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Expository Theme Tune / Film

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  • Ghostbusters
    When there's something strange
    In your neighborhood
    Who you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!
    When there's something weird
    And it don't look good
    Who you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!
  • In general, Expository Theme Tunes for movies were common in the 1950s, rare nowadays. A staple of classic Westerns:
    • The Guns of Navarone and Gun Fight at OK Corral, both composed by Dimitri Tiomkin.
    • The theme from High Noon by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington lays out the hero's motivation and objectives while appealing to his wife to stay with him in spite of what he's about to face. Despite the line "look at that big hand move along nearin' high noon," it's more expository than a Title Theme Tune. Both the High Noon theme and 3:10 to Yuma (1957) were sung by Frankie Laine (who also sang the title-song for "Gun Fight at OK Corral").
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    • And since High Noon was a major source of parody for Blazing Saddles, Mel Brooks got Frankie Laine to sing his theme song too!
  • Blazing Saddles not only has the aforementioned tune at the opening credits, but the first scene with the townsfolk of Rock Ridge begins with a song describing how peaceful the town was until the bandits invaded. It ends with this verse (revealing that the song was sung in a church by the congregation):
    Now is a time of great decision,
    Are we to stay or up and quit?
    There's no avoiding this conclusion,
    our town is turning into shit.
  • The movie High Society features an opening song explaining the premise sung by Louis Armstrong.
  • Night Watch: The original Russian movie adaptation had an expository theme tune during the credits, summarizing the entire movie in a humorous pseudo-rap. The international version omits it.
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  • The song at the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End gives the back story in a symbolic form. This provides replay value: you already have to know things revealed later in the movie to have a chance of getting it.
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! is a borderline example. The theme tune doesn't so much exposit as continue the joke. Return of the Killer Tomatoes is a more clear-cut example, stating outright that this is a sequel. "The theme song still remains the same/the plot itself has hardly changed..."
  • In BASEketball, Trey Parker's character turns on the radio and listens to a song that describes his situation in absurd detail.
    • "Look out ahead, there's a truck changing lanes/You've got some yellow crumbs on your upper lip..."
  • "Here come the Men in Black": Will Smith made rap songs for both MIB and MIBII. They're identical in concept to ETTs, except played over the closing credits.
  • The theme song of Maniac Cop 2 is an Expository Theme Rap Song, explaining the premise of the series.
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  • ¡Three Amigos!
    One for each other and all for one
    the Three brave Amigos are we
    Brother to Brother and everyone
    A brave amigo
    wherever they need us, our destinies lead us
    amigos we're always together
    wherever we go we're three brave amigos
    and we'll be amigos forever
    we are the Three Amigos
    we are the Three A-migos
    we are the Three Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    And Amigos forever we'll be!
  • Flash Gordon:
    "dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum
    Saviour of the universe!
    dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum
    He's a miracle!
    dum dum dum dum dum dum
    FLASH! — AAAA!
    King of the impossible!
    He'll save every one of us
    Stand for every one of us
    He'll save with a mighty hand
    Every man, every woman, every child
    With a mighty flash!
  • Spaceballs had a catchy one (doubling as a Villain Song), but being a comedy, it was placed near the end of the movie (too late to do any real exposition), and as the titular villains were scrambling to evacuate their ship.
    If you're living in a bubble and you haven't got a care
    Well, you gonna be in trouble, 'cause we're gonna steal your air!
    'Cause what you got is what we need
    And all we do is dirty deeds
    We're the Spaceballs!
    Watch out, we're the Spaceballs!
    We're the masters of space
    Hey, don't mess around with the Spaceballs
  • Yor's from Yor: The Hunter from the Future.
  • Tom Lehrer felt this was what Oedipus Rex was missing, so he wrote one, and included it on his album An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer.
  • Parodied by Weird Al, in Spy Hard both the opening and ending songs. "The name of this movie's Spy Hard" ... "You've just watched Spy Hard."
  • "Song of the Lonely Mountain", from The Hobbit is a rather unorthodox case of this trope, because it's quite melancholic and slow paced... And yet, it is so daunting and inspiring that it would work perfectly as Theme Music Power-Up!
    Some folk we never forget
    Some kind we never forgive
    Haven't seen the back of us yet
    We'll fight as long as we live
    All eyes on the hidden door
    To the Lonely Mountain borne
    We'll ride in the gathering storm
    Until we get our long-forgotten gold
    Far over the misty mountains cold
    To dungeons deep and caverns old
    We must away ere break of day
    To seek the pale enchanted gold.
    The dwarves of yore made mightly spells,
    While hammers fell like ringing bells
    In places deep, where dark things sleep,
    In hollow halls beneath the fells.
    For ancient king and elvish lord
    There many a gleaming golden hoard
    They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
    To hide in gems on hilt of sword.
    On silver necklaces they strung
    The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
    The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
    They meshed the light of moon and sun.
    Far over the misty mountains cold
    To dungeons deep and caverns old
    We must away, ere break of day,
    To claim our long-forgotten gold.
    Goblets they carved there for themselves
    And harps of gold; where no man delves
    There lay they long, and many a song
    Was sung unheard by men or elves.
    The pines were roaring on the height,
    The winds were moaning in the night,
    The fire was red, it flaming spread;
    The trees like torches blazed with light.
    The bells were ringing in the dale
    And men looked up with faces pale;
    The dragon's ire more fierce than fire
    Laid low their towers and houses frail.
    The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
    The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
    They fled their hall to dying fall
    Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.
    Far over the misty mountains grim
    To dungeons deep and caverns dim
    We must away, ere break of day,
    To win our harps and gold from him!
    Far over the misty mountains cold
    To dungeons deep and caverns old
    We must away, ere break of day,
    To find our long-forgotten gold.\\
  • "The Bells of Notre Dame" from the Disney adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is sung in the context of Clopin telling the story as a puppet show for the kids of Paris. It is not only reprised in the ending, but also introduces several leitmotifs for the film's soundtrack, most notably the wordless choral Notre Dame motif that becomes the basis for "Heaven's Light/Hellfire" (the latter giving it the With Lyrics treatment).
  • "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"'s first verse and chorus are about someone suddenly, quickly falling in love and coming to the realization that it's the best thing that's ever happened to them, which is the title character's situation. The second verse, which in the film proper doesn't turn up until the end credits, is specifically about that character, a Lonely Rich Kid Manchild:
    Arthur, he does as he pleases
    All of his life, his master's toys
    And deep in his heart he's just, he's just a boy
    Living his life one day at a time
    He's showing himself a really good time
    He's laughing about the way they want him to be


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