"Making your way in the world today…"
"Thank you for being a friend…"
"Here's the story/ Of a lovely lady…"
TV theme songs hold a crazy power over us, don't they? Long after we've forgotten how to apply the Pythagorean theorem and who fought who in the War of 1812, we can still sing all the words to our favorite theme songs. It's kind of a genius marketing move, really; like a catchy advertising jingle, a great TV theme song gets etched onto our brains in permanent marker, creating warm and fuzzy small-screen memories that last a lifetime.
Of course, these days we're lucky if we get ten seconds of instrumental music before a TV show begins. But we're reaching back to the glory days of TV for our latest Yahoo! TV bracket: Theme Song Thunderdome. We combed through decades of television to pick out the most memorable theme songs ever. It was tough -- extremely tough -- to narrow it down, but we ended up with 32 theme songs, which we ranked 1 through 16 and placed into two halves of a March Madness-style bracket.
And here's where you come in. You get to vote on which theme songs make it into the next round. Don't like our seedings? Here's your chance to show us; you might even take an underdog all the way to the finals. (13-seed "Saved by the Bell," for example, has all the makings of a feisty upstart.) Over the next three weeks, we'll be tallying your votes, round by round, until we get down to one winner: the best TV theme song of all time.
Got the idea? Good. Now we'll try to answer some questions you might have about the tournament.
You idiots! You forgot "The Beverly Hillbillies"/"Hawaii Five-0"/"One Day at a Time"/"Married… With Children"/[a hundred other theme songs we left off]!
First of all, that's not a question. Secondly, please know that it was incredibly difficult to whittle the entire history of TV theme songs down to just 32 entries. We had to make some painful cuts. (Leaving off "The Wonder Years" was particularly wrenching.) But you can vote in the poll below to let us know which theme songs we should've included -- and feel free to add your own picks in the comments. We may even collect your best suggestions for a readers'-choice post later on in the tournament.
What about current TV theme songs? No "Mad Men"? No "Big Bang Theory"?
Despite the general decline in TV theme songs these days, we did come close to including a few current ones in the tournament. But we decided to hold off and do a roundup of the best current TV theme songs as a separate post. Stay tuned for that in the weeks to come.
You totally ignored kids' shows! C'mon, man: "SpongeBob SquarePants"!
Again, not really a question, but we appreciate your passion for "SpongeBob." In fact, we share it: We'll also be doing a highly subjective roundup of the best ever theme songs from kids' TV shows.
How do you get a job where you sit around arguing about TV theme songs all day?
It does sound pretty sweet, but on the flip side, we're forced to watch things like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "My Strange Addiction." So there are tradeoffs.
Okay, hope that answered most of your queries. If you have more questions/complaints for us, let us know in the comments. Otherwise, click here to check out the full bracket and start voting. Remember: 32 theme songs enter… only one leaves.