The Memory Project
Off the top of my head, natural (Johnny Ketchum)

TMP: Theme Songs
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Long before Tracey Ullman told Calista Flockhart that everyone has a theme song, I had contemplated mine. I was 13, on a cross-country trip with my mother, and she had just bought me a wonderfully up-to-the-minute dress (to my Baltimore eyes) at Blum’s in San Francisco. I felt like the star of my own sitcom and, no, I won’t tell you the song that played in my head as I walked down the streets of San Francisco. It’s way too embarrassing.

Over the years, I’ve tried on other theme songs, mostly by Stephen Sondheim. There was the title song from ANYONE CAN WHISTLE. (Lyrics here: It was a pretty literal one, as I can’t whistle. Then again, I can’t read Greek, either. Then there was “Everybody Says Don’t,” from the same musical. ( And, finally, “Finishing the Hat,” from SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. ( Scroll way down.) And when I write, there's often a song or two that seems vital to the book-in-progress. "Barrytown," for example, for EVERY SECRET THING.

But over the weekend, I was introduced to a new potential theme song: “I Quit” or “I Quit VSOP.” ( I can’t find the lyrics online, which is probably for the best, although I'll put the opening line on the comments page. Don't click through unless you're over 17 or have your mom's permission. Except for Dave White, who still should check with someone older and more mature. I don't want to be responsible for an ugly incident in a New Jersey school.

Granted, I don’t actually have a job anymore, but if I did, I’d probably be humming this song in my head all day long. Meanwhile, this is a good link about the album itself:

So what’s your theme song? C’mon, hum a few bars. You sang it for her and you can sing it for me, to paraphrase a famous line.

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