It's Not a Theme Song if No One Is Singing

If there are no lyrics, it's a theme, not a theme song.

Opinion page by Duane Alan Hahn.

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When I was young and stupid, I used to call any movie theme a theme song. A family friend told me that it's not a song if it doesn't have words. Somebody has to be singing for it to be called a theme song.


Whether it's Lost In Space (1960s TV show), Star Wars (1977 movie), Superman (1978 movie), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 movie), or any other movie or TV show that has intro music without somebody singing lyrics, if it doesn't have words, it's not a theme song. It's just called a theme (or main title).


If some people are going to ignore the dictionary definition of the word song and claim that it means "any kind of music," why stop there? Why not say that all four-legged animals are dogs? Why not call a spider an octopus? How about saying the Pacific Ocean is a jar of pickle juice?


Remember, if it doesn't have lyrics, it's not a theme song. Below is a list that might be helpful:

"Lost In Space Main Title" [1960s TV show]

"Theme from Superman (Main Title)"

"The Raiders March" (a.k.a. "The Indiana Jones Theme")

"Main Title and Mountain Visions" [Close Encounters of the Third Kind]

"The Batman Theme" or "Main Title" [1989 movie]




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