Custom Serenade has recently started offering Custom Theme Songs. To celebrate our new product, we’re presenting a number of theme song related posts.
As a youngster, when I saw the James Bond film Man with the Golden Gun, the theme song, which echoed the film’s title, made an impression on me. In fact, it is my first memory of being more captivated by a song in a movie than I was with the movie itself. To date, it remains my favorite James Bond theme song, but, despite it being my first love, it is not my all time favorite movie theme song. What is? Read on.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a song is “a short piece of music with words that are sung”. So, with that in mind, instrumental themes such as “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” are eliminated. It’s kind of a shame because I love that one. In 6th grade, I discovered that I could replicate its famous lilting phrase by removing the mouthpiece from my recorder and playing it.
In 6th grade I also went to summer camp, where we would end each day with a barn dance in which we would “Sally Down the Alley”, a simple dance that consisted of skipping hand in hand. Once all the older chaperones went to bed, the hip twenty-something counselors would announce that we would now “Disco Down the Alley”. This meant that we performed the same step while they played disco 45s instead of the scratchy old fiddle tune. That year I summoned my courage to ask a dark-haired girl from another county to dance with me. When I finally did, and she said yes, it was accompanied by the opening strains of the theme from Grease. I felt like a king as I surged around the alley hand in hand with this brunette beauty while the robust horns underlined the wah wah guitar. In my mind I declared that the theme from Grease would forever be my favorite song. It didn’t stick, but it did certainly come to mind when I set upon the task of choosing my favorite theme song. In fact, it was my initial pick.
Having a memory attached to a song is a powerful thing, and I like the theme from Grease, but I don’t love it. I decided that my favorite theme song would have to be something that had more musical meat on its bones. So I probed my brain (not google mind you) for all the movie theme songs I could think of, and the one that stood out was from Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, the 60s drive-in classic about three go go girls gone bad.
The song was performed by a band called The Bosstweeds, and penned by Hollywood freelance composers Rick Jarrard, Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter. On the surface, this song can hardly be described without using the word “groovy”, its mysterious melody slinking across minor chords with a vocal line that somehow manages to be peppy. It is the perfect marriage of bachelor pad music and garage rock. Once, in the early days of my guitar infatuation, I decided I’d try to play it. I can usually figure out rock and roll songs pretty quickly, but this one was hard. The chord pattern is very involved, as are some of the chords themselves, not to mention how quickly they change. This song is truly a musical wolf in sheep’s clothing. I soon gave up on trying to figure out the song and decided to write my own song about Faster Pussycat Kill Kill instead. It still exists on some cassette tape somewhere.
So, my choice for favorite movie theme song is “Faster Pussycat Kill Kill” – the song that inspired me to write a song!