TV Theme Tunes – Discuss

I’m writing this whilst watching the TV.  I’ll be honest, I’m finding it difficult to come up with “discuss” topics.  But as I’ve been watching, I’ve thought of something.  It is likely to be lame so apologies up front.

I’m on my own this week.  I’m not good at being on my own and often do things I wouldn’t normally do to take my mind off the fact that I am on my own.  So I’m watching “Detectorists” on catch up; I have watched all 6 episodes of the first season back-to-back.  The BBC seem to be replaying it, probably in advance of a new season starting – I don’t keep up with these things, so I have no idea.  I never watched it first time round, but (and here’s the point), I have known the theme tune for a long time.  Ever since I was introduced to it as a nomination on RR shiny songs.  I don’t know who suggested it, but I listened to it and was instantly captivated, it has been a regular on my favourite playlist for some time now.  It’s a song as gentle as the programme itself.

Folk musician Johnny Flynn wrote the entire score and the theme tune.  He appears in episode 3 as a participant at an open mic night and sings it then.  It is a beautiful moment.  I loved this song before watching the programme.  Now I can associate the two together, I love it even more.  I know this won’t always be the case with theme songs.  I want to know what you guys think.

Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to discuss this issue.  What do you know about all of this?  Have you been introduced to an awesome tune or song via a TV programme or film?  Has the use of a popular song as a theme tune spoilt its loveliness for you?

Btw – thanks for last week.  I feel much better for having got all that off my chest and for knowing I’m not alone.

Here’s the trailer for the programme in case you are interested.

29 thoughts on “TV Theme Tunes – Discuss

  1. I’ve never watch “Detectorists”, although I’ve heard good things about it.

    Regarding theme tunes, I always liked the “Little Britain” recurring sketch where a tiny Dennis Waterman was getting offered parts in programmes but he would always want to write and sing the Feem Choon.

    An example is here

  2. Detectorists is an adorable programme and, yes, series 3 is on the horizon. (Toby Jones is a wonderful actor – see also Marvellous, possibly still on the iPlayer).

    I loved the different interpretations of Tom Waits’ Down In The Hole that were created for each series (sorry, Season…) of The Wire.

    • Series 3???? I’ve only just watched season 1 – didn’t realise there was a 2…
      Oh now The Wire. Now you are talking. My husband and I binge watched every season. When we started a new season we would be just as excited about the new theme tune as the story itself. Brilliant telly.

  3. I would often nominate Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit back in the day – there’s always some interesting phrasing, and as I’ve tried to live by or near the sea all my life, the themes that crop up in his lyrics appeal.

    Not quite a song but a score for me, fits in my Michael Nyman soundtracks box and/or the themes in Soulsavers ‘It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s The Way You Land’

    Jeff Beal’s score to the HBO series Carnivàle is a fav of mine, the title theme features Wendy and Lisa of ‘the revolution’ – Princes (a ‘ goes by that S somewhere) band mates.

    Beal restricted his orchestrations to small instruments that could have been carried on the Carnivàle convoy. The backbone of the score is made up of a fiddle, a guitar, an accordion, a trumpet, a banjo and occasionally a solo cello… then atmospheric synths are added after – I love it.

    Here’s some clips of the album:
    Carnivàle Main Title Theme (feat. Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin)

    This is the trailer to the program:
    Carnivále Season 1 Trailer

    • You can probably tell the era when I used to watch TV, I don’t really ever sit down in front of it any more – but this would be my soundtrack:

      Jamie and the Magic Torch Intro
      BOD and friends intro
      chorlton & the wheelies
      Rentaghost – which the flaming lips stole for the yeah yeah yeah song
      the littlest hobo

      LINK– for the insane.

    • I’ve never come across this show. Will have to check it out and the soundtrack too, when I haven’t got one eye and ear on Glasto. (apostrophe after the e, before the s ;-))

    • I have a friend who is referred to on my own blog as Trueblood because she loved this programme so be much. I never got into it. I haven’t followed the link yet, Ali, but I remember the tune as cheekily sultry. Am I thinking of the same thing?

  4. TV Themes!!! Oh my!

    Rhubarb and Custard obviously created a predilection for rave and dance and weird, skittering beats.

    Mary, Mungo and Midge have some bizarre mix of Britpop, folk and ska that would influence my eclectic tastes – ace drumming at 1:40 in this: It’s as if someone went back in time to ensure that rave and jungle would exist with a weird Brit aesthetic.

    The Grandstand Theme predisposed me to powerpop. Starsky and Hutch made me want to explore funk. Rupert the Bear got me into twee C86 pop. BBC Cricket led to a strange world of mod and soul. Hazell got me liking big voiced, raw, female blues singers.

    Van Der Valk (Eye Level) and The Flashing Blade point to weird Euro cheese and Hawaii 5-0 made me love surf-trash and that swinging big beat.

    Twin Peaks lead to a love of chillwave. Dr Who opens up into a world of experimental female electronica

    Hill Street Blues led me took me to the downbeat sound.

    The Rockford files…

    Nowadays I can tell that stuff like Ninjago and Ben 10 have a huge influence on my children:

    Ninja! Go!
    Ninja! Go!
    Come on…
    Come on and do the weekend whip!

  5. Not sure if you’re familiar with the Swedish cop series ‘Wallander’ Sarah but apart from being probably the best detective series I’ve ever seen it has brilliant theme music for the first 2 series, the first is an instrumental piece and the second a song called Quiet Night by Anna Ternheim. Not only are they both atmospheric pieces of music but they fit the mood of the 2 series very well.

    • Always lovely to have a new follower and commenter. I’m sure I will recognise the Broadchurch theme when I put it on; it’s not seared into my memory like the Johnny Flynn was. The other track you mention is totally unknown to me but I live both those musicians so will check it out. Would be great to see you back here again sometime!

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