The secret lyrics to 13 classic TV theme songs
Have you ever heard the lyrics to the themes from Star Trek, Hogan's Heroes, I Love Lucy, Peter Gunn and more?
Everyone can whistle the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show, but can you sing its lyrics? While the sitcom never utilized the vocal version, Andy Griffith recorded the ditty with words.
Many immortal instrumental TV themes have little-known verses. Sometimes, lyrics were written for financial reasons. In most cases, they were wisely scrapped. Here and there, shows used established songs and stripped the human voices. One of these was even a smash hit in the U.K.
Beef up your television trivia and karaoke skills with this baker's dozen of secret theme song lyrics.
1. The Andy Griffith Show
"The Fishin' Hole" can be found on the star's fourth studio album, 1961's Themes And Laughs From The Andy Griffith Show. It would have worked on air with its breezy references to skipping stones and lemonade.
Well, now, take down your fishin' pole
and meet me at the fishin' hole.
We may not get a bite all day,
but don't you rush away.
What a great place to rest your bones
and mighty fine for skippin' stones.
You'll feel fresh as a lemonade,
a-settin' in the shade.
Whether it's hot,
whether it's cool,
oh what a spot
for whistlin' like a fool.
2. I Love Lucy
This one made it to broadcast. Desi sings his love song to Lucy in the second season episode "Lucy's Last Birthday."
I love Lucy and she loves me
We're as happy as two can be
Sometimes we quarrel but then
How we love making up again
Lucy kisses like no one can
She's my missus and I'm her man
And life is heaven you see
'Cause I love Lucy
Yes, I love Lucy
And Lucy loves me
You have perhaps heard a vocal version of this galloping tune, though there was an original version a touch more ribald. At the end of the original episode, the Cartwrights unsaddle their horses and chant these lyrics. The scene was cut.
I'm not afraid of any pretty maid — Bonanza! Bonanza!
When I give a kiss to any little miss
She'll learn a lot from me
Hair of brown, hair of gold
I'll take what I see
We're not a one to saddle up and run — Bonanza! Bonanza!
Anyone of us who starts a little fuss
Knows he can count on me
One for four, four for all
This we guarantee
4. Star Trek
We'll give Gene Roddenberry the benefit of the doubt and assume this treacly poem was never meant to be sung. The series creator penned some lyrics so that he could have a songwriting credit on the tune and earn royalties from it. That savvy decision paid off handsomely. Naturally, you can find Trekkies singing it online.
The rim of the star-light
Is wand'ring in star-flight
He'll find in star-clustered reaches
Strange love a star woman teaches.
His journey ends never
His star trek
Will go on forever.
But tell him
While he wanders his starry sea
Remember, remember me.
5. Peter Gunn
Henry Mancini's slinking surf riff was as cool as a freshly shaken martini. Sarah Vaughn later sung lyrics over the spy tune, though the words had little relation to the hip noir series.
Every night your line is busy
All that buzzin' makes me dizzy
Couldn't count on all my fingers
All the dates you had with swingers
Bye, bye, bye, baby
I'm gonna kiss you goodbye and go right through that doorway
So long, I'm leaving
This is the last time we'll meet on the street going your way
Don't look surprised, you know you've buttered your bread
So now it's fair, you should stare at the back of my head
If you write a letter to me
My former friend, don't you end with an R.S.V.P.
I'm going bye, bye, I'm moving
Tomorrow I may be splittin' to Britain or Norway
I'm saying bye, bye, bye baby
Now that I heard all that jazzing whereas I have had it, I've had it
I'm through now with you now
So baby it's au revouir
Adios, ciao, ciao, goodbye
Director Robert Altman asked his teenage son to scribble down lyrics to his M*A*S*H film theme. The resulting melancholy ballad, "Suicide Is Painless," was released under the name The Mash in Britain and topped the U.K. singles chart.
Through early morning fog I see
Visions of the things to be
The pains that are withheld for me
I realise that I can see
That suicide is painless
It brings so many changes
And I can take or leave them if I please
The game of life is hard to play
I'm gonna lose it anyway
The losing card of some delay
So this is all I have to say
The sword of time will pierce our skin
It doesn't hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows stronger watch I bring
A brave man once requested me
To answer questions that are key
Is it to be or not to be
And I replied oh why ask me
7. Mama's Family
Vicki Lawrance was no stranger to the top of the pop charts, yet she refrained from putting these charming lyrics on her homespun sitcom.
Well I've been all around the world and I've seen most everything
Rich oil tycoons, big movie stars, sable coats and limousines
Well, east is east and west is west
But back home is where I like it best
For tender lovin' care you can't get anywhere
I say, Bless my happy home!
8. Hogan's Heroes
Robert Clary, Richard Dawson, Ivan Dixon and Larry Hovis formed a quartet of singing Heroes for the show's soundtrack.
Heroes, heroes, husky men of war,
Sons of all the heroes of the war before.
We're all heroes up to our ear-o's
You ask the questions
We make suggestions
That's what we're heroes for.
All good heroes love a good, big fight
Open up the bomb bays and brighten up the night.
We earn laurels solving your quarrels
You pull the roses,
We punch the noses,
That's what we're heroes for.
What's a hero do?
Well, we're not gonna tell ya
Cause we wish we knew.
That's why we heroes are so few.
We've got a slogan
From Colonel Hogan
And Colonel Hogan's a hero too.
Never flinch, boys, never be afraid,
Heroes are not born, boys, heroes all are made.
Ask not why, boys, never say die, boys,
Answer the call, remember we'll all be heroes forever more.
9. "Johnny's Theme" from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
For "Johnny's Theme," Carson and Paul Anka reworked one of Anka's jazzy numbers, "Toot Sweet." The songwriter had previously retooled the tune as a love ditty for Annette Funicello. You can find it on the album Annette Sings Anka.
It's really love, dear
I knew it from the start
You came my way, dear
Took away my heart
There's no defense, dear
Nothing i can do
I know, I know, that's really love
I need your loving
To make my dream come true
Only your loving
That's all i ask of you
10. I Dream of Jeannie
Composer Hugo Montenegro released a vocal version of "Jeannie." The show was wise to refrain from it, as that second line would not have dated well.
Jeannie, fresh as a daisy.
Just love how she obeys me,
Does things that just amaze me so.
She smiles, Presto the rain goes.
She blinks, up come the rainbows.
Cars stop, even the train goes slow.
When she goes by
She paints sunshine on every rafter,
Sprinkles the air with laughter,
We’re close as a quarter after three.
There’s no one like Jeannie.
I’ll introduce her,
To you, but it’s no use, sir,
Cause my Jeannie’s in love with me.
She’s in love with me.
11. The Dick Van Dyke Show
DVD himself recalled the words years later as a guest on Rachel Ray.
So you think that you’ve got troubles?
Well, trouble’s a bubble,
So tell old Mr. Trouble to “Get lost!”
Why not hold your head up high and,
Stop cryin’, start tryin’,
And don’t forget to keep your fingers crossed.
When you find the joy of livin’ Is lovin’ and givin’
You’ll be there when the winning dice are tossed.
A smile is just a frown that’s turned upside down,
So smile, and that frown will defrost.
And don’t forget to keep your fingers crossed!
12. Leave It to Beaver
The perky, youthful vibe of the theme song is no surprise — it comes from an older chidren's tune, "The Toy Parade" by Melvyn Leonard.
Hey! Here they come with a rum-tee tum they're having a toy parade.
A tin giraffe with a fife and drum is leading the kewpie brigade.
A gingham cat in a soldier's hat is waving a Chinese fan,
A plastic clown in a wedding gown is dancing with Raggedy Ann.
Crooner Steve Lawrence, one half of the duo Steve and Eydie, sashayed his way through this jazzy bopper as a B-side in 1965.
You've got me in your spell
You know your craft so well
Before I knew what you were doing
I looked in your eyes
That brand of woo that you've been brewin'
Took me by surprise
You witch, you witch
One thing that's for sure
That stuff you pitch