6 Famous Theme Songs With Secret (Horrifying) Lyrics
A great theme song has the ability to perfectly capture whatever it's introducing. They can let us know, even before the first scene, exactly how Will Smith became The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, or that Lost is about a bunch of ghosts letting out long farts into a microphone. The tunes are always just the right level of sweet or serious, depending on the show, with a tone represented in the melody and the lyrics. Well, most of the lyrics. As it turns out, sometimes theme songs have incredibly dark and/or ridiculous lyrics that sort of ruin the show or movie they're meant to introduce.
The James Bond Theme Has Lyrics About a Guy Accidentally Killing His Father
The James Bond theme song fits perfectly into the myth of 007. The score bursts through the door uninvited, rattling off its bass like a machine gun before ramping up into an explosion of horns. Damn, it makes us want to karate chop a henchman just thinking about it. Which makes it even more surprising that the tune was never written to be a Bond song at all, but started life as a ditty about a man whose sneezes destroy lives.
The theme music originated as a song titled "Bad Sign, Good Sign," taken from the musical based on the novel A House For Mr. Biswas. Back then, the now-iconic piece came with lyrics, which tell the story of a man, a cursed man, who ... sneezes a lot and his dad fell in a lake because of it? Hardly spy material, whoever he is. Not that there's a lot of proof in the song, but the court of public opinion does find the defendant guilty as hell.
So how does a song about a man's lethally runny nose end up as the sound that 007 probably plays in his head when he's banging whichever sexy spy is trying to kill him that week? A few years after the musical, its composer, Monty Norman, was hired to score Dr. No. Still in love with the melody, he offered up his silly song about a cursed man who can't catch a break to open the movie. Bond veteran and genius musician John Barry agreed, but then added the helpful note to make it orchestral, probably thinking it would be distracting if Bond was chasing a bad guy over Tunisian rooftops while some guy was singing about his dead dad.
The Community Theme Song Really Seems Like It's About Suicide
Community is a show about people who, having failed at life, come together at a community college to learn a valuable lesson: the importance of family, and basic Spanish. But there's a darkness to failure that even a thousand snarky pop culture references can't heal. The Community theme actually covers this. It might sound upbeat and bouncy, like a kid who's eaten a pixie stick, but it is in fact about resentment and fear, like a kid who's vomiting after eating too many pixie sticks.
On the surface, "At Least It Was Here" by The 88 seems like a song about second chances and hope. It also offers a stern warning about standing still and not realizing your full potential. With lines like "We could be old and cold and dead on the scene," the message is clear that, like sharks and indie pop songwriters, people should keep moving forward. Or kill themselves. It does talk a lot about ropes.
From this bummer of an angle, it fits even better in the crazy world of Community -- which, despite being about goofy Beetlejuice references and how awesome Donald Glover is, features a bunch of characters who're afraid that they're not good enough to exist in the real world. That kind of depressive defiance really gels with lines like "I'm tired of the wait and sees" and "I'm tired of that part of me." The dread of moving on and leaving the past behind is a major theme in creator Dan Harmon's work. After all, this is the guy who has also penned a show about a Marty McFly knockoff who literally lets himself die to have a better life and a movie about an old man who's trapped in a house possessed by his dead wife.
The Star Trek Theme Is From The Perspective Of One Of Kirk's Many Sexual Conquests
It's no secret that the Star Trek theme was cobbled together in a hasty attempt to hang onto copyright royalties for dear life. That doesn't mean its creators didn't take the time to accidentally make the lyrics uncannily relevant to the main themes of the show. No, not the whole space exploration thing. Or the human/alien buddy movie side plot, either. We mean the real point of the show: Captain Kirk getting down and dirty with as many alien hotties as possible.
The song's lyrics are directly sung by a woman who was bedded and forgetted by Kirk. Like the wife of a space sailor, she looks out at the stars, wondering where his ship's taking him. And by "ship," we mean "penis." She knows he'll find another lover, because what green star vixen wouldn't want to bang it out with a pink bag of toupeed skin?
The lonely lady continues her sad story, lamenting the realization that her lover captain's trek will never end, carrying him from one fantastical location to another. All she asks is that he thinks of her once in awhile, pinefully singing, "While he wanders his starry sea, Remember, remember me".
The Tetris Song Is Based On A Poem About A One-Night Stand That Ends Tragically
A simple game of falling blocks and rising frustrations, Tetris might be the last place you'd expect to find a cautionary tale about sex and commerce, but that's absolutely what this song is about.
"Korobushka," also known as "Korobeiniki" or "The Peddlers," is a folk song based on a 19th-Century Russian poem. Over the course of the song, we are introduced to two Russian merchants. One's looking to peddle his wares, while the other's looking to stock her stall, if you catch our drift. The two take turns haggling and snuggling, until both parties are satisfied with their transactions.
The song version of this story ends with the man promising to marry the woman, then running back to his village to brag about his good fortune.
But the fun doesn't stop there. The poem the song was based on continues with the couple stumbling across a thief who robs and kills them both, because that's how all Russian love stories used to end. Unfortunately, just like the game, when you reach the end, the song can do nothing but loop back into an endless circle of promise, frustration and disappointment. Unlike the game, this can't be helped by finally getting that long I-shaped block.
The Full House Theme Is About An Intensely Depressed Guy Who Is Slowly Going Crazy
Even people who've never managed to sit through an entire episode of Full House can probably at least hum the theme song. Full House was truly a show for everyone, from people who loved its milquetoast jokes, to fans of resolving every problem with chronic hugging, to everyone else who simply sat through the title sequence on a weekly basis to catch a glimpse of the glory that is John Stamos's hair.
All right, everybody sing along now:
And we're gonna stop right there, because those aren't the song's lyrics. They're lines rewritten for the television edit of the song. The full version, written by Jesse Frederik, does contain those first two familiar lines, but then veers immediately into a dark depression.
It's easy to see why the producers of the most carefree TV show about a young widower ever made would want to leave out the part of the song where the protagonist starts pondering the value of their existence and wondering how in the hell their life has gotten to where it is. It continues:
This person's definitely feeling some resentment over never having achieved their goals. And because this song was specifically written for Full House, we have to wonder who the subject was meant to be. Could it be Uncle Jesse himself dreaming of the spotlight? Not likely. Jesse has jammed with the Beach Boys, so Katsopolis is living the dream. Could it have been Danny Tanner lamenting the death of his wife and the fact that his children are awful? Closer, but he was always so levelheaded and heartwarming. It's hard to imagine whispery voices rattling around ol' Papa Tanner's head. But then who fits this description -- that of a sad, aging man, probably living in the basement, performing the same bit over and over, becoming continually more bitter as the realization that his career is a big joke slowly sinks in, along with how his only legacy will be some dumb animal who has taken over his voice?
The Protagonist Of The Cheers Theme Song Has One Really Fucked-Up Life
Nobody on Cheers had a great life, which you can probably guess by virtue of the fact that the show takes place in a bar. They all had their fair share of relationship troubles and career setbacks. Yet the characters' troubles were always trivial compared to the sense of camaraderie they got by "taking a break from all your worries" by going "where everybody knows your name" and watching Ted Danson trying to have angry sex with his waitresses. This is what the show tries to sell straight out of the gate with its beloved theme song. But that's only because the show skips all the heavy lyrics of the unaired, unedited version, which make an absolute mockery of the stupid problems the Cheers cast bond over. Want to know the true path to alcoholism? It goes a little something like this:
Being financially destitute: the cornerstone of every barfly's story. That warrants the occasional drink.
OK, so you're living with Damien from the Omen in total darkness. Maybe order a double.
Unlucky in love means lucky in liver damage. Still, you got that family in the end, so let's raise a glass to number four.
Wow. OK. That's a lot to unpack, especially in the '80s. These are clearly problems dumb Woody Harrelson can't solve. Maybe spend that booze money on some marriage counselling?
We're not sure what's worse: finding out your psychiatrist left you at your most vulnerable to go gallivanting about in Denmark, or that you've been telling your most intimate secrets to an asshole who would just abandon you without even giving you a referral.
The song thankfully ends there. For all its doom and gloom, these forgotten lyrics answer one of the most important questions ever asked in a TV theme song: "Wouldn't you like to get away?" Yes, the financially destitute mother of a sociopath who got left at the altar thrice and whose "fourth time's the charm" husband was outed as transgender after her support system fled to another continent would absolutely like to get away. Now how's about you stop singing and start pouring the lady 17 fingers of absinthe into a highball glass?
Carolyn never tweets disturbing song lyrics on Twitter.
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