Mundo Musique is a music first section here on The Revue, but if you checked some of our past lists – like Rich post about one of his favorite shows, Orphan Black and the music used in it or Magical Muppet Moments posted by Ben – we search ever medium for music. The small screen is no exception, as there’s a lot of great music being used on television shows. However, for our list today, we look at five great songs that rolled with the credits on every episode of a given show.
Rich is a New Yorker and Ben lived in Jersey, so of course we loved Seinfeld. This theme has that distinctive funky bassline and some weird vocal noises (for a weird show). Whenever roaming around Manhattan, this song pops into Rich’s head. It’s as if he’s channeling his inner Jerry – or maybe it’s Newman.
This criminally short-lived Joss Whedon sci-fi series is one of Rich’s absolute favorite television series. A lot of people consider the show a space western, and the theme music “Ballad of Serenity” is a fitting theme song, with fiddle and acoustic guitar that fits the old western genre, but the lyrics are about space. As a browncoat (that’s what us firefly fans call ourselves) I long for the day I hear this song on TV again.
For 11 seasons, Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford bought laughter into thousands of homes once a week. And the series’ theme song, “We’re Moving on Up”, was the perfect start to the show. The gospel sound and rousing chorus build up the anticipation of the show, much like a great performance by the opening act before the headliners appear on stage. “We’re moving on up!”
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Growing up in the 1990s, it’s hard to think of a more recognizable TV show theme than this one. Will Smith was a pretty big deal in the 1990s, writing songs that would top the charts, but I feel like this silly TV show theme song may be his most famous song. It’s also great to see Will Smith as a lanky young man and realize that he was as goofy as the rest of us.
No list on great television theme songs would be complete without Cheers. Don’t tell us that you’ve never imagined walking into a bar where everyone knows your name and hands you a pint or whatever beverage tickles your fancy. And we all know a George or a Woody or a Carla, although Cliff is quite unique – like Rich!
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