I, as you know, was brought up by two loving parents and a loving television and so a lot of my memories being an audio kinda guy is about them tunes to programmes. I don’t watch soap operas any more, but I used to many years ago. I confess to being one of those heavily into the Aussie soaps and the theme tunes to many of them are very dear to my heart … alright, they’re memorable, but not that memorable. I was writing this on being a good neighbour, which of course reminded me of this particular theme tune. Now as I was thinking about it, it became ever more apparent to me that the Aussies really had a good thing with their theme tunes. To an extent it’s rather tragic that such decent lyrics were wasted on a theme tune to a soap. Still, whatever floats their boat.
I couldn’t stop there, though I had to go looking for the others and in reverse order of me favourite tunes the one about Sons and Daughters was perhaps one of the first ones that grabbed my attention and kept me rapt in its almost narrative outline of how love can be strange and how it comes from nowhere and can change your life. Then of course it completely messes it up with all that palaver of the last line in the lyrics of the chorus. I still have no idea what on earth they mean by ‘what we do our once about’. A prize to the person who can figure out where on earth they were coming from. Such a pity. Really neat tune, but then it just flops itself in a nonsense of a last lyric. Nice duet, which of course the Aussie soaps mastered as we shall see shortly.
It’s not just the lyrical theme tunes that have my attention. I wasn’t a big fan of the A Country Practice. I wasn’t a fan at all, big, small, thin or fat, I thought the programme was boring. Yet there is an endearing quality to the theme tune. It takes that pleading, soaring sentiment of some of those American soap operas (yes I’m talking to you Falcon Crest) and grounds it in a manner fitting the title of the soap. It’s earthed, it’s country-esque, but it’s aspirations are there for all to hear. Or maybe I just get too hung up on theme tunes. It’s a beauty, though, and it would take something very special to beat this as the best of the bunch.
And so it is that we come to arguably the best theme song of all time. Yeah, seriously, I rate it that highly. I cannot think of a theme tune to a programme that had it all in this kind of way. OK, don’t get me wrong, the theme to the Incredible Hulk never fails to bring me to tears at least inside, and it is a doozy of a theme and would be a rightful challenger. This one though has lyrics. It shows how those Aussies really are tops when it comes to duets for theme songs. Now as with a lot of theme songs there has been a desire to update it and I’m not really into all that. It’s like getting a new pair of slippers having worn out the ones you brought years ago that you’d worn on so many memorable occasions and were the epitome of home to you. Any pretender to the slipper throne will always be lacking especially if they’re trying to replicate the old faithful.
So it is with the theme to Home and Away. I remember hearing the whole thing at the end of one episode and literally swooning at the ‘you know we belong together’. Great stuff. Unlike Sons and Daughters it doesn’t fall apart lyrically. Funnily enough since I grew in life with my beloved wife, I’ve had no inkling whatsoever to relate this song to my romantic sentimental feelings for her. I’ve had no desire for that at all. I wonder why that is? Perhaps it’s because in getting rid of soaps from my system and watching habits, I’ve virtually wiped out any relation the lyrical content of the song could possibly have to the rest of my life. I’ll use it now though! See if it will be pleasing to her. Got to pitch it right, though. Wait for the right mood and then … hold on I’m letting out the secrets of my love life!! Moving swiftly on.
So there’s me brief survey of the great theme tunes that the Australians have blessed the planet with. Sure the soaps themselves were all levels of mediocre. (OK Neighbours was good at one point, brief though that point was and maybe Home and Away had a golden era for about an episode or two, but overall they all sucked to a great extent unless you got yourself plugged into the whole shabungle in which case … errr … sorry for blaspheming that which is more than life to you.) For all that though the theme tunes were ace.