The Best TV Theme Songs

tv musicWhen John From Cincinnati got canned earlier this week, I shared the opening credits of that show because it featured a very cool tune by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros. That got me thinking about television theme songs that are too cool to be confined to the small screen and are good enough to stand alone.

Sometimes a song is a created for a tv show and sometimes it's simply licensed, as is the case with most of the songs below. However you slice it, here are my favourite television theme songs.

  1. Von Bondies' "C'mon C'mon" from Rescue Me
  2. Joe Cocker's "A Little Help From My Friends" from The Wonder Years
  3. Foo Fighters' "Next Year" from Ed
  4. Waylon Jennings' "Good Ol' Boys" from The Dukes of Hazzard
  5. Steve Carlisle's "WKRP in Cincinnati" from WKRP in Cincinnati
  6. Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros' "Johnny Appleseed" from John From Cincinnati
  7. John Sebastian's "Welcome Back" from Welcome Back, Kotter
  8. Alabama 3's "Woke Up This Morning" from The Sopranos
  9. Gary Portnoy's "Everybody Knows Your Name" from Cheers
  10. Joey Scarbury's "Believe It Or Not" from The Greatest American Hero

An honourable mention goes to the three Who songs used for various CSI shows. The Who songs are great but having not seen a minute of the shows that use them, I felt weird putting them on this list. All ten shows above are actually shows I watched and enjoyed.


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Jill

Those are all awesome songs that you can't help sing along to. I have two others that I loved to sing along to as well....."Those Were The Days"? from All in the Family and the theme song from the Jeffersons.

August 19, 2007 @ 10:10 PM

Lesley Zampatti

Two more for your consideration:
the Beach Boys' splendid 'God Only Knows' from the series 'Big Love'; and then - though it's not a song so doesn't really qualify - Bob James's great little piece, called 'Angela', which was the theme for 'Taxi', way back when (showing my age).


August 20, 2007 @ 11:47 AM

Steve

I always thought "Paint It Black" was a cool way to launch "Tour Of Duty".

August 20, 2007 @ 1:29 PM

Toronto Mike

Darn, Steve - you're right. Paint it Black was very cool on Tour of Duty. I forgot about that one...

August 20, 2007 @ 1:34 PM

Mike from Mississauga

Devil in the Hole -- from the HBO series The Wire.

I prefer the first season's cover version by the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Tom Wait's original version is okay too.

August 24, 2007 @ 1:15 PM

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