Saturday 19 December 2020

Robinson Crusoe theme and incidental music (BBC TV 1965... etc)

British people of a certain age will often have fond memories of the Robinson Crusoe TV dramatisation that seemed to be on every summer holiday forever - fuelling our imaginations about surviving and making shelters in 'the wild' (as I supposed the nearby fields and woods to be). 

And everyone loved the short theme, and diverse incidental music from this show. Even as a child, the opening and closing credits used to evoke in me a sad kind of happiness, a mixture of nostalgia and expectation - such that I would usually tear-up a bit. 

In its way, this 25 seconds of music is almost unbearable in its power to evoke emotion, and this has been enhanced by the passage of time:

The series itself was very good, although I probably never saw all the episodes - being the summer holidays, I would be out-and-about and doing things for some of the mornings it was broadcast. In particular, I never saw the end; until I later got a re-released DVD nearly fifty years after. 

A few years ago I bought a CD of all the themes and tunes that were used through the 13 part series to underline the emotional singificance of the various types of scene. These are most effective in the original perfomances, using an orchestra (the silvery sheen of muted violins often prominent!) containing various characteristically '60s' electric guitars, organs etc. 

But to get a feel for the range of music, somebody arranged a few of the themes into a delightful suite for symphony orchestra:

However, if you want to experience the full appeal of this marvellous music, it is best to watch and episode or two of an actual episode, and hear the original performance in all its live, quirky, rough-edged cheesiness. For example, this theme was released as a single:

1 comment:

Bruce B. said...

Thanks for sharing Bruce. As a little boy we lived in a part of Florida with some undeveloped beaches. I used to wander off from my family and imagine I was Robinson Crusoe or one of the boys from Swiss Family Robinson. Little boys are the same everywhere - England, Florida...