Saturday, October 15, 2011

Theme Songs from Shows I Used to Love

The bar was full of blow up sharks hanging from stained ceiling tiles lit with colored Christmas lights.  It may have even been called the Shark Bar.  I can't remember.  It seems eons ago, but I do remember that they'd have karaoke there every Wednesday night, and once I sang some Prince song on a dare while 20 or 30 people danced around trying to match their shoe size to the number of beers they'd had.  Perhaps they'd watched too many episodes of Cheers, had answered yes to that rhetorical question echoing in the theme song: Wouldn't you like to get away?

Enter Greek Chorus:

Where everybody knows your name, 
and they're always glad you came. 
You wanna be where you can see, 
our troubles are all the same 
You wanna be where everybody knows 
Your name. 

I loved that show when I was a kid.  I couldn't have been more than 11 or 12 years old.  What could I have possibly had in common with a group of disillusioned postal workers, psychologists and bartenders?  I wasn't a heavy drinker.  I didn't understand the kind of 9 to 5 fatigue that saps the spirit of the working person, the person who sweats daily but still can't pay his bills.  Bills?  I mean, the only thing I really had in common with these characters was that they seemed to need each other, and I needed people, too.

I loved Taxi, too, probably for the same reason.  The theme song for that show always got to me in the same way the M*A*S*H theme song got to me.

These are lonely people songs, songs that reflect the unspoken space of our solitude that can only be articulated through the soft tones of a hammond organ and a flute.  I know.  Weird.  The thing is, all the characters in these shows relied on each other.  And that's basically what I wanted to say:  We rely on each other, and this is the love God gave us being passed around, even in youtube clips on a Saturday night.  You can find it everywhere.

There are so many other shows:  The Rockford Files, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, WKRP in Cincinnati, Alice, The Dukes of Hazard, Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman...

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