Thursday, December 06, 2007

TV Themes... this time with lyrics.

Today's rather cumbersomely titled theme is:

Covers of TV Theme Songs Known Primarily as Instrumentals
(With Lyrics That You May or May Not Know)

Today I'm trying out a new file hosting site: While downloading folk covers from Cover Lay Down, I've noticed that the download speeds are generally phenomenal and interface less cluttered than most sites.

The impetus for this post pre-dates this blog to around 2001 when the first Tenacious D album came out and a friend introduced me to a live mp3 of the D entitled "Star Trek Lyrics". Jack Black tells the crowd "most you have not heard the lyrics to this... by Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the show" before launching into an acoustic, oddly sincere rendition of the Star Trek theme. I've never actually seen the original show and have maybe only seen a couple episodes of Deep Space Nine, but the original 60's Star Trek theme is just one of those things that permeates pop culture consciousness whether you actively seek it out or not. Considering the comedic nature of Tenacious D, not to mention the ridiculous lyrics, I just assumed they made them up. Cut to maybe 2 years ago, I heard the Project: Pimento cover of the theme. It starts off as expected, except in lounge music fashion, using a theremin to play the distinctive Star Trek melody. And then a female voice joins in singing the exact same lyrics. Clearly Project: Pimento was not covering Tenacious D. Further investigation revealed that in a particularly sneaky move, Gene Roddenberry wrote lyrics to the music written by Alexander Courage in order to lay claim to half the royalties of the song, despite the fact that the lyrics were never intended to be used. Tsk, tsk. And to think we launched his ashes into space.

Beyond the rim of the starlight,
My love is wandering in star flight.
I know he’ll find in star clustered reaches
Love, strange love a star woman teaches.

I know his journey ends never.
His Star Trek will go on forever.
But tell him while he wanders his starry sea,
Remember, Remember me.

Tenacious D - Star Trek Lyrics [originally by Alexander Courage & Gene Roddenberry]
I still can't believe these are the actual lyrics.

Project: Pimento - Star Trek [originally by Alexander Courage & Gene Roddenberry]
Project: Pimento is a San Francisco-based "theremin lounge band". They also do some pretty awesome Bond theme covers, which just so happen to be available on their official site as samples.

Nichelle Nichols - Star Trek [originally by Alexander Courage & Gene Roddenberry]
In the 1970's, Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura on Star Trek and is currently on Heroes as a character no doubt destined to play a larger role when the show continues post-strike, recorded a disco version of the theme with new lyrics of peace and love. The original lyrics were just about strange love taught by star women.

This post was getting a wee bit long so I've split it up into 4 parts. So tune in tomorrow (or maybe even in a few hours!) for part 2 where we stop by the Princeton-Plainsboro hospital for a check up...

1 comment:

Robert Marion said...

You've never seen Star Trek? That's just weird.