The subject of today’s blog post was actually inspired by beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger and vlogger, ‘Meg Says’. If you’re not familiar with the YouTube community and you have no idea who Meg is, she’s a YouTuber with “a happy love for life.” She describes her channel as “a place where I can chat about anything I have to say about everything, from beauty to fashion and health to lifestyle.” Since starting her YouTube journey only two years ago, her channels, ‘Meg Says’ and ‘Meg Says Vlog’, have amassed 78 thousand and 7.9 thousand subscribers respectively – and you only have to watch a few of her videos to find out why. Her candid, yet quirky, content is both informative and – at times – amusing, and her honest and friendly personality welcomes viewers in; almost like you’re catching up with an old friend.
Anyway, I digress. I watched an old vlog of hers last week titled ‘A self-care day: Blogger mail & feeling really poorly’, during which she tells viewers that she has been watching American drama ‘One Tree Hill’, and shows a short clip of the theme-tune – her feet hilariously wiggling along to the song all the while. Now, I loved ‘One Tree Hill’ growing up; I laughed, I cried and I fully fell in love with the characters and their lives. So, when I saw the clip, while it instantly made me want to curl up and watch ‘OTH’, it also reminded me how much I loved the theme-song too. In a strange coincidence, a little while later that very same day, I was scrolling through my Facebook memories and found an old post from years ago sharing a link to the song and saying how ‘obsessed’ with it I was at the time – spooky!
I took to Twitter to express the sudden surge of nostalgia, and as I was writing ‘best theme-tune ever!’ it got me thinking about other iconic TV show theme-songs and questioning myself. I started thinking ‘what about this one?’ ‘What about that one?’ (Needless to say I amended my tweet!)
After so many iconic and instantly recognisable title songs popped into my head, I decided it’d be fun to do a #Top 5 list of the best TV show theme-tunes. All of my picks are quite old-school (they just don’t seem to make ‘em like they used to anymore!) and as soon as you hear them you can’t help but think of the show they’re attached to. You also can’t help but sing-along – I dare you to try not to!
I understand that different age groups will remember different things and so may have different opinions, these are just my picks of what really sticks in my head from when I was growing up as a nineties kid and noughties teen.
#1 One Tree Hill – ‘I Don’t Want To Be’ by Gavin Degraw
My first pick, and the inspiration for this blog post in general, is the opening theme to ‘One Tree Hill’. Written and performed by pop-rock singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw, the somewhat stripped back version of ‘I Don’t Want To Be’ featured in the programme’s opening titles for the entirety of its nine season run, making it DeGraw’s biggest hit to date. As a result of hearing it on the show, I then went and found the full album version, and I absolutely love that too. The funky guitar-led verses, the epic-sounding chorus, and its inspiring coming-of-age lyrics, combine to make something undeniably addictive. Every time I hear the chorus I can’t help but smile and get major nostalgic vibes, but it also makes me think ‘I’ve got this.’ 🙂 .
#2 Friends – ‘I’ll Be There For You’ by The Rembrandts
Need I say anything, really? I’m sure everyone in the western world has heard of ‘Friends’ and its trademark theme-song. You can’t help but clap along to those bits – you know what I mean – and if it’s ever played out of context of a ‘Friends’ episode, on the radio or something, you can’t help but think of the sitcom. Originally less than a minute long and penned for the programme, a looped version made its way onto radio and was so popular that the song had to be extended and re-recorded as a pop track. Its upbeat and catchy nature is very much like the comedy show its self: light-hearted, jovial and fun. It’s as much a part of the show’s identity as the characters.
#3 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – ‘Yo Home To Bel-Air’ by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
Nowadays Will Smith is a well-known name in the film and music industry, but every 90’s kid must remember the show that spring-boarded his acting career, right? The loud outfits, the hilarious dance moves and the banter between street-wise Will and the other conservative characters? Of course I’m talking about The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. Being that this show first aired between 1990 and 1996 it saddens me to think that kids of the new generation might not know what The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is, or the shining gem that was its title music. The Hip-Hop song is upbeat with undeniably memorable lyrics and is overall, catchy as hell. My friend and I used to sing this to/at/with each other at random intervals when we lived together at uni, and it was hilarious. Even as recently as 2013, Will Smith appeared on The Graham Norton Show with his son Jaden (and some surprise guests) during which they performed the iconic song and some other hilarious moments from the programme. The fact that both the song and the show are over 20 years old, yet it still gets played on TV and in clubs with everybody rapping along, is testament to how much of a cult favourite The Fresh Prince really was.
#4 The OC – ‘California’ by Phantom Planet
Another noughties American teen drama with an instantly recognisable accompanying track.
Originally released in 2002 as part of Phantom Planet’s album ‘The Guest’, ‘California’ was then picked up to be the title song for ‘The O.C’ when it hit the air in 2003. Best known for this particular track thanks to the cult success of the programme, Phantom Planet then went on to crack the Top 10 in a number of countries – including the UK – with ‘California’. This song has major summer vibes for me, and is made for the stadium/festival environment. I can imagine the chorus inducing mass singalongs and filling every part of an arena.
#5 Kenan and Kel – ‘Aw, Here It Goes’ by Coolio
Let’s be honest, has there been a cooler theme-song to grace Nickelodeon since ‘Kenan and Kel’? It’s just not the same nowadays. I mean c’mon, it’s performed by none other than the voice of 90’s track ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, Coolio. Similar to The Fresh Prince of Bell Air, it has that Hip-Hop vibe that you can’t help but have a little groove to thanks to the infectious instrumental and rap vocals, and the lyrics even manage to incorporate Kel Kimble’s famous phrase ‘awwww, here it goes!’ Definitely one a 90’s kid would remember 🙂 .
As always, thank you for reading! What are your favourite TV show theme-tunes? Are there any that you think I should’ve included? I’d love to see what other people’s choices would be, so feel free to compile your own list and send me the link, or let me know in a comment!
I’d also like to shout-out to Meg for having great taste in TV and, inadvertently, inspiring this blog post! Thanks Meg 🙂 .
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