Growing up in Australia in the 90s meant a few things – 20 cent Zooper Doopers at the tuckshop, an enviable collection of Tazos, a penchant for bike shorts and some classic kids’ TV shows.
And with those shows came their iconic theme songs, you know, the ones that instantly transport you back to your denim dungaree wearing days.
The ones that acted as entertainers, teachers and every once in a while our temporary minders – just when mum needed a breather.
The ones that will have you singing along after one bar, even if it’s been decades since you last heard it.
The ones that imparted some excellent life lessons and some even better catch phrases.
Let’s revisit some of the best.
1. Round the Twist.
Have you ever… ever felt like this…
I would argue that if you grew up in Australia in the 90s and you can’t finish that sentence then we might have to look at getting your citizenship revoked. Round the Twist – based on the hugely popular books by Paul Jennings – was easily the strangest show on television back in the day with storylines involving real life cabbage patch kids, pregnant teenage boys and whirling derfish (I’ll let you look that one up).
In fact, we’re pretty sure it wouldn’t be allowed on our screens today but that didn’t stop that family living in the llighthouse from teaching us some very good lessons about imagination.
2. The Simpsons.
We didn’t need a clock in our household; you always knew it was 6pm on a weeknight when you’d hear that familiar tune. Despite mostly parodying American culture, the animated sitcom was a staple in many Aussie’s homes with its hilarious takes on the human condition. And with something a little different each time, it had an opening sequence you didn’t want to miss.
I distinctly remember my dad laughing at parts I found very unfunny which, upon later reflection, I realised were more of the “adult” variety of jokes. But for us kids it was about the catchphrases, the slapstick and ultimately it showed us the importance of family.
3. Banana in Pyjamas.
Bananas in Pyjamas are coming down the stairs…
Just the opening line is enough to give you flash backs to Cuddletown – home to B1, B2, Amy, Lulu, Morgan, Rat in a Hat and those infamous stairs. Bananas in Pyjamas was a family favourite at our place, so much so that my brother went as Morgan to “book” parade for three years running and we had yellow jelly or munchy honeycakes at most of our birthday parties.
I said hey, HEY it’s a wonderful kind of day.
If we can learn to work and play, and get along with each other.
It is scientifically* and indisputably* proven that you cannot feel sad while listening to this theme song, hence why I am currently setting it as my morning alarm tone. Although us Aussies weren’t quite sure what an aardvark was (for the record I thought Arthur and his family were mice) it didn’t stop us getting into this beloved kids’ show. The catchy tune and the various plot lines taught us about friendship and how to get along with people from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
*Sweeping generalisations based on anecdotal evidence.
5. The Smurfs.
If you’re like me, and have at any point in your life played the role of an annoying older sibling then you will no doubt have had The Smurfs theme song in your repertoire. The little Smurf vocabulary – “Smurf you later” “see you in just a few Smurfs” – also got a good run back in the day, much to the despair of my poor parents.
What theme song defines your childhood?
TV that entertains pre-schoolers and encourages learning through play, from the world’s most trusted broadcaster, the BBC.