Top 7 Iconic TV Theme Tunes Throughout History!

Are you a lover of all things TV?! Well to help celebrate world Television day, this year at Millers, we thought we’d delve into the wonderful world of TV theme tunes! Whilst we might not think it, theme tunes are an iconic part of modern culture that crop up far more often than you might think – Do you ever find yourself humming the Strictly Come Dancing opening song whilst doing the washing up? Us too! So today we wanted to celebrate some of our favourite iconic theme tunes and offer you a little more insight into what makes them so great!

1) The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Arguably one of the most easily identifiable theme songs of all time, The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air continues to be a modern masterpiece of theme tunes. Co-written by DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith, the casual hip hop mixed with satirical lyricism makes the theme tune both memorable, funny and absolutely infectious. It’s rumoured that as the two had already released 5 albums by the time of the show’s launch and knew eachother’s musical styles so well, the tune itself actually only took 15 minutes to record and produce!

2) Only Fools & Horses


Not only being the director of the show, but John Sullivan also wrote the show’s theme song which still means so much to so many. A British staple now, but the iconic theme song actually caused some creative differences between the BBC producers and Sullivan – For the first season of the show, the theme song was actually a saxophone led tune, however Sullivan argued back and persuaded the BBC to use his own recording instead – this not only explained the obscure show title to viewers, but in our opinion, was a far better theme song!

3) Friends

It just had to be here! The Friends theme song remains one of the most catchy theme songs of all time. Written by The Rembrantz, the signature guitar riff and instantly recognizable hand claps continue to leave audiences with a warm sense of coming home after a long day and still is a crucial part of what makes the show so iconic. The song was actually so popular that it became a #1 single on the American pop charts and the US Mainstream Top 40 Billboard.

4) Game Of Thrones

A little different to the others, but when HBO’s Game Of Thrones first hit our screens, the iconic cello and orchestral sound from Ramin Djawadi was an instant hit. Even now the show has ended, we frequently catch ourselves humming the tense theme tune. The shows theme song acts as a reminder that we never quite know what was going to happen next, or which characters would meet an untimely end! The theme song is so good, it has won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition, two ASCAP Awards and was nominated for a Grammy. In fact, it became so popular that producers decided to create a Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, which toured the US, UK and Canada.

5) Dallas

An theme tune that will be sure to linger in your head for the rest of the day, the Dallas opening credits continue to be 100% hummable and bring nothing but joy to the ear! The chorus of brass sounds only helped enhance the show’s stress on money, glitz and iconic cowboy fashion. The tune was composed by Jerrold Immel, who also blessed the world with another iconic TV intro, Walker, Texas Ranger.

6) Eastenders

Still going strong to this day, the Eastenders theme and signature ‘Dun Dun Dun’, remains one of the most easily recognizable sounds on TV along with other soap introductions such as Coronation Street or Emmerdale. Composed by Simon May, the theme uses a heavy combination of percussion, string and piano that continues to play on a signature cliff hanger for the show. A 2008 poll by PRS For Music even cited it as the most recognisable piece of music in the UK, beating the National anthem “God Save the Queen“!

7) Match Of The Day

A real Saturday night staple, BBC One’s Match Of The Day continues to be one the most recognisable sounds on television throughout the Premier League Season. The theme was written in 1970 by Barry Stoller, who ironically has publicly noted that he himself is not a football fan! In 2014, Stoller also noted that the intentional use of fan cheers and harmonies was used to help “Give the music a gladiator feel” and we think it certainly lives up to that title!

Of course there are COUNTLESS other iconic childrens TV shows and cinematic soundtracks that could have also been featured here, but we’d be here forever! Did we miss your favourite? We’d love to hear from you over on our social media channels!

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