Can You Name the '60s TV Show From the Lyrics to Its Theme Song?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Dave and Les Jacobs/Blend Images/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The 1960s were a time of cultural upheaval around the world, and particularly in America. When you look back on the television programs that were popular at the time … that fractured identity is evident. From conservative family episodes like “The Andy Griffith Show” to edgy, politically-relevant “Star Trek” storylines, there was a bit of something for everyone. The theme songs for these fascinating shows have wormed their way into our collective consciousness. In this quiz, if we give the lyrics for part of a song, do you think you can match it to the correct show?

Many of the theme songs are way too obvious, because they name characters, places, and events … and often, even the title of the program. But we’re going to make it harder by omitting lines that include most of the giveaway clues. Instead, you’ll have to take a few snippets, try to recall the melody … and then you’ll most likely know whether we’re referring to “I Love Lucy” or “I Dream of Jeannie.”

We’ll give you a breather by including TV shows from other decades in the list of possible answers. That’ll help you eliminate some options right off the bat. But we’re still betting you can’t name all of these popular ‘60s theme songs!

Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale / A tale of a fateful trip / That started from this tropic port / Aboard this tiny ship”?

The "Gilligan’s Island" theme song essentially explained the entire backstory of this popular TV show. And it somehow managed to name all of the characters and their motivations, too.


"Their house is a museum / When people come to see 'em / They really are a scream”?

It’s one of the catchiest theme songs in the history of TV — "The Addams Family" tune. The jangly, bouncy song is an appropriately odd way to start the show.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Come and listen to my story about a man named Jed / A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed / And then one day he was shootin’ at some food / And up through the ground come a bubblin’ crude”?

Some theme songs literally give away plot points with their lyrics. "The Beverly Hillbillies" is a show all about backcountry folks who strike it rich and move to a wealthy California neighborhood.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood / A beautiful day for a neighbor / Would you be mine? / Could you be mine”?

Fred Rogers was a pastor who decried the dumbing down of children's TV programming. So he created "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" and became an icon of kindness, compassion, and blue-sweatered creepiness.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "New York is where I'd rather stay / I get allergic smelling hay / I just adore a penthouse view / Darling I love you but give me Park Avenue”?

Ah, the classic existential crisis of Americans ... to live in the city or the country. That mental anguish was summed up in the "Green Acres" theme song.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "We're just trying to be friendly / Come watch us sing and play / We're the young generation / And we got something to say”?

OK, so only one of these famous bands had a TV show. So you’ve had no problem at all guessing the correct answer: "The Monkees."


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "There's a little hotel called the Shady Rest at the junction”?

You’ll find the Shady Rest Hotel at "Petticoat Junction." But let’s be honest ... it’s really a motel.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Here's the story / Of a lovely lady / Who was bringing up three very lovely girls”?

"The Brady Bunch" debuted in 1969 and lasted until 1974. But its legacy — and theme song — are permanently intertwined into American culture.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na”?

"Batman" didn’t need any real lyrics for his theme song because he’s Batman.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "They're the modern stone age family / From the town of Bedrock / They're a page right out of history”?

“The Flintstones" were the first cartoon to air in primetime, made for adults as much as kids. And you’ll have a "yabba dabba" good time watching it!


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "There's a holdup in the Bronx, / Brooklyn's broken out in fights / There's a traffic jam in Harlem / That's backed up to Jackson Heights”?

Fred Gwynne and Joe Ross were both famous for their roles in "Car 54, Where Are You?" Together, they patrolled the streets of the Bronx.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "She's tinsel on a tree / She's everything that every girl should be”?

Starting in the mid-'60s, Marlo Thomas was "That Girl," an aspiring actress on the East Coast. Mostly, however, she just worked silly temp jobs and got into amusing situations.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Cut 'em out, ride 'em in / Ride 'em in, let 'em out / Cut 'em out, ride 'em in”?

Like "Batman," "Rawhide" had an epic line that repeated the show’s title. And that’s why you’ll forever associate rawhide with a ‘60s TV show.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Come on, take down your fishin' pole and meet me at The Fishin' Hole / I can't think of a better way to pass the time o' day”?

The opening song for "The Andy Griffith Show" is an idyllic take on life, just like the show itself. It offers a dreamy look at innocence in small-town life.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Meet George Jetson / His Boy Elroy / Daughter Judy / Jane his wife”?

It might be one of the most stripped-down theme songs of all time. But it still works — because you still remember "The Jetsons."


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "That's why I'm glad we had this time together / 'Cause it makes me feel like I'm along / Seems we just get started and before you know it / Comes the time we have to say, so long”?

Unlike most theme songs, which preceded the program, the tune for "The Carol Burnett" show played during the closing credits. And that somehow made it even more memorable.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "You might wonder why I have a dragon for a pet / Well he's just there to keep me company on the set”?

Many TV theme songs aired originally without words, and "The Munsters" was one such show. But later, the composer added an entire song’s worth of lyrics.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Before I knew what I was doing / I looked in your eyes / That brand of woo you've been brewin' / Took me by surprise”?

Can humans and witches really get along? That was the premise of "Bewitched," and the answer seemed to be, well, yes, they can.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Everyone loves the king of the sea / Ever so kind and gentle is he / Tricks he will do when children appear / And how they laugh when he's near”?

He wasn’t just a dolphin — he was a full-blown action hero. Just like Lassie, "Flipper" kept kids out of trouble, even when they went out of their way to try to drown themselves.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Well you all may think my story, is more fiction than it's fact / But believe it or not my mother dear decided she'd come back”?

What happens when your mom dies and is reincarnated as an automobile? There’s only one way to find out — watch "My Mother, The Car."


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "The end of the Civil War was near / When quite accidentally / A hero who sneezed abruptly seized / Retreat and reversed it to victory”?

As Westerns exploded in popularity, "F Troop" hit the small screens thanks to ABC. It was a silly take on the conflicts between Old West soldiers and Indians.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Paladin, Paladin / Where do you roam / Paladin, Paladin / Far, far from home”?

In "Have Gun, Will Travel," we follow the adventures of Paladin. But he’s no knight — he’s a dusty cowboy out to keep order in the Old West.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "You can rest you head on my shoulder / Out by the dawn's early light, my love / I will defend your right to try”?

Starting in 1969, ABC aired "Love, American Style." Each show had a different cast, but all of the storylines revolved around funny romance plots.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "If you're in doubt about angels being real / I can arrange to change any doubts you feel”?

"Gidget" was yet another idealized version of a teenage life on the beach. But did you know that the show was inspired by a 1957 novel titled, "Gidget: The Little Girl With The Big Ideas"?


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Are the ghostly horsemen riding, as they speed the eastern mail? / It's up to you see them through the old trail"?

No, the TV version of "Gunsmoke" didn’t have lyrics. But an obscure version actually did feature words, so if you manage to guess this one, you’re a true cowboy indeed.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "She smiles, Presto the rain goes / She blinks, up come the rainbows / Cars stop, even the train goes slow”?

“I Dream of Jeannie" featured a modern-day genie as its heroine. All she had to do was fold her arms and nod her head, and her incredible powers quickly became evident.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "You pull the roses / We punch the noses / That's what we're heroes for”?

The TV show version didn’t have lyrics, but words were indeed added in a special album. Pat yourself on the back if you guessed "Hogan’s Heroes."


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "Will they manage to survive / Watch each week and see / Will they get accustomed to the Twentieth Century”?

When two astronauts accidentally travel back in time, they have all sorts of wacky adventures. That was the premise of the 26 episodes of "It’s About Time."


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "A smile is just a frown that's turned upside down / So smile, and that frown will defrost”?

If you guessed this one, you’re a true pop culture champ. "The Dick Van Dyke Show" used this song, which definitely had lyrics, but the TV version was instrumental-only.


Which ‘60s TV show theme song goes, "A horse is a horse, of course, of course / And no one can talk to a horse of course”?

It’s one of the goofier theme songs in TV lore, all about a talking horse named "Mr. Ed." And once you’ve heard this catchy tune you will never, ever get it out of your head.


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