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Top Five Classic TV Show Theme Songs

Updated on September 27, 2011

We all grew up watching classic TV shows, the Baby Boomers watched them on their first run, and those of us who are members of Generation X and beyond, viewed them as re-runs, courtesy of Nick at Nite or TV Land.

The by-products of all the classic TV shows we watched as kids, are the classic TV theme songs that live on our mind’s hard drive.

TV theme songs have a way of getting underneath our skin and infiltrating our memories.

For most of us, those memories are good memories, because they take us back to a time when life was much simpler.

Gilligan’s Island has a theme song that actually tells the story line of the television show. If you have never seen the classic tv show before, all you have to do is listen to the theme song, and you will get the general idea.

The one thing many of us remember about the Gilligan’s Island theme song is the fact that the lyrics reflect that the castaways packed for a “three-hour tour,” but yet… some of them had a different outfit for almost every day they were stuck on the island.

It has been estimated that I Love Lucy is shown in reruns somewhere around the world almost every hour of the day.

The I Love Lucy theme song is a tune that millions of people know, but most people do not know that the tune actually has lyrics.On the episode titled “Lucy’s Last Birthday,” Ricky Ricardo sings the lyrics to his wife (Lucy Ricardo) at the Tropicana Nightclub.

The Addams Family theme song introduces its audience to the Addams family, and it offers a lot of introspective about the odd character of the family of quasi-monsters.

The actual lyrics to the song are not what make this TV theme a favorite; we love The Addams Family theme song because of the insane catchiness of the finger-popping tune.

Nobody ever really cared about the lyrics, because all you would have to do is look at the family to see that they are "creepy and they're kooky"; we just wanted to make sure that we could pop our fingers in perfect time with the tune.

The theme to Maude is one of those TV show themes where we know exactly what it is that makes it such an all-time favorite…the smart lyrics.

Maude Findlay, played by the outlandishly talented Bea Arthur, is a brassy broad with brains and guts. She had an intelligent liberal wit that will cut the guts out of any bigoted, racist, homophobic, or sexist idiot who might have mistakenly wandered into her path.

The Maude theme song, “And Then There’s Maude,” perfectly exemplifies her character, and this is what we love about this particular little ditty.

Watch below as Rosie O'Donnell sings "And Then There's Maude" to Beatrice Arthur

When it comes to classic TV show themes, it doesn't get any better than The Jefferson’s theme song.

I do not really know what it is about this song, perhaps it is a combination of the catchy tune and the triumphant lyrics (after escaping the ghetto, then having to live next to Archie Bunker, we actually want George and Weezy to “move on up to the east side?”).

I do know that the instant we hear “Well, we’re moving on up,” most of us pause whatever we are doing in order to sing along.Also…one has to wonder…Why don’t fish fry in the kitchen? and Who puts beans on the grill?

And, while we are on the subject... what was up with that lame second Lionel? Oh wait…second Lionel sparks an idea for an entirely different hub...

Listen to the song on the video below as Ja'net du Bois sings the theme song. Yes, that is her, Wilona Woods from another classic tv show, Good Times.

Ja'net sang the original theme song back in the day, and here is a recording of her singing an alternate version of the song

Honorable Mentions

Although they didn't make my list of top five classic TV theme songs, these particular songs are also little gems that often play somewhere in the background of my mind - Do you remember these:

Frances "Gidget" Lawrence lives with her widowed college professor father in California. Anne is her older sister who is married to John Cooper, a psychology student.

Gidget spends most of her free time at the beach, hanging out with friends and surfing. She also has a knack for getting in and out of trouble. Gidget speaks to the audience during her journey to adulthood, letting them know exactly what's on her mind and what she's discovered about life.

--Anonymous from IMDB

Cathy Lane, teen-aged daughter of a globe-trotting journalist, comes to live at the home of her uncle, a newspaper editor in New York City.

Curiously, Cathy is the spitting image of her uncle's daughter, Patty. Appearances aside, however, the urbane Cathy is nothing like her cousin Patty, who is the typical American teenager.

--Written by Stewart M. Clamen clamen@cs.cmu.edu @ IMDB

Archie Bunker, was a working-class family man who held bigoted, conservative views of the world.

His viewpoints clash with nearly everyone he comes into contact with especially his liberal son-in-law Mike Stivic (or, as Archie delights in calling him, "Meathead").

--Written by Brian Rathjen briguy_52732@yahoo.com @ IMDB

When I actually think about it for a minute, the theme song from All in The Family, is right up there tied with The Jeffersons, ya just gotta love Archie Bunker...

Have Your Say

What is your Favorite Classic TV Show Theme

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    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 6 years ago from Indiana

      Great hub. I was just listening to a CD I made with some of my favorite themes on it. Some of the best music ever ... And by the way, what WAS up with the second Lionel on The Jeffersons? LOL

    • Learn Things Web profile image

      Learn Things Web 6 years ago from California

      This hub is a trip down memory lane. My favorites are Addams Family and Mary Tyler Moore.

    • dungeonraider profile image

      Jason Marovich 6 years ago from United States

      Good Times and Hill Street Blues.

    • Rachelle Williams profile image
      Author

      Rachelle Williams 6 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      Thanks for all of the support guys. Out of all the shows you guys mentioned, I cannot believe that I forgot about the Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Beverly Hillbillies...

    • Baldwin1 profile image

      Baldwin1 6 years ago

      This is a fantastic hub. But I just have to throw The Beverly Hillbillies song into this list. Like Gilligan's Island, it also tells the story of the show.

      I really enjoyed this,

      Baldwin1

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      Fun hub. It brought back a lot of memories. I personally would have included the catchy theme of the "Andy Griffith Show". Of the shows currently on the air, I think my favorite modern theme is the theme to "Psych".

      Enjoyable hub,

      Rob

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      What a fun hub. Out of the shows you have listed, Maude is my favorite but I like The Jefferson's theme music better! Voted up, up and away!

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 6 years ago from new jersey

      great hub!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I'm a 90s kid so I'm going to say the All That theme song especially since it was performed by TLC. I also loved the Mary Tyler Moore theme, I Dream of Jeannie, and Growing Pains. Great Hub!

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 6 years ago from Connecticut

      great hub! when i saw the title i instantly thought gilligans island and i love lucy, but the others are awesome too. Its like a cannon of theme songs, everyone knows them, or at least recognizes them! voted up

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 6 years ago from Atlanta

      I see many voted for Maude as I did, I just love that show. Nice writing on classic TV songs. METV is pretty one of my most watched channels.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I still remember the theme songs and even commercials from my childhood favorite TV shows. They really stick with you.

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