Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Theme From A Load Of Bloody Rubbish (2009)

Can you name any TV themes tunes from today that really light your fire?

On the recommendation of Planet Mondo (who's on hols at the moment, but who's always right about this sort of thing), I bought Girl In A Suitcase (Upgraded). it's packed full of evocative theme tunes from yesteryear. Not your obvious choices like Follyfoot or Black Beauty, but gems like Fruity Flute (the theme to Farmhouse Kitchen), Glad Gadabout (from stuffed toy show Teddy Edward), incidental bits from Mary, Mungo & Midge and my new song of the week, The Free Life by Alan Parker, from 1974 Thames TV sitcom Moody & Pegg, starring Derek Waring and Judy (or perhaps Charlotte) Cornwell as starcrossed squatters.

This rings a vague bell to me but I'd never have put the tune and the show together. I don't really remember the sitcom - though according to Wikipedia it's more comedy drama - but I do remember the tune. It's reedy with folky guitar, which is always a winner in my book and has a kind of wistful quality about it, like someone's sad but full of hope at the same time, fighting back the tears. A bit like the music in Gregory's Girl - evening sun glinting off brutal concrete estates, that kind of thing. It's glorious. It was also ITV schools programming music, so perhaps I remember it from there. I wish I knew how to post sound files!

But what I'm trying to say is, they don't really do memorable theme tunes anymore. Sure, you can identify programmes, but do you think in years to come you'll be moved or have some kind of Proustian rush on hearing one? Perhaps if you were a child now, you'll be doing the whole nostalgia thing for TV now, but television today is not what it was, is it?

Anyway, get this tune off the moviegrooves website if you get the chance.


Ishouldbeworking said...

I well remember that theme tune (though I also remember quite a lot about the series. Judy Cornwell lives down here and is still spoken of as 'her from Moody and Pegg'). It was a very understated and evocative little tune, as I recall.

Theme tunes used to be terribly important. I watched that nostalgia piece about Nationwide last week, and just hearing that parpy brass theme made my hair stand up.

Mind you, I believe there were some howls of protest last week when The Bill got rid of their traditional theme in favour of a predictable sub-acid house 'modern' number. So maybe they do still matter, a little?

LF Barfe said...

Having missed out on the original Girl in a Suitcase compilation, and watched, alarmed, as second-hand copies went for silly money, I leaped on this reissue. Album of the year. No question. The LWT startup music in stereo. Blimey.

Cocktails said...

I think you're just being nostalgic F-C. I imagine that quite a high number of people/mugs will be experiencing major Proustian rushes in not very many years time when they hear the soundtracks to Big Brother, Hollyoakes, Casualty and lots of other shows I don't watch.

Obviously nothing beats Degrassi though!

Five-Centres said...

The Bill goes back 20 years though, so it's a classic alright, as is Casualty.

But will we be humming the theme from The One Show in 2054?

BPP said...

The one from that garbage about the Pre-Raphaelites is quite punchy in a jingly-jangly sort of way.


Five-Centres said...

Lovejoy of course, but it's ancient, so it counts. I've not heard the Desperate Romantics one.

BPP said...

It's hard to put into words, Mr. Centres. Erm ...

Dum-de-de-de-dum-de-de-de-dum-dum-dum-dum ...

Something like that?

Five-Centres said...

I'm getting it

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