television because I was forcing myself to endure hours of the lowest human common denominator and was calling it entertainment.

I shut off my television.

Now, I’m not a crazy anti-TVer. I found a happy medium (snerk). I keep to shows that actually make me think or, in the very least, don’t make me shake my head at the futility I feel, knowing that you can act a complete ass and have no discernible talent and still manage to be a reality TV star.

So, what do I watch? A lot of Food Network (Top Chef, Iron Chef (although I prefer the originals to the Amercianized version), Chopped, etc). And every summer, I anticipate a show that I actually set my PVR for – So You Think You Can Dance.

I’ll admit it. I love this show. I love everything about it. I love how it’s so much less like American Idol (a show I loathe since the premise of it is to find America’s next big Product instead of focusing on the music). During auditions week, there lacks the barrage of clips of the lowest common denominator – fame whores out to be the next Pants on the Ground guy desperately hunting out their 15 minutes. Oh, they show them (it is Fox, after all), but the show isn’t inundated with them. Overall, again, considering it is Fox, the whole audition process seems less like a circus sideshow and more like, well, a professional audition. The dancers are respectful (for the most part) and the drama is kept for those moments of sheer brilliance when a dancer managed to capture musicality and entertainment in one single move across the floor.

So You Think You Can Dance (and its Canadian counterpart) also provides much of my summer music recs. Songs that jump out through a piece of choreography will make it to heavy rotation on my iPod over the next few months. As always, nothing too mainstream, but little eclectic gifts – Roisin Murphy and my long-lived obsession with her music was spawned from Wade Robson’s stellar piece done in Season Two (Ramalama – found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPzcsdlOB7g )

I know Lila and I have watched the show in the same manner – with one toe tapping, one finger ready to hit pause or rewind if I hear a song I love and a hand on a pen with paper at the ready to jot that song down.

I suspect we’ll be sharing a bit of both love of dance and love of music and how those two worlds collide over the course of Season 8 and the subsequent SYTYCDC season that will begin in the fall.

Today, we’ll start our share with a freebie. Virgil Gadson (aka Lil O). The cute little B-Boy in the NYC auditions? He chose a song by Santigold (formerly Santogold). Creator. Awesome track. I was mocked mercilessly for not having heard of her before. Although, I did, without realizing it since she was featured on Beastie Boys’ Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win – which happens to be one of my most played from the album). I think Santigold will have an entire blog post dedicated to in the following weeks, since her influential net has been cast far and wide – from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Lykke Li to Mark Ronson and Lily Allen. Surprising.

So, here is Creator, circa ’08 and the audition that inspired the download. Good listening. Happy Summer!

Watch Lil O here:

Download Creator here: http://www.spinner.ca/2008/01/29/santogold-creator-free-mp3s-of-the-day/

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