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God bless America. The greatest gift to be bestowed upon the human race has finally arrived. An in studio version of Chance the Rapper’s Wonderful Everyday, the song that samples the Arthur theme song. It was already so freaking exciting when video finally came out of him performing it at Sasquatch Music Festival this year but this is just way better. Plus, he enlisted Wyclef Jean, Francis & The Lights and Jesse Ware to all join in.
Wonderful Everyday is a very pretty song itself but that little hint of recognition and nostalgia makes it that much more shareable. The Arthur theme has always been a good jam, but it takes a really good musician to see the potential in the song to be truly beautiful.
This got us curious about who else has decided to take a youth TV theme song and make it their own. I have to say, this is a woeful unexploited genre of music, especially with the surge of 90’s nostalgia. Wouldn’t you love to see Lana Del Ray cover the Wishbone theme? Or Haim sample the Sabrina the Teenage Witch theme? Check out what we found.
Sonic Youth – The Simpsons Theme:
The Simpsons theme is just one of those songs that people of a certain age can recognise within the first three notes, if not the very first. I like this cover because it takes the song and turns it into a bizzaro version of itself and adds a bit of the Sonic Youth grit. This version played over the end credits of season 7’s Homerpalooza. You know, the one where Homer tours around with a music festival as the guy who can take cannonballs shot at his stomach. Sonic Youth also guest starred as themselves in this episode. This version of the theme is one of Matt Groening’s favourites.
Alicia Keys – Gummi Bears theme on Fallon:
Ahh how I love this cover. Mostly because it takes the audience a while to realise this isn’t just a regular ALicia Keys song. I mean, if it wasn’t given away in the title of the video when I first watched it, I don’t know if I would have clued in right away either. That really is the genius of this cover. I like to imagine Alicia sings this song to her beautiful little angel child Egypt when he goes to bed. I’m all for a full album of Alicia Keys Saturday morning cartoon covers. Who’s with me?
Mates of State – California (The O.C. theme):
California was originally performed by one of my favourite bands from high school, Phantom Planet. Following up on 5 hugely successful soundtracks, the The O.C. team released The O.C. Mix 6: Covering Our Tracks, featuring covers of some of the most popular songs that appeared on the show. The adorable husband and wife duo Mates of Statue took on the theme and made it a bit more melancholy. The cover version opened a special episode where everything in the show took place in alternate universe. Also, you may remember, California was also sampled in k-os’ I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman.
One Direction – Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme:
Harry Styles, the youngest member of One Direction was alive for 2 years that The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was on TV. But in the world of reruns that doesn’t mean he can’t love the show. The guys have performed the song live before but this version is the best. With Louie pounding on a sound effect buzzer and the rest of the crew pitching in with beatboxing and raps, this is a pretty solid cover. I’m sure at least one of the guys has rolled with the Smith kids at some point so maybe Will will see it one day.
But, lastly, can we suggest that Chance also sample Crazy Bus? There is a whole plot line on Arthur about how that song is unbearably catchy. Get on it!