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TV Theme Songs: Fraggle Rock

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale" of a time when television shows began with awesome TV Theme Songs. "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name" and sometimes you want to go back to when TV Theme songs were special. "Here's a story... of a lovely" time when TV Theme Songs served to identify, distinguish and set the stage for the television program that followed. "You take the good, take the bad, take them both and there you have" what unfortunately has become a lost artform. "Believe it or not", sadly it seems no effort or pride is taken in the TV Theme Song ever since Seinfeld proved a short synth-bass riff could be used instead. “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” This regular feature may not "make all our dreams come true", but it will remember some of the best TV Theme Songs from years past (with a focus on the '80s decade). "Come aboard, we're expecting you."

This time we will cover the theme song for Fraggle Rock titled "Down at Fraggle Rock". "Dance your cares away, worry's for another day. Let the music play, Down at Fraggle Rock." Fraggle Rock debuted in January of 1983 and ran for five seasons and 96 episodes on HBO. It was another creation of the great Jim Henson who had famously previously created The Muppets. The series mainly follows the adventures of five Fraggles (Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober and Red) and how they interact with each other as well as with the Doozers and Gorgs. There was definitely a moral behind each episode along with some fun songs and entertainment.

By airing the show on HBO, Fraggle Rock became a little more special. It was actually the first original program created specifically for HBO. I don't know about you, but I didn't grow up with a lot of friends who had HBO. We all enjoyed a free preview weekend here or there, but getting to watch HBO was definitely somewhat of a treat especially earlier in the decade. Thus getting to watch Fraggle Rock was somewhat of a treat as well. I remember when we first starting getting HBO that watching Fraggle Rock was one of things I was most excited about. The show's theme song has been firmly embedded within my brain ever since.

"Down at Fraggle Rock" was written by Dennis Lee and Philip Balsam who also usually wrote two or three other original songs for each episode. Lee was a Canadian poet who wrote the lyrics and Balsam composed the music. Together they wrote 190 songs for the show, but the one most people remember best is the theme song. The song just puts a smile on my face all the way to the end when Boober ends it with “down at Fraggle Rock”. I didn't realize that five different endings were actually recorded, one with each of the main Fraggles delivering the final line, with the intention that the openings would rotate between episodes. I only remember Boober's ending which I feel puts a perfect punctuation mark on one of the best TV theme songs of the decade. Here are the opening credits for Fraggle Rock featuring "Down at Fraggle Rock"...

That theme song and several of the other songs were included on the 1984 album Jim Henson's Muppets present Fraggle Rock. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award which it won jointly with Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends. "Dance your cares away, worry's for another day. Let the music play, down at Fraggle Rock. Down at Fraggle Rock. Down at Fraggle Rock." Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!


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