Here are some vintage TV shows, whose original themes should be well known to those of a similar vintage to myself (hem hem), but in the interests of upping their Euro-appeal, they've all been given an extra touch of musical je ne sais quoi. (Although it might be better termed, in the words of Kylie, je ne sais pas pourquoi.)
- The Brady Bunch: German version
A textbook example of the most straightforward kind of Euro-filking. The original series had a scene-setting song, so let's take that tune and write some new lyrics that say pretty much the same thing as the English version. Nichts to complain about here, apart from the fact that you may now have the tune stuck in your head (sorry).
Sample lyrics: "Something's going on, something's going on, at the Brady house something is going on." We can only hope it's not incest or country dancing.
- The Dukes of Hazzard: French version
Once again, the tune of the original version is still in place, but the French song, "T'as les blues en toi" (You Have the Blues In You), has opted for lyrics of a more vague and impressionistic hue. Fair enough, I suppose, since the concept of "good ole boys" is probably a bit hard to translate snappily.
Sample lyrics: "The country life is the one I have chosen / I can take away your fog with a single guitar chord". Can you really? *twang* No, my fog is still there, please try again.
- The Dukes of Hazzard: Italian version
Since the French came up with a song to fit the original Dukes theme tune, you might think that the Italians could manage it as well. But no, they have gone for a rather leftfield approach by sticking on a totally different song, in the form of "La Ballata di Bo e Duke" (The Ballad of Bo and Duke). Despite the twangy guitar riffs, this has a surprisingly funky bassline which gives a sort of sleazy disco feel to the whole endeavour. This is kind of wrong, but at the same time, kind of right.
Sample lyrics: "The city doesn't sleep with Bo and Duke, Bo and Duke." Who does sleep with them, then? (On second thoughts, they're rednecks, so I probably don't want to know.)
- Dallas: French version
If you cast your mind back to the original Dallas theme tune, you may recall that the only lyrics were "da daaaah, da DAAAAHH, da-daah da-da dah dah". Clearly the French felt that this did not do an adequate job of getting across the concept of the show, so they pulled out a strident little tune in which the word "Dallas" is repeated a ridiculous number of times, while the rest of the lyrics mention dollars, oil and death. Plus, before the tune, there's also a dubbed clip of the show with bonus Swedish subtitles for added WTF value. J.R. sounds so sophisticated in French n'est-ce pas?
Sample lyrics: "Dallas, your merciless world glorifies the law of survival." Hmmm, I think you're making it sound more philosophically complex than it actually was.
- Dallas: Italian version
Have you made a mistake, Italy? Did you mean to put this tune on The Dukes of Hazzard, but then get the tapes mixed up? This delirious tra-la-la effort reminds me of the Teletubbies at a square dance in Benidorm. And no, that's not a good thing.
Sample lyrics: "Isn't it big, isn't America big?" Well, there's no answer to that.
- Fraggle Rock: Zachary Quinto version
Do I actually need an excuse to post this? I think you'll find I don't. Which is good, because I haven't got one...