20 thoughts on “What Do You Think is the Best TV Theme That Used an Existing Song?

  1. The first one that popped into my head was “Thank You for Being a Friend” (Golden Girls) but my favorite would be “My Life” on Bosom Buddies.

  2. I mean, TECHNICALLY, Star Trek The Next Generation used an existing piece of music, since it just recycled the theme from Star Trek The Motion Picture, but that’s probably not in the spirit of what’s being asked here (if it was, lots of shows that were based on movies and vice versa would qualify).

    That made me think of “Strength of the Heart” (or “Going Where My Heart Will Take Me”) for Enterprise, but that wasn’t a very good show.

    So I’d have to give my vote to either “Handbags and Gladrags” for The Office (UK) or “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” for Chuck.

  3. Sorry, meant to say the theme for Enterprise wasn’t a very good song, not that Enterprise wasn’t a very good show (I know its reputation is pretty mixed, but it’s generally agreed that one of the worst things about it was the theme song).

  4. And then I remembered “We Used to be Friends” from Veronica Mars, so put that in my top 3, I guess.

  5. It’s a tie for me between The Sopranos (Alabama 3’s “Woke Up This Morning”) and Ed (Foo Fighters’ “Next Year”) I’m inclined to give it to Ed because a) the way they use the guitar bit in the intro as Ed is driving is brilliant and b) in season 2 they tried to use another piece of music because of the licensing costs… and it sucked.

  6. “My Life” for Bosom Buddies and “Way Down in the Hole” for The Wire were two great ones that came immediately to mind.

    And I’m not sure if “Gunfight Epiphany” ever existed independently of Terriers, but man is it a banger.

  7. I was all set to say, “Walking on Air” from The Greatest American Hero, but decided to check the title first. Good thing I did, as when I found it, it turns out to be, “Theme From The Greatest American Hero (Believe it or Not)” which disqualifies it from this topic.

    So, in that case, I’ll add to “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

  8. “Stand” by REM, used as the theme for “Get a Life”. The show was about a grown man who was still living with his parents, so the lyrics of the song were an ironic comment on that.

  9. lots of possibles
    Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – for the radio series the request was for a theme tune that sounded science fiction but included a banjo – it ended up with a version of the Eagle’s “Journey of the Sorcerer” (which was also used in the TV version).

    CSI used a number of Who songs – “Who Are You?” is probably the most relevant
    (although they were beaten to “I can see for miles” by British sitcom Supernova – set in an observatory in Australia)

    NCIS New Orleans used “Boom Boom” by John Lee Hooker – the booms and bangs are certainly appropriate and it’s delta blues origin probably close enough..

    though my pick is Charmed’s use of a cover version of the Smiths’ song “How Soon is Now?” which brought a creepy feel to the into

  10. I love “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” as the theme for Chuck, as well.

    The first song I thought of was “You May Be Right” for Dave’s World.

  11. John, Love Spit Love covered “How Soon Is Now?” for The Craft (after initial reluctance to do so). While Charmed isn’t technically based on The Craft, it’s pretty clear why was picked. The Charmed theme was also a remixed version of the cover, so, again, while technically a possible pick, it’s still got issues making the list.

  12. There are some great answers here! How does one define, “fit the show”? For me, it has to be a theme song that is so connected to the show that it isn’t automatically skipped on watching AND one that I didn’t particularly like until it was associated with the show- this means two answers, “With a Little Help from My Friends” and “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” don’t work for me. Does “Cleveland Rocks” from Drew Carey show count? It’s a cover. If so, I have to say Veronica Mars, “We Used to Be Friends”, followed by “Cleveland Rocks”, then “Save Me” from Smallville.

  13. If we want to go the opposite direction and pick the least appropriate existing song as a theme song for a show (knowing Brian, he’s probably already working on this), I’d vote for “Baba O’Riley” for CSI: NY. It’s just so weird to have “Out here in the fields” blast out over a shot of one of the most famous cities in the world.

  14. The other more recent one I’d add is Winning Time, which uses The Coup’s “My Favourite Mutiny” to brilliant effect.

  15. Was never a fan of Wonder Years and its treacly cloying opening was big part of the reason why.

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