Cult show tops TV themes
The theme song to 1960s children's
TV show The White Horses has been named the
greatest in television history.
The tune to the cult series,
recorded by Irish singer Jacky, heads a list of
songs in latest edition of The Penguin Television
The White Horses, a Yugoslav-German
co-production about a teenage girl's equine
adventures, was dubbed into English and screened
on BBC One.
The theme, written by Michael Carr
and Ben Nisbet, reached the top 10 in 1968.
Other songs in the Penguin guide's
top 20 include the themes to Fireball XL5, Red
Dwarf, Rupert the Bear and Harry's Game.
Moonlighting, Cheers and Dad's Army
are also included in the list drawn up by Jeff
Evans, author of the guide which was published on
The White Horses theme song came
about when a dubbing company asked Carr and
Nisbet to write a theme for a popular East
European series, The Times reported.
The programme, shot in black and
white in Slovenia in 1965, followed the
adventures of 15-year-old Julia who leaves
Belgrade to spend a holiday with her uncle on his
The 12 hour-long adventures were
repeated by the BBC in the 1970s, but the
corporation later wiped its tapes.
The programme has since developed a
cult reputation among fans, with devotees buying
complete foreign-language videos and swapping
music files on the internet.
Please see a selection of your
favourite children's TV theme tunes below.
Among others, you can't go wrong
with nearly anything by Mike Post, with or
without the late Pete Carpenter (from The
Rockford Files in the 1970s to Law & Order
and its spinoffs today), Patrick Williams' The
Streets of San Francisco, or anything by Danny
Elfman (The Simpsons, Sledge Hammer, The Flash).
Victor Field, London, England
Tough choice - Hong Kong Phooey,
Scooby Doo, or Mr Ben! Recent children's TV
doesn't come close to 60s - 80s except
Easy - has to be The Old Grey
Whistle Test. Bring back whispering Bob!!
I think the best TV theme is the one
from the old Robinson Crusoe series.
Three little words: Hong Kong
Chris Kent, UK
Whilst I am a big fan of Red Dwarf
and love the theme music, I have to say that 80s
TV Airwolf and Knight Rider have to be two of the
best TV themes.
Airwolf is performed by a big
orchestra and could almost be considered a
classical piece. Knight Rider on the other hand
is all "electro-pop" and synthesised.
The fact that the Knight Rider theme has been
sampled by a number of different artists in
recent years supports what a popular TV theme it
is after 21 years.
What about Sleepy Shores? It was an
instrumental, played during the opening credits
for a 1979/1980 TV detective/doctor series. Or
The Sweeny theme music? Or Robin Hood from the
Matt Stewart, UK
D'oh! Where's The Simpsons?
Jon Hillier, England
The He-Man theme tune was the best,
Kevin K, UK
What about Belle and Sebastian, and
Robinson Crusoe - both hauntingly melodic themes
that still rattle around in my 'hum' repertoire.
White Horses and Ski Sunday.
Ellen Woolston, UK
I can't believe that they left out
Captain Scarlet - still the best TV theme ever!
Janet Gladstone, UK
Spurred on by the suggestion of the
White Horses (did they only make 12
episodes...then how come it lasted all summer
holidays? Or did it just seem to?) I propose The
Flashing Blade! You've got to fight for what you
want, etc. Corking!
I've been whistling that Steptoe and
Son tune for months, it may not be my favourite
but i can't get it out of my mind. Help!
Greg B, England
Champion the Wonder Horse - one of
Two words. Pugwall's Summer.
Peter Unwin George Wall, UK
The best theme of all time? There
can only be one, and that is the A-Team. Craig
Tetley says so, so it must be true. A-Team
The Face Man , UK
Come White Horses, Snowy Horses, Let
Me Ride Away. If I remember correctly! I was born
in 1965 and remember this song with happy
nostalgia. Innocent days when you looked forward
to Jackanory and hid behind the sofa when the
Daleks came on Doctor Who.
Penni, Hants, UK
Tomorrow's World had some fab ones
back in the eighties and early nineties. Don't
ask me what they're called though!
No questions, it has to be The
Littlest Hobo. Great song, ultimate catchiness
and a fine little series to boot.
Phil Colvin, UK
I agree that White Horses has a
great theme tune, but my own favourites are Black
Beauty, Van der Valk and Hawaii 5-0.
The love that I share with my
husband increased 100 fold when we both found out
we were "White Horses" fans. Nobody
else had ever heard of the show! We will have to
join the cult following now.
Nicola Morely, Switzerland
My favourite has to be Jamie and the
Magic Torch. Rocktastic!!
Mystrious Cities of Gold had the
best theme tune ever, that and Dogtanian and the
Judith Clements, England
Three stand out for me, and all
three are from the 60s. Danger Man and The
Prisoner, which both starred Patrick McGoohan and
Joe 90, from Gerry Anderson. Other worthy
mentions are the Eurovision theme (from the start
of every Eurovision Song Contest) and the jingle
of the ATV ident!!
Damien Cahill, Ireland
The original theme music to Grange
Hill does it for me everytime. Pure genius.
Edge Of Darkness followed by
Spender, The Professionals, The Avengers, Man In
A Suitecase, The Prisoner.
I don't know the White Horses but
some of my favourite theme tunes are Snooker,
Grange Hill, Quiller, The Liver Birds, The Two
Ronnies, The Hanged Man, Monkey, Darts, The New
Avengers, Porridge, CHiPS, Hill Street Blues, Man
About The House, Taxi, Robin's Nest, Stop Look
and Listen, Seeing and Doing.
It's got to be either Roobarb or
Dangermouse - no other themes come close to those
Paul C, UK (in US)
What about Eye Level the theme from
Van der Valk by the Simon Park Orchestra? It was
actually top of the charts for what seemed like
years in the seventies.
It has to be Dr Who.
to page 20
& Radio Themes Index Page