Name that tune: tinkly incidental music from sitcom

Hi gang. All righty, I have a little tune that’s running through my head (actually my sister got me started on it, and now I can’t get rid of it).

All we know is that it’s been used in a sitcom, probably one in heavy rerun syndication in the 1970s (but originally shown in the '60s, most likely). Something involving kids, like My Three Sons, Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Nanny and the Professor, Family Affair, that kind of frothy stuff.

(And yes, I know these shows are dating me! I was 4 in 1970, so it could be anything from this decade.)

It’s not a main theme, but rather something incidental. To me it seems almost like it’s originally a folk tune that’s been tweaked for use as incidental music, but my sister disagrees.

Anyway, I’ve made an approximation of the melody in a midi, which is right here.

Sound familiar to anyone? What might this be from?

Isn’t that the Dick Van Dyke Show?

I was wrong. Now it’s driving me nuts too. Thanks a lot. :stuck_out_tongue:

Heh. Sorry.

Ooh, but the DVD show was a good guess, because it was something that we’d have seen enough times to remember the incidental music (i.e. the music played in between scenes or after a commercial break).

Still, the DVD music was a little jazzier, I think. This is kitschier. Orchestration-wise, I’m hearing almost a faux minuet – strings and woodwinds.

Thanks – and sorry again!

First thing I thought of was Marlo Thomas in That Girl.

It has that feminine quality to it, plus a little bit of the 60s feel to it. So, my mind went to a show that has those things in common. It was a show about a girly girl, and it was early enough in the 70s to still somewhat 60s-ish, if that makes any sense at all…

Mmm, that’s not a bad guess either. Thanks, NoClueBoy! I’m not as familiar with That Girl, and I’m not sure I’d have one of its incidental tunes stuck in my memory banks, but stranger things have happened. I’ll have to grab my sister (she’s older) and see if that strikes a chord with her. Pun not intended.

Anyone else have ideas?

Try finding it here. If nothing else, you might enjoy the trip down memory lane! :slight_smile:

Ha! That’s a fun site. I didn’t remember Nanny and the Professor having such a … Monkees/Hollies-esque theme.

I don’t think they have incidental music there, though. Still I’ll keep trying. Thanks!

I remember it from “My Three Sons,” which makes it probable that it was written by Frank DeVol

Do you really remember this?? That would be ironic, since both my sister and I turned down MTS as being unlikely. I agree it sounds Frank DeVol-esque. He was big with that corny sitcom style.

FWIW, I uploaded a version using a more pizzicato string style, which gives a better impression of what the music sounded like.

Aaaaaand here it is in a music box style.

(I’m having way too much fun with my new music notation software!)

I wouldn’t rule out “My Three Sons” so quickly. I recognized your music file immediately as what I always called "That stupid song that sounds like 'In an English Country Garden." (First there was the theme song with the opening credits & animation, then a commerical break, then the episode credits with this song)

You’re probably right! I didn’t mean to discount it, I was just thinking it funny that we’d both said “nah, too girly for a sitcom about an all-male family,” and yet here it is.

Your memories are pretty specific so I’m inclined to believe you! And because I’m still having fun with that program, here’s the melody with chords beneath it, in case it helps.

(The program’s called “Anvil,” if anyone wants to try it out.)

Thanks, Slithy Tove!

I think it is My Three Sons, I believe the music was used for the establishing shot of the house.

Yes! I think that’s right.

They also used it after a commercial break, IIRC. Sometimes they’d slow it down and schmaltz it up if, say, Robbie’s date stood him up, or Steve couldn’t get home in time for the school play.


Awesome, I think we have a consensus! I’ll need to see an episode to confirm (just watched through the only ep on Youtube, but didn’t catch it), but I bet you guys are right.

koeeoaddi, that’s perfect. I can just imagine the schmaltzing. MTS wasn’t exactly subtle. The ep I saw just now was the first one in color, and the episode where they adopt Ernie into the family. With the scruffy dog named Wilson, yet.

Which makes me wonder if this is the earliest appearance of the “our original kids have grown too old and aren’t cute anymore, so let’s have a new baby/adopt a waif/take in our cute li’l cousin” cliche, so standard in sitcoms.