This I Believe

Lauren - Lafayette, California
Entered on December 6, 2006

Let’s Hear it for the Theme Song

One day a little while back, I sat at my computer, panicking. I was struggling with an essay that I had to write. I was completely taken aback by the assignment—no one had ever asked or even cared about what I believed in before, and now I was supposed to write an essay about it! I had no idea where to begin. I relaxed and figured out that I believed in too many things—singing, laughter, and trees, to name a few. That was my problem. While sifting through my mind, I discovered one prominent and wonderful belief: music. I have built my life around music and so has everyone on earth, for the earth is made up of songs. I soon realized that music was a broad topic, and so I decided that I would focus on one obviously important aspect of music. I am speaking, of course, about the theme song.

When I was young, I began teaching myself how to play the piano. The first song I plunked out was “Do, a Deer” from The Sound of Music, because it was very easy for a seven-year-old to play. The second song? “Mission: Impossible.” I had never seen any of the Mission: Impossible movies at that age, but I knew that the song was universally recognized as the “spy song,” or else the “pretend to be a secret agent while actually just sneaking cookies” song. If my life were measured in songs instead of years, the “Mission: Impossible” theme song would be a milestone as one of the

few songs without words that I knew—and still know—every note of. The Olympics theme is another one from my childhood. My memory of this song is from the summer Olympics, years ago. I had never watched them before, so the sight of those colorful, interlocking rings and the dignified sound of the trumpets impressed me as something noble. I would hum the song regularly for several months after the games ended.

I understand that these three theme songs may have little or no importance to others. However, there is always a theme song that someone can relate to. If it isn’t Phantom Planet’s “California” from “The O.C.,” what is it?

It is the wind blowing through the trees outside my window, bringing the smell of the fresh rain; the rushing of the creek behind my house, carrying me back to a memory full of laughter; the rev of the engine and the screech of tires on the road after curfew; the theme song to a precious memory of a beautiful boy.

I finally decided that these theme songs, Earth’s songs, are the most important to me, much more important than any orchestra or choir composition ever could be. I believe that this planet composes and plays its own theme songs for everyone to hear; it is up to the planet’s inhabitants to remember the songs and to hum them once in awhile.