Whether it’s getting ready for the big test, preparing for a job interview, or fighting for who you are, we all need encouragement sometimes. Since you’re reading Den of Geek, I’m going to guess you’re as big a fan of television as I am. I’ve always found TV theme tunes to be particularly inspiring when things look bleak. A good theme can give you a shot of motivation in about a minute and keep you going through a rough day. I’ve compiled just a small selection of inspiring theme tunes to keep your spirits up, no matter what you’re facing.
This list is by no means a ranking. These are just a few that I personally like and get me pumped. If you’ve got an inspiring theme song I missed, throw it in the comments for everyone.
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Whatever it takesI know I can make it through If I hold outI know I can make it through.
While this song about ten zillion iterations (no seriously, we did a whole article about it), I’m going with the early version simply for the gospel style singer doing backup vocals. I recite these lyrics to myself at least a few times a day. Simple yet effective.
Note that I nearly chose the Degrassi Junior High theme, but I’m limiting myself to one theme song per franchise.
We never thought we’d find a place where we belongDon’t have to stand-aloneWe’ll never let you fallDon’t need permission to decide what you believe
More theme songs need Holly Robinson going, “ooo”, I’ll tell you what. I love these lyrics because it implies the singer, and by extension the Jump Street team, will protect you no matter what you believe. We need more cops like that.
It’s okay if you fall downJust get up againIf you can do just that, you’re a hero!
Man, no one does an inspiring theme tune quite like Japanese special effects shows, do they? Sure, some of those lyrics may seem a bit childish. After all, Ultraman and other Tokusatsu shows are usually made for children, but sometimes the words we tell our kids are the words we need to be reminded of when we’re older.
Any time you meet a payment, good timesAny time you meet a friend, good timesAny time you’re out from underNot getting hassled, not getting hustledKeepin’ your head above waterMaking a wave when you can
I love the jubuliation in this song. The celebration at every little thing that goes right in a crazy world. Sometimes finding the ‘good times’ amongst the bad takes all the strength we have.
It’s hard to take a standIt’s hard to do what’s rightNo matter how scared you areYou have to stand and fight
But we don’t have to play this game all alone cause there’s a hero in us all!
Never heard of Ace Lightning? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. The biggest aspect of the show that drew me in was its theme. Just listen to it, what middle school kid wouldn’t want to imagine a whole superhero series with that as its theme tune? Yeah, I did that and it was awesome! Major shout out to the band Four Square for performing this.
I really tried to find the TV size version of the theme but there aren’t any English copies on YouTube. Just listen to the full theme anyway, you’ll thank me.
Here we are going farTo save all that we loveIf we give all we’ve gotWe can make it through
Any theme song that’s been translated into about twenty languages is a song I can get behind. You need a team or group of friends to fight off evil in this world and this songs reminds us of that.
It was the year of fireThe year of destructionThe year we took back what was ours
Okay, those aren’t technically lyrics but they strongly resonate with everything that’s been going on recently. Plus, that music. You’re heading into a war but you’re going to make it through, even with great sacrifice.
A Different World
Here’s a chance to make itIf we focus on our goalsIf you dish it we can take itJust remember you’ve been told It’s a different worldThan where you come from
At one time or another in our lives we go through big changes. Moving, a new job, a different career path, etc. Just focus on what your dreams are and you can make it.
Big and bigger, biggest dreamer!Watch me race across the sky!Hold your breath and soar with me Close your eyes and you can see it.
Flying farther, flying faster!We can reach it if we tryTomorrow’s now, so take a bowKiss your past goodbye!
I know it’s a fandub of a Japanese song but hot damn if it is not one of the best fandubs I’ve ever heard. Never give up on your dreams people, even if others stand in your way.
So no one told you life was gonna be this wayYour job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s DOAIt’s like your always stuck in second gearWhen it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month,Or even your year
I’ll be there for you.
Oh come on, this one’s a gimme. What fandom hasn’t done a mashup of their favorite show or movie with this theme? We’d all like to imagine that even our heroes can exist in our world where their biggest problems can be solved while hanging out on a couch.
Kamen Rider Hibiki
-Aggressive drum beating-
Sometimes you don’t need lyrics to get your blood pumping. This departs from conventional Tokusatsu show openings in favor of a rousing orchestral score with a heavy focus on drums. Kind of feels like you’re about to watch the most badass nature documentary ever, yeah? Perfect mood to bring you out of your funk.
The rain and thunderThe wind and hazeI’m bound for better daysIt’s my life and my dreamNothing’s going to stop me now.
What, you expected to see ANY list of TV show openings and not see Perfect Strangers? Come on now. Sometimes we just need some 80’s cheese to get us through life.
I’m the one they would break In their greed and their prideBut deep in my heart I feel love so alive In the depths of my soul I know we will survive!
This one isn’t quite as upbeat as the other so far, but it’s a bit more comforting in its lyrics. It’s not a call to arms like the Code Lyoko or Ace Lightning themes, but it’s reassuring that no matter what you’ll survive. Sometimes that’s the most inspiring thing of all.
No turning back, no backing down, nowhere to run, no solid groundNo place to hide, no one to trustNo one to help you when you’re lostThere’s only us
This song is a beacon of hope in a sea of darkness. Even against insurmountable odds, you have power to fight back.
There’s some Kryptonite And sometimes we fall But we get back up And put up a fight!
I think the official description of this song says it all. “Every superhero needs a theme song. This catchy beat will get you PUMPED to get your cape on and save the day!”
This is my chance, this is my chance!My chance to feel alive!
Perfect if you’re about to go in for an audition. Because hey, if those crazy Australian teens can survive a dance academy? You can make it through anything.
Power Rangers Dino Charge
In a world full of strife we must fight to surviveTry to break the chains that divideThere is only one chance to take the right stanceHold tight, keep our powers alive!
There have been so many incarnations of Power Rangers over the years it would seem this would be a hard choice. While I don’t consider the Dino Charge to be the BEST Power Rangers theme (Dino Thunder, what’s up!) I do think Dino Charge manages to be a bit more inspiring simply because its lyrics are a bit more generic. That way, it can apply to situations outside the plot of the show. It’s not just about fighting monsters, it’s about fighting for survival.
Xena: Warrior Princess
The powerThe passionThe dangerHer courage will change the world
Yeah, not actually lyrics again but whatever. There has never been a more heart pumping theme in the history mankind. We should all aspire to be warrior princesses.
The Proud Family
I know that I can always be myselfAround you more than anybody elseAnd everyday as I’m heading off to schoolYou know there’s no one I love as much as you.
Even if your own biological family isn’t the greatest, this song still speaks to the families we make for ourselves. There are people out there who will always have your back, even if you don’t know it yet.
My body shivers straight to the coreThe energy rings out like violent stompingIt calls me unrelentinglyThis is an unstoppable comeback story
Naruto has had a lot of great upbeat tracks in its long run but the beat here combined with these lyrics makes it the stand out. Make some noise because soon the heroes will come back!
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
-The sounds of ADVENTURE!-
They don’t play this during the Olympics for nothing. Another rousing score to keep the fire in your heart alive.
If you’re evil and you’re on the riseYou can count on the four of us taking you downCause we’re good and evil never beats usWe’ll win the fight and then go out for pizzas
Steven Universe is a show that just makes you feel good about, well, the universe. It gives you hope, it gives you representation unlike any other series, and it’ music puts a smile on your face. It’s like a warm hug, telling you everything will be okay. We all need that, especially now.
I am immortalI have inside me blood of kings I have no rivalNo man can be my equal
This is almost a cop out, since this is a classic song from Queen that was first used in the Highlander movie but damn it, it’s a TV show opening! God, no wonder this show ran for six seasons. That opening alone would make anyone want to stick around. What else can you say about it? It’s Queen singing about how powerful you are.
Keep your head up, what?Keep your head up, that’s rightWhenever this life get tough, you gotta fightWith my homegirls standing to my left and my rightTrue blue, it’s tight like glue
This is one of the most 90’s things I’ve ever heard. Which means it’s amazing. The ’90s was so filled with optimism and this song could be a good candiate for personifying that. Even with that upbeat tune, its lyrics still reminds that you’ve got to fight but it’s allright, you’ve got your friends to the left and to the right.
As I said at the top, this list is not exhaustive. If you’ve got an inspiring TV theme you think I missed, throw it in the comments. We could all use some good tunes.
He was Shamus, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle. Follow him on Twitter!