Ten iPod-worthy original TV theme songs

TV theme songs have gotten a little more hip in recent years -- from Cake lending "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" to Chuck to Lazlo Bane doing "I'm no Superman" for Scrubs, to any of the seasonal iterations of Tom Waits' "Way Down in the Hole" on The Wire.

But there was a time -- it still happens today, but to a much lesser extent -- when songs weren't borrowed from popular playlists, but written specifically for a television series. They were designed to make you identify them with their respective shows -- but they're also songs that deserve a listen once in a while by themselves.

(Fair warning: "Suicide is Painless" was written for the movie version of M.A.S.H., not the TV show, which sadly disqualifies it here. Also, the Rembrandts' "I'll Be There for You" is not on this list, even though it was written for Friends, and a huge hit besides. It was a decent song, but then the show lasted for 137 years and you want to kill yourself when you hear it.)

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen