Monday, November 9, 2009

The Lost Art of the Theme Song

"Here's the story, of a lovely lady..."

With those words we can all finish the next line without hesitation. Or perhaps there are no lyrics, maybe you just read the words..

"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."
..and you immediately know what music comes next. Now, I want you to pick a TV show or movie in the past 5 years. Got one? Can you hum the theme? No? Me either. It seems that along with quality shows and movies, another thing has been lost. The art of the theme song. Gone are the days where we could identify something just by a few words or notes.

But it doesn't end with the television theme. Where are the good movie themes? Where are the songs that were crafted for a movie? Sure, there are still some hit movie soundtracks, but those are mostly filled with recycled songs from bands that just need a hit. (I'm looking at you Twilight soundtrack.) Or they are albums in search of a movie. (Ahem, Disney...cough, cough)

Now Twitards, before you get mad because the new Death Cab For Cutie song is about meeting at the equinox, "which totally means it's about the movie." They were recently on the Kevin and Bean morning show in L.A. and admitted that the song was not written for the movie. It just sounded cool and they decided to submit that song when they were asked to submit a song to the soundtrack.

We're not just missing hit songs. What about that theme that makes us feel like we're sitting in the theater every time we hear it. That piece of music that makes us smile, or gives us goosebumps, when we hear it. A theme that will forever be attached to a film, and forever etched in our memories.

Many of the most memorable themes ever were written by John Williams. This is a man who has been able to craft movie themes that we all know. And not just that, but most of them are great. Dare I say, some of the greatest themes of all time. There is no arguing that he is a genius and movies are better off for having him in this world.

This is not to say that all themes are good. Next time we'll visit the worst in theme songs. In the mean time ask yourself, "Where have the good theme songs gone?" What are some of your favorites?

Music Memories POPped by Jungle Jesse


  1. These are great, but what about the Growing Pains theme? Or Different Strokes?

  2. I was singing TV theme songs to my daughter the other day and even instrumental themes like the "A-Team" and "Magnum, p.i." were more memorable than today's choices. Can anyone sing the "Lost" theme?

    And how's this for memorable?