There are some fantastic theme songs to kids shows that are currently on television. Our boys love watching ABC4Kids, especially the pig related shows and I wrote about here (although only one of the three shows’ theme song made the list).
I am going to list them in reverse order from position ten down to one so that you have to wait until you get to the bottom of the page to find out which one I think it number one. I have also embedded each of them finding the best versions that I could on YouTube. I apologise in advance if any of them start with advertising in your region, but I guess it is only fair that free access website like YouTube make some money from advertising to keep the service free. Besides, YouTube has to pay the copyright owners royalties as I discussed in this article.
10. The Octonauts.
With the excitement of the Mission: Impossible theme, and traces of the James Bond theme to it, it really sets the pace for this action packed kids show.
9. Yo Gabba Gabba.
You might think that this would be higher on anyone’s list, but there was a time when our eldest son watched NOTHING BUT THIS so that’s why it’s only sitting in ninth position.
Now I am going to have to come clean and admit to a few Mondegreens (that’s misheard lyrics) with this one.
This is what they sing; Muno! (Yo, right!), He’s tall and friendly.
This is what I heard; Muno! (Yo, right!), He’s so unfriendly.
This is what they sing; Toodee! (Yeah, whoo!), She likes to have fun.
This is what I heard; Toodee! (Yeah, whoo!), She likes the half-pipe (that’s a skateboarding reference for those not in the know).
Apologies for the poor quality of this one; it would seem that the good people at Yo Gabba Gabba HQ do not like people uploading their theme song in HD.
The only pig related kids show to make this list, there is a reason why I love this one. I know that you might think that I am on drugs with this claim, but I feel although it is obviously jazz music, I feel that there’s a punk element to it. The repetition of “Olivia, Olivia…” and it’s four to the floor driving rhythm reminds me of something The Ramones would do. Not quite Gabba Gabba Hey, but punk all the same. Now if only the Yo Gabba Gabba theme was more like something from The Ramones, it might have been higher up my list.
7. Timmy Time.
Timmy Time is a spin off of Shaun The Sheep which in turn is a spin off of Wallace and Gromit. The production company Aardman Animations have always used intelligent humour and it has continued on with this show and the theme songs of Timmy Time and its predecessor Shaun The Sheep are testament of that.
6. Shaun The Sheep.
I’m sure you’re aware that Shaun The Sheep spawned its own spin off which is another kids show called Timmy Time, but did you know that Shaun was actually a spin off of Wallace and Gromit? I bet you’ve read that elsewhere so of course you knew that. Really, I have nothing to add to this one that I didn’t already say above about Aardman Animations and their use of intelligent humour.
5. Bananas in Pyjamas
The Play School theme song didn’t make my list as it brings back some bad memories from my childhood (yes, yes, therapy would do me good). But growing up in Australia and watching Play School everyday meant that I quickly learned the words to Bananas in Pyjamas. The song was written in 1967 by the late British composer Carey Blyton who was the nephew of renowned children’s author Enid Blyton. Many years later the production company Southern Star Group created a live action television show with actors wearing costumes which later became CGI characters when the show was relaunched many year later. The show is a favourite of our older boy but despised by the younger one because the show book ended his favourite show Peppa Pig and once this theme song starts up for the second time in less than 30 minutes on ABC4Kids, then that singles the end of Peppa. Still even though he’s not a fan, it is definitely one that I have always loved.
Speaking of Play School, whilst that show brings back bad memories from my childhood (look, I will see someone, I promise), the current period, especially those episodes between 2005 and now I enjoy watching occasionally with the boys, especially when Justine Clarke is on. We are fans of her work in this house having bought her DVDs (check out her website here). Zigby is a joint production by companies in Australia, Singapore and Canada and for the Australian market at least Justine sings the vocals. I know a few people who are not a fan of her voice and don’t think she’s the best singer in the world, but I think her voice sounds fun and cheeky, and I think she brings those elements to her version of Zigby’s theme song. And for that reason, it is high up on my list.
3. Pinky Dinky Doo
The show makes me laugh. The theme makes me smile. Okay, so here’s another one of those “I think you might be on drugs moments.” I think that there is a phrase within the riff of this theme song that reminds me of the 1981 hit Jessie’s Girl by Australian pop-rock singer Rick Springfield. Maybe only I can hear it. Maybe it isn’t there at all. But maybe I’m right. I grew up with a brother who is 4-years-and-8-months older who was obsessed with this song. When he started playing guitar he’d stick this song on, crank up up the stereo, crank up his amplifier and play along. That always brings back great memories (yes, I have them too).
My brother had been playing guitar for a few years when I started playing. It was around that time that I wasn’t a big fan of listening to him crank up the music and play along because he would take ownership of our family’s music room (a large room down that back of our house that at one stage housed half a dozen guitars and a few basses, a drum kit, a few amplifiers, a keyboard, and an upright piano plus various other percussive and random instruments. It was in this room where on our old family television set I watched Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer film clip which got me into rock music in a big way and made me ask for a guitar of my own for that coming Christmas.
Rock, metal, punk, alternative, grunge, post grunge, whatever. If it involves loud guitars, loud drums and altogether loudness, I love it. So it makes perfect sense that Bookaboo would be high on my list. And some might think that it would be my number one theme song, but there is one that I love more than any other…
1. Charlie and Lola
I just, I just….
I’m lost for words. I just love this cleverly crafted piece of music. It doesn’t have lyrics. It doesn’t need lyrics. From the instrument harmonies playing off each other during the main melody at the beginning, to the electronic harpsichord playing underneath the whistling section, it is a fantastic piece of music. The ascending piano run is my favourite part in a song that is filled with so many favourite parts. If you are writing some music and you want to draw attention to how fun the show that follows that music might be, then write something like this.
I have searched out other work from the writers Tom Dyson and Søren Munk (yes for some reason those crazy northern Europeans love crossing out letters) and the production and arrangements of John Greswell and they have other fine work in their respective portfolios. If you want to hear it I’ll let you search out their stuff for yourselves.
But now, sit back, and enjoy this fine work…
Is your favourite young kid’s show theme song missing? If so, let me know which one you love.