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Top Ten TV Theme Songs

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10. Leave It To Beaver - This one's a classic, a great tune from the days when people could really arrange music. Plus, It does a great job of capturing the tone of the show, and the time.

9. Cheers - This one's a little sappy, a little over-the-top on sentiment, but it's one of the most famous, most recognized theme songs of all time. Thirty years later, it's still being referenced in commercials and sitcoms.

 

8. M.A.S.H. - This is a song that conveys an underlying sadness, fitting for a show about war.  (We had to sing it in ninth grade and there was a whole part about suicide; teachers couldn't even make you sing a song like that today.)

7. National Geographic Theme Song - Remember when you were a kid, sitting down to National geo and hearing that dramatic theme song? Images of Lions chasing zebras appeared on the TV, men dogsledding across the South Pole, macro footage of incredible insects, monkeys even. The song matched that drama perfectly, no matter what it was. You knew when you heard that song that you were in for wonder and adventure and drama. 

6. Mister Ed - I can still sing almost all of the mister Ed theme song, even though the show went off the air nearly fifty years ago. The intro to the show was always great, first with the horse introducing himself, then the song. Great words and bouncy. Plus, talking horses are awesome.

5. The Big Bang Theory - This modern, folky rock song is a category we haven't covered yet. In this case, the song fits really well with the nerdy vibe of the show. The lyrics cram all of history into basically one verse. Autotrophs, neanderthals, even the pyramids. Well done.

4. The Dick Van Dyke Show - Happy, fun, but with some unexpected pratfalls. That summed up the show and it sums up the song. It has a cool jazzy vibe but it takes little comic detours, like Dick Van Dyke tripping over the footstool. Perfect.

3. Wide World of Sports Theme (original) - This was another super dramatic song accompanied by footage of the ultimate moments in sports - "The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat". it was another theme song that drew you right in, making you believe you were about to see something magical, something important, the best sporting events anywhere on the planet.

2. The Sopranos - The Sopranos was one of those shows you planned your Sundays around. You waited in anticipation, anticipation that finally broke when you heard the strains of that very unusual, dark song. It didn't have the best lyrics (maybe it did, who knows what they were?), you didn't find yourself whistling it, or rushing out to buy the single. But it was hip, edgy, the perfect start to the experience that was the Sopranos.

1. The Simpsons Theme - If you listen carefully to the Simpsons theme song, you'll hear layers and layers of instruments, all doing their thing, blending into a chaotic harmony that's optimistic and fun. Danny Elfman created this retro theme in 1989 at the request of series creator Matt Groening. The theme has won a National Music Award, three BMI TV Music Awards, and was nominated for an emmy.

 

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