Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 18 2006

In this age of protests, rioting demographics and …

In this age of protests, rioting demographics and terror on all sides, I think we’ve all lost sight of one important truth: the theme for the 60’s cartoon Underdog is just about the coolest piece of music ever written for TV*.

I mean, it has a plucked-bass beginning with an ominous-sounding accordian, mostly in a minor key breaking into an exhilerating, brave majoresque chorus and then retreating back into the stealthy minor before repeating the process at the end. In this it mirrored the plot of every episode of the show, a musical interpretation of Underdog’s unassuming identity as a shoeshine dog (not bad for a dog, when you think about it; most dogs would have trouble holding down a job that required thumbs, much less rhyming) as well as his transformation into the brave subtext-beating hero we all knew and loved, and then back again into a mild-mannered minor key. Yet at the same time it was far too good for the questionable quality of the animation and storylines it preceeded. Most cartoon themes were just good enough for the shows the accompanied; the Underdog theme was major motion picture material. I even dare hope that the movie they’re reportedly making does it justice.

I wish I could find a higher-quality version of the theme; in any case, I’ll probably be humming it for some time to come now that it’s lodged in my brain for the first time since 1972.

*Well, for a TV cartoon, anyway. The theme for Hawaii 5-0 is still the best-sounding theme on TV.

posted by Poagao at 6:05 pm  

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