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Theme songs/lyrics/intros of
UK TV programmes 1955–1990


Bagpuss (1974: BBC)

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a little girl, and her name was Emily, and she had a shop. There it is! It was rather an unusual shop because it didn’t sell anything! You see, everything in that shop was something someone had once lost, and Emily had found, and brought back to Bagpuss – the most important, the most beautiful, the most magical, saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world!

[Bagpuss won a BBC poll to find the nation’s favourite BBC children’s television programme of all time]


The Beverly Hillbillies (1960s)

MusicCome and listen to a story ’bout a man named Jed,
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shootin’ at some food,
When up through the ground came a bubblin’ crude.
Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

Well the first thing you know ol’ Jed’s a millionaire,
Kinsfolk said, “Jed move away from there”,
Said, “Californy is the place you ought to be “,
So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.
Hills, that is. Swimmin’ pools, movie stars.

Well now its time to say goodbye to Jed and all his kin,
And they would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin’ in.
you’re all invited back again to this locality
To reap a heapin’ helpin’ of their hospitality.
Hillbilly that is. Set a spell, take your shoes off.
Y’all come back now, y’hear?Music


Bill and Ben (1952)

MusicBill and Ben, Bill and Ben,
Bill and Ben, Bill and Ben, flowerpot men.
Flowerpot men, flowerpot men,
Bill and Ben, Bill and Ben, flowerpot men.Music

The closing words were:

Goodbye Bill, goodbye Ben, etc.


Billy Bean and his Funny Machine (1953)

MusicBilly Bean built a machine to see what it could do,
He made it out of sticks and stones, and nuts and bolts and glue.
The motor sang chuggle-arang, chuggle-aruggle-arator,
And all of a sudden a picture appeared on the funny old cartoonerator.
Billy Bean built a machine to see what it would do,
It did the funniest things he’d seen,
So he called it his funny machine, machine,
Billy Bean and his funny machine.Music


Billy Cotton Band Show (BBC 1956–1965)

Billy Cotton (in extreme close-up) would shout “Wakey Wa-A-akey!” then the band would launch into its theme tune “Somebody Stole My Gal”.


Blackadder “outro” (1983)

MusicThe sound of hoof-beats ’cross the glade,
Good folk, lock up your son and daughter,
Beware the deadly flashing blade
Unless you want to end up shorter.

Blackadder, Blackadder — he rides a pitch-black steed
Blackadder, Blackadder — he’s very bad indeed.

Black — his gloves of finest mole,
Black — his codpiece made of metal,
His horse is blacker than a hole,
His pot is blacker than his kettle.

Blackadder, Blackadder — with many a cunning plan
Blackadder, Blackadder — you horrid little man!Music

Intro to Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988):

MusicBlackadderMusic
[repeated seven more times]

MusicHe’s kind and generous to the sick,
He’s never spread a nasty rumour,
He never gets on people’s wick,
And doesn’t laugh at toilet humour.
Blackadder, Blackadder, he’s sickeningly good,
Blackadder, Blackadder, he’s nice as Christmas pud!Music


The Black Brigand (1956)

MusicBlack are their hats, black hats,
Black are their boots, black boots,
They keep the army on the run, on the run,
The Black Brigands men will come,
The Black Brigands men will come,
Saddles of leather thunder together,**
Swords … gleaming in the sun … in the sun … in the sun.Music


Blankety Blank (from 1977)

MusicBlankety Blank, Blankety Blank (two bass-drum beats)
Blankety Blank, Blankety Blank (two bass-drum beats)
Blankety Blank, Blankety Blank (two bass-drum beats)
Blankety Blank!Music

The winner went through to:

MusicSupermatch Game, Supermatch Game, Supermatch Game!Music

[With (then) Terry Wogan]


Bonanza

MusicWe got a right to pick a little fight,
Bonanza!
If anyone fights anyone of us
He’s gotta fight with me!

We’re not a one to saddle up and run,
Bonanza!
Anyone of us
Who starts a little fuss
Knows he can count on me!
One for four, four for one,
This we guarantee.

We got a right to pick a little fight,
Bonanza!
If anyone fights anyone of us
He’s gotta fight with me!Music


The Brady Bunch

MusicHere’s the story of a lovely lady
Who was bringing up three very lovely girls,
All of them had hair of gold — like their mother,
The youngest one in curls.

Here’s the story of a man named Brady
Who was busy with three boys of his own,
They were four men, living all together,
Yet they were all alone.

’Til one day when the lady met this fellow
And they knew it was much more than a hunch
That this group would somehow form a family,
That’s the way we all became the Brady Bunch.
The Brady Bunch
That’s the way we all became the Brady Bunch
The Brady Bunch.Music


Bruce’s Big Night (1978)

MusicI don’t know where you are —
You may be near or far
So let’s get the Network together —
It’s Saturday night!
You may be on your own —
Not even a telephone
So let’s get the Network together —
It’s Saturday night!
It’s a turn on, it’s a party —
Guess that’s why I’m feeling so hale and hearty!

Remember on ITV —
We’re the channel you get for free
So let’s get the Network together —
Don’t worry ’bout the weekend weather —
It’s the Big Night in on ITV —
I can’t see you but you can see me —
On the Network — every Saturday night!
Get the whole of the Network together tonight!Music

[sung by host Bruce Forsyth]


Buccaneers

MusicOh, the life on the ocean is for free,
The only life for you and me,
To sail across the mighty sea
Together,
And if we fear that danger’s near,
We’ll whistle and cheer the Buccaneers
And we will fight the enemy together.

Let’s go a-roving, a-roving, across the ocean,
Oh let’s go a-roving and join the Buccaneers.
We’ll find adventure, adventure, across the ocean,
Oh we’ll find adventure and join the Buccaneers.


Budgie (1970)

Sitcom starring Adam Faith. The theme tune for the second series of Budgie (1972) was ’Nobody’s Fool’ written by Ray Davies

MusicFrom the bright busy streets of the Charing Cross Road
To the dark little alleys in old Soho,
From the smart noisy clubs where everyone goes
To the dark little streets that nobody knows.

I couldn’t care if the people don’t notice me,
They wouldn’t know that I really exist,
I’m nobody’s shelter, I’m nobody’s cover,
I’m nobody’s lover and nobody’s friend.

I’m so used to lying and pretending,
I’m nobody’s fool and I’m nobody’s friend.

I can go for a walk on a crowded street
And see millions of faces staring at me,
Some of them smiling, some of them glare
But most of them don’t even know that I’m there.

That’s how I want to be ’cause no one belongs to me.
I’m nobody’s fool and I’m nobody’s friend
Nobody pleads for me, nobody bleeds for me
I’m nobody’s fool and I’m nobody’s friend.

I’m so used to lying and pretending,
I’m nobody’s fool and I’m nobody’s friend.Music


The Bugs Bunny Show

Overture, curtains, lights,
This is it, the night of nights,
No more rehearsing and nursing a part,
W e know every part by heart.

Overture, curtains, lights,
This is it — you’ll hit the heights
And oh what heights we’ll hit —
On with the show this is it!

Tonight what heights we’ll hit —
On with the show this is it!


Butterflies (1978)

MusicLove is like a butterfly,
As soft and gentle as a sigh,
The multicoloured moods of love are like its satin wings.
Love makes your heart feel strange inside,
It flutters like soft wings in flight,
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing.Music

[One verse of this Dolly Parton song was sung by Claire Torry at the start and end of each programme.]


Last updated:
21 July, 2012

Visitor since Jan 2006:

© Stephanie Jenkins, 2010–2014
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