Sorry, But 'Ted Lasso's Theme Song Sucks

Believe … there’s a better song you could have used.
Sorry, But 'Ted Lasso's Theme Song Sucks

Right now, the internet discourse machine is ceaselessly working to pump out Ted Lasso hot takes; the show is a masterpiece, or it’s saccharine garbage, or Roy Kent is secretly a hyper-realistic CGI character. But here’s one criticism that some Ted Lasso admirers and haters might be able to get behind: the theme song sucks. Hard.

Look, we’re not looking to crap on someone’s art for the hell of it, and sure, music is ultimately subjective -- but this is a TV theme song we’re talking about. And for many of us who are still happily on board the Ted Lasso bandwagon, this goddamn song has become a weekly irritant. For starters, there’s the way the song, by Tom Howe and Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, begins, with Mumford howling “YEEEAHHH,” as if David Caruso had just popped on his sunglasses at a Miami crime scene.

The rest of the song is cloyingly upbeat -- not unlike how many people see Ted himself. But what makes the show work is its ability to explore the consequences and struggles of abject goodness in the Ted character. Meanwhile, the song chugs along like a Christian rock band’s jingle for a khaki commercial that was only half-finished. Mumford’s supposed geographical inspiration behind the song, combining the English style of bands like The Beatles and American groups like Creedence Clearwater Revival, never comes through. Couldn’t they have just written some kind of Richmond team song or something? 

Then there are the lyrics, which are weirdly vague and confusing in relation to the show: 

It might be all that you get

I guess this might well be it

Heaven knows I’ve tried 

What might be all that you get? This high-paying European pro-sports gig? Your free luxury apartment? In the context of the first season, presumably, the lyrics relate to Ted’s crumbling marriage, so his current emotional state “might well be it.” But even that doesn’t totally make sense. In recent episodes, we’ve seen that Ted is severely repressed and emotionally scarred and is only now taking steps to address these issues in therapy. So the “Heaven knows I’ve tried” sentiment is more representative of Ted’s toxic self-denial, of which we’re now seeing the repercussions. But while Ted is evolving, the song remains the chipper embodiment of his unhealthy emotional state. 

It’s been argued that the good old-fashioned TV theme song died in the 20th century, which is why Mad Men didn’t begin with a folksy tune recounting how Don Draper stole someone else’s identity. In many ways, Ted Lasso’s intro feels like a throwback to the kind of sitcom theme songs we got in the ‘80s; an upbeat, yet grating, melody coupled with generic lyrics that could really apply to any show. The Full House theme, for example, had several lines about the absence of milkmen and paperboys in modern life, but nothing about, say, the mysterious death of Danny Tanner’s wife. 

Who knows, maybe some of you absolutely love the Ted Lasso song, which is totally great. But some of us are damaging our remotes mashing the “Skip Intro” button week after week.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter! And check out the podcast Rewatchability.

Top Image: Apple

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