Late fall always meant going back to school for me, and going back to school always meant the end of my summer tradition of watching too much TV even when the weather was nice enough to be outside, at least until
I got home in the afternoons. So that prompted this question: do you recognize the lyrics from the themes to these classic TV sitcoms?
(Note that some of these shows used instrumental versions but originally had lyrics written for them while others had extended versions that never made it to the air.)
- A smile is just a frown that’s turned upside down
So smile, and that frown will defrost.
- Memories help me hide my lonesome feelin’
Far away from you and feelin’ low
It’s gettin’ late my friend, I miss you so
Take good care of you, I’ve gotta go
- My heart was under lock and key,
But somehow it got unhitched.
I never thought that I could be had
But now I’m caught and I’m kinda glad
- Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee’s dead
The morning’s looking bright
And your shrink ran off to Europe
And didn’t even write
- Fish don’t fry in the kitchen
Beans don’t burn on the grill
Took a whole lotta trying
Just to get up that hill
- We’ll have no need to call the roll when we get to The Fishin’ Hole,
There’ll be you, me, and Old Dog Trey, to doodle time away.
- Take me in your arms and hold me tight,
Tell me that your love is mine tonight,
Say that everything will turn up right,
It hurts to say goodbye.
- Everybody knows in a second life
We all come back sooner or later
As anything from a pussycat
To a man eating alligator
- Skin yourself alive, learn to speak Arapahoe,
Climb inside a dog, and behead an Eskimo.
Now you’ve heard it once, your brain will spring a leak,
And though you hate this song, you’ll be humming it for weeks!
- And when we both get older
With walking canes and hair of gray
Have no fear, even though it’s hard to hear
I will stand real close and say
- This is the music that you hear as you watch the credits.
We’re almost to the part of where I start to whistle.
Then we’ll watch…
- I spend my nights just howling at the moon
Or hanging out in a creepy black lagoon…
- That game of life is hard to play
I’m gonna lose it anyway
The losing card, I’ll some day lay
So this is all I have to say
- Just like the light of a new day
It hit me from out of the blue
Breaking me out of the spell I was in
Making all of my wishes come true
- You’re all invited back again to this locality
To have a heapin’ helpin’ of their hospitality
12-15: Your mother told you more than once that if you didn’t stop sitting so close to the TV you were going to grow square eyes.
10-11: Every once in a while you stop on one of the nostalgia channels before you go look for something better to watch.
7-9: You found an old TV in your parents’ attic once, plugged it in, and assumed all the color seeped out years ago.
5-8: If you rolled your eyes at this list and said, “Okay, Gen-Xer” give yourself ten bonus points.
2-4: You have never lived in a time when DVR didn’t exist.
0-1: Congratulations on having done something useful with your summer vacations.
The Answer Key is below the video.
7-Alfred Hitchcock Presents (not a sitcom and the lyrics are of questionable provenance since the original was an instrumental piece by Charles Gounod but are taken from The TV Theme Song Sing-Along Songbook by John Javna)
8-If you said “My Mother The Car” you guessed WRONG. This was never a classic sitcom.
9-Not a theme song but the infamous Chicken Song from Spitting Image.
11-It’s Garry Shandling’s Show
I love TV theme songs, so much that I have a few downloaded on a playlist. I knew more of these than not, and some were just guesses. Fun trip down memory lane!
I knew some would be harder than others, although the words to The Dick Van Dyke Show’s theme, written by Morey Amsterdam, are almost as delightful as Mr. Amsterdam himself. I love theme songs too and remembered a friend of mine had a couple of books of them when I was a kid so this was a trip down memory lane in a lot of ways.
I only got two right, Chris — “It’s Garry Shandling Show” and “MAS*H” — and I am strangely pleased about that.
Since “It’s Garry Shandling Show”, and its wonderful theme song, seems to be, I think, sadly overlooked and forgotten, I’m not so strangely pleased that’s one of the ones you got.