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TV Theme Songs: Mama's Family

"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 Mama's Family. The series debuted in January of 1983 on NBC where it ran for two seasons before being cancelled. NBC broadcast reruns for another year which performed well enough in ratings that the show returned in first-run syndication in 1986 for another four seasons, eventually becoming the highest-rated sitcom in first-run syndication. Mama's Family in total ran for six seasons and 130 episodes starring Vicki Lawrence as the title character. This is a character which originated on The Carol Burnett Show in sketches from 1967-1978 and was also featured in the 1980 made-for-television movie Eunice.

The show's theme song is "Bless My Happy Home" which the show's producers chose to use as an instrumental composed by Peter Matz. Matz is composer/conductor who won three Emmys and a Grammy Award and is best known for his work on Barbra Streisand's early albums as well as for his work as the orchestral conductor and musical director for The Carol Burnett Show.

Here is the opening for season 1 of Mama's Family featuring the theme song "Bless My Happy Home"...

Many people don't know that Vicki Lawrence had actually written lyrics to "Bless My Happy Home", but they chose not to use them and kept the song instrumental for the Mama's Family opening. As part of her Vicki and Mama: A Two Woman Show stand-up comedy routine Lawrence has hosted as herself and Mama since 2001, Lawrence routinely performs the song in its original form with the lyrics. Here is the first verse of the lyrics:

"We'll I've been all around the world,

And I've seen most everything.

Rich oil tycoons, big movie stars,

Sable boots and limousines.

Well, east is east and west is west,

But back home is where I like it best.

For tender loving care you can't get anywhere,

I say bless my happy home."

Here you can watch Vicki Lawrence perform "Bless My Happy Home" with all of the lyrics...

I think they should have kept the lyrics with Mama singing for the show, but it works fine without them as well.

Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!


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