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.
#6. 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.
“Got a license to shneeze, and you know I’m shneezing right into your mouth.”
#5. 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.
Harmon’s brain is the darkest timeline.
#4. 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?
She doesn’t even have a vagina, but that won’t stop either of them.
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”.