Naal ok zin los vahriinnote
Wah dein vokul mahfaeraak ahst vaal!note
Ahrk fin norok paal graannote
Fod nust hon zindro zaan,note
Dovahkiin, fah hin kogaan mu draal!"note
The opposite of Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics - an instrumental tune never intended to have lyrics is given some, often for humorous or ironic effect.
Gaining popularity on the Internet (e.g. Brentalfloss of Screwattack with Nintendo game themes, and That Guy with the Glasses doing it to 1980s cartoon themes), but the practice has been around for a while - e.g. The Two Ronnies once did it with a big-band performance of In The Mood.
This is, naturally, a Sub-Trope of To the Tune of.... May overlap (oddly enough) with Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics, if the "real" lyrics are obscure enough that the tune is an instrumental for all intents and purposes.
- The Cantonese Hong Kong dub of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind added lyrics to the ending theme. With a male chorus. It actually sounded really cool. The rearrangments and the lyrics made it a National Anthem kind of song, if you know what the chrous translates into:
With you we prospectand new paths we'll paveMay it shine, this new light and spirittogether we create the glorious and resounding!
- Spirited Away also has an image album which adds lyrics to several of the tracks from the soundtrack, most of them surprisingly depressing.
- The theme song to The End Of Evangelion, Thanatos (If I Can't Be Yours), is a musical theme from the series with lyrics. (Note that the music doesn't live up to the title Thanatos, but the lyrics might.)
- The Cowboy Bebop soundtrack box set features "Wandering Cowboy", an Ed Image Song in which she gives lyrics to "Tank!", the show's theme song, which describes the pursuits of the series' space bounty hunters.
- Charlie Chaplin added lyrics to his theme for A Countess from Hong Kong to make the Petula Clark hit "This Is Your Song."
- The film My Fellow Americans has both the rival ex-presidents admitting to coming up with their own lyrics for 'Hail To The Chief'.
- Kevin Kline in Dave also has fun with 'Hail to the Chief' while showering: "Hail to the Chief, he's the one we all say hail to..."
- This very NSFW song, set to to the main theme from Jurassic Park.
- When Marvin Hamlisch adapted Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" for the movie The Sting, either he or his lyricist added lyrics. "Now the curtain is going up / The entertainer is taking a bow"
- A version of the old Superman films theme tune was once recorded by an artist named Enrique in France with added lyrics. The song was later resung by an artist named Noam.
- Ennio Morricone and Hayley Westenra's Paradiso consists largely of this.
- In the commentary track for UHF, "Weird Al" Yankovic sings along with the Orion Pictures Vanity Plate: "Orion... Orion... is bankrupt... now!"
- The Lord of the Rings movies have a few examples. In the end credits to Fellowship, after Enya's "May It Be" there's a version of the Shire theme "A Hobbit's Understanding" set to English lyrics (see here). The refrain to "Into the West", the end credits song to Return, has the tune to the Gray Havens theme. If Elvish lyrics also count, there are quite a few, but one of the best has to be the Fellowship theme as heard at the start of the Battle of the Black Gate.
- One year before it was done in The Star Wars Holiday Special,(see below) French singer René Joly added lyrics to the Star Wars theme, in a Softer and Slower Cover.
- Peter's Friends starts with the main cast at their University days, performing a cabaret act where they sing about the London subways to the tune of The Can Can. The movie ends with Peter and his friends singing the song together at a private reunion years later, cementing their status as True Companions.
- Linkin Park's "New Divide" from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is basically a lyrical version of "Arrival to Earth", the main series theme.
- Ted 2 has a scene where Ted makes up lyrics for the Law & Order theme.
- Arthur — The Album, the soundtrack for the 1981 film, includes two pop songs that do not appear in the film but are With Lyrics versions of instrumental pieces from Burt Bacharach's underscore: "Money" became Ambrosia's "Poor Rich Boy" and "It's Only Love" became a Stephen Bishop song with the same title.
- Doctor Who:
The Words to Well-Known Doctor Who Themes: Although the location-footage music in "City of Death" is instrumental, everyone who hears it instinctively knows that the words are, "Running through Paris, we're running through Paris, we're running through Paris, we're running through France"...
- The standard playground theme lyrics during the Classic series were "Ooo-ee-oo, it's Dr. Who! Here comes Dr. Who in the TARDIS. (Deedly-dum, deedly dum...)" You can see this version performed by falsetto-voiced sockpuppets on a DVD extra on "The War Games".
- On his blog, Lawrence Miles, fandom personality and writer of Doctor Who Television Tie In Novels, has a sidebar giving lyrics to some instrumental themes from the show:
- There's more - for example, the lyrics to "The 'Mysterious TARDIS Energy' Theme" are "De-e-e-us ex ma-chi-na..."
- What about the main theme? Doctor Who~ooo, how are yo~ooou? How do you do the things you do~ooo?
- Craig Ferguson created his own lyrics for the Doctor Who theme for the 11/16/10 cold open, which wasn't used due to Executive Meddling. Here's the "lost" cold-open.
- "Trock" band Chameleon Circuit uses the titular episode's incidental music in their song "Big Bang 2"
- Fan artist Halia Meguid put lyrics to "The Doctor's Theme", mostly dealing with the angsty bits of the Ten/Rose ship.
- For a non-comedic example, the last season of Roseanne added lyrics to what had been an entirely instrumental tune for all past seasons.
- The theme tune to The X-Files was a victim. Allegedly the words go: "The X-Files is a show ... with music by Mark Snow..." Whistle it, and be doomed to forever have it in your head.
- Similarly, this clip from the Stargate SG-1 DVD commentary track includes tongue-in-cheek lyrics.
Stargate — it's a crazy trip.
You can go quite far,
And you don't need a car
Or even a ship.
- In This Island Earth, an incidental tune plays as the flying saucer's viewscreen returns to normal view. When featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie:
Nor-mal view, nor-mal VIEW, nor-mal VIEW, nor-mal VIEWWWWWW!
- Fun fact: This tune bears a striking resemblance to the Renaissance motet Crucifixus II, by Antonio Lotti.
- This trope was a Running Gag on the series; ie. Fugitive Alien and The Girl in Lovers' Lane ("With Jack E-lan, not Jack La-lanne...")
- "Puma Man, he flies like a moron!"
- The Beast of Yucca Flats: "Coooooolemaaaaan Fraaaaanciiiis...Cooooolemaaaaaan Fraaaaanciiiiiiis!
- Gamera vs. Guiron: "They're gonna ride their bicycles, / they'll disappear into the woods, / it will be days before they're found, / Corn Job will be blamed."
- Hobgoblins: "It's the 80s, do a lot of Coke and vote for Ronald Reagan." They spent the same episode coming up with lyrics trying to figure out just what one song actually said.
- Final Justice: During the instrumental music over the closing lyrics, Tom and Crow devolve into "Eat eat eat eat, eat eat eat eat, munch munch munch munch, chew chew chew chew, gorge gorge gorge gorge, burp burp burp burp — stuff lotsa food in your ... fancy face! Oh yeahhhhh"
- Escape 2000: pretty much every piece of background music was given lyrics containing the phrase "Leave the Bronx". Even the end theme, in which Mike was nearly driven insane by Tom singing "Leeaaaave Bronx, baby leeeeaaaave Bronx..."
- Fugitive Alien: "This is the song written for the train chase/This is the chase, Rocky and Ken/He TRIIIIIED TO KILL ME WITH A FORKLIFT! Olè!"
- In The Young And The Restless, a version of the theme song with lyrics is sung by Gina.
- For some reason, the French version of the opening theme for The A-Team has lyrics, whereas the original was instrumental only (save for the opening narration). The lyrics did work though - even though they're definitely eighties.
- They did the same with Inspector Gadget, along with the German version.
- In a Taxi episode, Reverend Jim is set up on a date with Marcia Wallace of The Bob Newhart Show, and regales her with the lyrics he's composed for the show's theme: "Here comes Bob and Carol/His wife, Emily, really likes him/He has five people in his group..."
- Nick at Nite used to do this in promos, for Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie too, though in at least one of those cases there actually were unused lyrics for the song..
- GSN also ran commercials adding lyrics to the themes from Match Game, Family Feud, and The Newlywed Game. The Feud commercial was actually based on lyrics that a contestant sang to Richard Dawson once.
- The sitcom Buffalo Bill featured Dabney Coleman as the titular Bill, who hosts a morning TV talk show. In one episode, he decided to "spice up" the show by adding his own lyrics to the theme song:
Talking,The people 'round here do some talking;Turn on your T.V. set,Turn on your T.V. and see!
- A Saturday Night Live sketch had Bill Murray as Lounge Lizard Nick Winters singing the main theme of Star Wars:
"Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars..."
- The Star Wars Holiday Special had Carrie Fisher sing the Life Day song to the tune of the Star Wars theme...
- In one of the Academy Awards, Will Ferrell and Jack Black added lyrics to the song played when a speech gets overtly long.
- Eddie, from the late 90's sitcom Malcolm & Eddie, came up with a get rich quick scheme that involved invoking this trope. One theme he added lyrics to was the Sanford and Son theme.
- "Live show, it's a 30 Rock live show. It's 30 Rock live!"
- And for the west coast: "Let's talk about sushi. Portland, Vegas, Glendale, this is 30 Rock!"
- Weird Al added lyrics in the end credits of the episode "Kidnapped by Danger":
Now you can go vent your rageOn your Twitter and Facebook page
- Some fans of Game of Thrones have come to associate these lyrics to the incredibly catchy theme song:
Hey, it'sTime to watch, GameGame of Throoooones...
- Dinklage, Peter Dinklage, Peter Dinklage, Peter...
- Chris Martin #t=33s did "There are Starks, and there are Lannisters, and K̶a̶r̶d̶a̶s̶h̶i̶a̶n̶s̶ Targaryens, and across there, someone knows... welcome to the crazy wacky world of Game of Thrones!"
- According to Joss Whedon on one DVD commentary track, the theme song to Angel goes "Angel iiis a vampire/Who fiiights criiime with hiiis friends..."
- A sketch in Harry Hill's TV Burp has Harry declare to the audience he's discovered the words to the Emmerdale theme tune, which involves the characters singing the names of different sauces.
- A non-comedic example: Eino Grön, a Finnish singer, once put the theme to words under the name of "Kotona Taas" (Finnish for "Home Again").
- Irish singer DANA once sang a version of the theme to Brookside with lyrics. The name of the song is unknown and it was never released.
- In 1999, MAD ran an article titled "11 Ways Jeopardy! Contestants Can Really Piss Off Alex Trebek". Number 11 was "Sing along to the "Jeopardy!" Thinking Music".
- Contestant: This is Final Je'par-dy,Having trouble WITH this cat-e-gory!To-day's champ—it won't be me!Don't know Greek myth-o-lo-gy!Hope my friends don't watch the show,Or they'll see there's NUH-thing that I know andI'll look like a total heel.Wish instead I'd gone...on...Wheel! DUM DUM!
- Blake's 7 had lyrics to its iconic theme tune written for the revamped credits for the fourth and final season, to be sung by Stephen Pacey. As you can see, they suffered from a pretty serious case of Lyrical Dissonance given the increasingly bleak and cynical tone of the show and the idea was dropped. If any test recordings were ever made, they appear not to have survived.
- Manhattan Transfer did this with the Twilight Zone theme.
- Lyrics were written for the theme from Mission: Impossible but were never used, though they occasionally turn up on sheet music.
- For some reason, American and UK series imported to Japan often have a song added to the opening credits in lieu of the original composition. In many cases, such as with Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, the song itself is new, but in the case of Thunderbirds, a recurring piece of incidental music from the series, the "Century 21 March" was performed with sung Japanese lyrics.
- Morecambe and Wise added lyrics to the Thames Television ident: "Here they are now, Morecambe and Wise!"
- On an episode of Home Improvement Tim and Al hold a contest to right lyrics for Tool Time. The acts seen are a 1-man rockabilly band, a barbershop quartet of Al fans, and a local rap group.
- The original Star Trek theme has official lyrics that were never recorded or intended for actual use. They were written by Gene Roddenberry after the first season so that he could claim for himself half the royalties being paid to Alexander Courage, the composer who wrote the music. Read all the details, including the lyrics on Snopes.
- A 2006 Have I Got News for You spin-off book included "the secret lyrics to the theme tune". The fact these were written on a proper version of the score proved unexpectedly controversial, as the composer, Big George Webley, retained copyright.
- Chilean puppet show 31 Minutos's main theme song is an Instrumental Theme Tune, but a version with official lyrics was eventually released: "Yo Nunca Vi Televisión" ("I've Never Watched Television"), performed by the show's main cast.
- Back when Dallas was at its height of popularity, teenagers in British playgrounds used to sing:
He's mean, he's rich,
His wife is a bitch,
He drives a fancy car,
He lives in Dallas,
And his house is a palace,
And the bastard's name's JR.
- 2 Unlimited's "Get Ready for This" was originally an instrumental song, but later it got rapping lyrics.
- Allan Sherman's classical music parodies, including his best-known work, Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (to Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours").
- The Megas is a band devoted to this; particularly the classic Mega Man 2 games. Their album "Get Equipped" covers all the songs from Mega Man 2, and they are working on some songs from number 3. Oh, and both the lyrics and music are actually very good.
- The series itself did this in the third Mega Man Star Force game, where the theme song, Shooting Star, was given lyrics that were sung during one of Sonia's concerts. Sadly, it only showed up in text form and wasn't actually sung... Until 2014 where a group of Japanese artists did a fan cover that can be listened to here.
- The Adventures Of Duane And Brand O is in the same vein as The Megas, though with more of a focus on the protagonists than the villains. They are most well-known for their youtube videos for such games as Final Fantasy and Mega Man 2 (over a million hits for FF!). They're damned good.
First some wind, then some rain
- As an example, The Amazing BrandO sets lyrics to the Song of Storms; one of the most iconic instrumentals from The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time:
Then a fuckin' hurricane!
We're all gonna die! Time to say goodbye!
Holy crap! What the shit?!
I am twelve and what is this?!
We're all gonna die tonight!
- In Flanders and Swann's "Ill Wind," the singer laments the theft of his French horn to the tune of a Mozart French horn concerto.
- This is, more or less, the entirety of the genre of vocalese. Manhattan Transfer's version of "Birdland" (an instrumental composition by the jazz fusion band Weather Report) is a good example.
- Barbershop example: the Gas House Gang ('93 world champs) did this by putting a plot summary of Mozart's The Magic Flute to the much-more-well-known tune of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Ju-urassic Park, Ju-urassic Park,where the dinosaurs are free-ee
- Hoagy Carmichael originally wrote "Stardust" as an instrumental—and a ragtime piano solo, at that—and the lyrics were added later by Mitchell Parish. Nowadays, the words and music are generally regarded as having always been together.
- Pianist Floyd Cramer wrote "Last Date" as an instrumental. In 1960, Skeeter Davis and Boudleaux Bryant wrote lyrics, and Skeeter recorded the lyrical version as "My Last Date with You". Later on, Conway Twitty wrote his own lyrics as "Lost Her Love on Our Last Date", which was later Covered Up by Emmylou Harris as "Lost His Love on Our Last Date".
- E.S. Posthumus's first album was fully instrumental. Their second album included lyrics in a Latin derivative.
- Stevie Wonder wrote "The Tears of a Clown" as an instrumental but couldn't come up with any lyrics. Smokey Robinson thought it sounded like a circus, and obliged.
- It's more rap than singing, but Sweetbox's "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" was Bach's Air on the G String turned into R&B.
- Sheldon Harnick, Broadway lyricist best known for Fiddler on the Roof, was commissioned to write lyrics to Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" in the late '50s, but his lyrics(known as "The Man with the Sign") were all but forgotten. The theme of his lyrics, that the freedom to express unpopular points of view is important to a Democratic society, may have been too controversial for the era of Joe McCarthey. His lyrics tell about a lone protester carrying a sign, and how the singer, while vehemently disagreeing with the protester's views, supports his right to protest, since it means he is free. You can read (most of) the lyrics here.
"But the man with the sign's a friend of mine
All alone in his proud endeavor
And as long as I fight for this man's right
That's the glory of the stars and stripes forever.
Yes, the man with the sign's a friend of mine
All alone in his proud endeavor.
For the sign says to me, "This man is free!"
That's the story of the Stars and Stripes Forever."
- Of course, the Stars and Stripes Forever has a much better known set of "with lyrics" attached to it. "Be kind to your web-footed friends, for a duck maybe somebody's muh-ther..."
- Singer Helmut Lotti has written lyrics to several classical music pieces.
- Duke Ellington: It's reported that the Signature Song "Take the 'A' Train" was originally written with lyrics, but the earliest recordings of the song were completely instrumental and the lyrics were apparently lost or discarded. The Delta Rhythm Boys ended up recording a version of the song with their own lyrics. Independently, the 17-year-old Joya Sherrill also came up with lyrics for the song; when she sang them for Duke, he was so impressed that he hired her as a vocalist and adopted those lyrics.
- Orbital: The Box EP ended with a vocal version of the title track, with Grant Fulton and Alison Goldfrapp singing.
- "A Lover's Concerto" by the Toys is sung to the tune of "Minuet in G" by Christian Petzold. note
- Bob Keeshan, AKA Captain Kangaroo, narrated a children's record of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite". Lyrics telling the story are given to each piece. For example, the famous "March" comes on when the toys (mostly stuffed animals) come to life; it begins with: "Dogs followed by cats and kangaroos/all marching along in step by twos..."
- The Brian Setzer's Orchestra's "One More Night With You" provided lyrics for a swing arrangement of Grieg's "Hall of the Mountain King".
- The Beastie Boys' joke song "The Biz Vs. The Nuge" samples the first half-minute of Ted Nugent's "Homeward Bound", with Biz Markie singing along to the guitar riff.
- A common treatment to previously instrumental trance anthems, such as Darude's "Out of Control(Back For More)"(featuring Tammy Marie), Tiesto's "(Sub)Urban Train"(featuring Kirsty Hawkshaw), Rank 1's "Breathing(Airwave 2003)" and "It's Up to You(Symsonic)"(both featuring Shanokee), and Armin van Buuren's "Shivers" (featuring Susanna, originally "Birth of an Angel").
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra frequently does this. Notable example, "Christmas Canon", based on Pachelbel's "Canon in D".
- Straight No Chaser's "Christmas Can-Can", to the tune of The Galop from "Orpheus in the Underworld" features these lyrics:
"It's time to do the Christmas Can Can,
If you can't, can't dance well that's okay.
(Not gonna do the kickline)
All you need is a tree, some lights,
About a thousand presents, wrap them up and pray for snow.
- Ditto for "Kick the Can" by Bus Stop and "Can Can World" by Makkeroni.
- TV's Kyle wrote lyrics for the music from Super Mario Bros. 2, found here.
- Ferry Corsten produced a lyrical version of his previous single "Punk" titled "Junk", with rapper Guru. "Galaxia", an early production by him under the alias Moonman (later remade under his own name), also had a vocal version.
- Energy 52's "Cafe del Mar", their sole song of note, was lyricized by Fragma as "Man in the Moon".
- Calexico, at some of their live shows, would take their instrumental "Frontera" and perform it with the lyrics from their song "Trigger".
- Tori Amos released Night of Hunters in 2011, putting lyrics to some classic pieces, along with new arrangements and some of her own additions.
- Jazmine Sullivan's "Dream Big" is basically just her singing over Daft Punk's "Veridis Quo".
- Decoded Feedback's "Soultaker" was originally released as an instrumental on the Deluxe Edition of Aftermath, then rereleased on Diskonnekt with lyrics performed by Claus Larsen AKA Leaetherstrip.
- Here are some lyrics for music from Double Dragon by Bonecage.
- Pop-punk group Supernova sort of did this with their cover of the Close Encounters of the Third Kind theme - the "lyrics" are the title of the movie repeated over and over.
- Solarstone's "The Last Defeat, Part 2" is a lyrical version of "Part 1" from the previous album.
- Coldplay's "Life In Technicolor II" adds lyrics to the original, instrumental "Life In Technicolor".
- The Crystal Method's song, "Vapor Trail" was given some vocals and a guitar riff by Ozzy Osbourne and DMX for, "Ain't Nowhere To Run".
- WFMU DJ William Berger added lyrics to the instrumental Joy Division B-Side "Incubation", affectionately parodying the band's melodramatic streak by doing an Ian Curtis impression while singing about chickens hatching in an incubator.
- In 1990, The Pixies released an instrumental called "Velvety Instrumental Version" as a B-Side to the single "Dig For Fire". Twelve years later, Frank Black revived the song with his then-current band The Catholics and added new lyrics, calling it simply "Velvety".
- Futurecop!'s "Starworshipper" was instrumental when it was first released on the album The Movie, but later rereleased as a vocal single featuring Diana Gen and Starrset.
- Gigi D'Agostino's "La Passion" is actually a dance-vocal cover of the instrumental song "Rectangle" by Jacno.
- Stunt's "Raindrops" and Starstylerz' "Keep on Moving" are lyricized versions of Sash!'s "Encore Une Fois" and "Ecuador", respectively.
- Jamiroquai's "Slipin' And Slidin'" is an instrumental that was the B Side to Cosmic Girl. On the Travelling Without Moving tour, however, it was performed live with lyrics. Apparently Jay Kay always wanted to put lyrics on it but had not come up with them when the studio recording was made. In reverse, the demo of the song Music Of The Mind had lyrics but the final version didn't.
- R.E.M.'s B-Side "Organ Song" was originally a vocal song called Here I Go Again (a demo leaked years ago).
- Simple Minds' B-Side "Soundtrack For Every Heaven" was supposed to have a vocal track, but the band lost and forgot about the vocal version. Originally, the band said that they never recorded any lyrics for it. However, when searching through old master tapes, two vocal versions of the song emerged, both titled "In Every Heaven". One of these appeared on the DVD-A of New Gold Dream, and the other on the version of New Gold Dream in the X5 box set. The band also recorded a modern, 8 minute version, that was at one point intended for their Celebrate compilation.
- Also, their song "Somebody Up There Likes You", was originally intended to have vocals, but none were ever recorded as Jim Kerr thought it was perfect as an instrumental. However, years later a vocal version was attempted for a radio session, titled "Easy". This arrangement of the song was quickly forgotten about and never returned to.
- Experience of Music's "After Spring" got this treatment as "We Won't Stop"(featuring Lightwarrior).
- While it was originally written for them in the early 80s, due to it going unreleased until finally leaking out on YouTube in 2009, the Jetzons' "Hard Times" ended up more or less becoming "Ice Cap Zone With Lyrics".
- A tribute to the themes of composer John Williams, "John Williams is the Man", applies Star Wars-themed lyrics to several of his scores, none of which were written for Star Wars to begin with.
- The Spike Jones song "Pal Yat Chee" features hillbillies Homer and Jethro trying to narrate the opera Pagliacci to the tune of various pieces from the opera and other classical music like "Sabre Dance".
- Paul van Dyk produced a vocal version of his trance instrumental "Verano" titled "Such a Feeling", featuring Elijah King.
- GaMetal initially produced 02 as an instrumental track, which was later given vocals by Cecily Lopez. The lyrical version was then remade and reposted to the GaMetal YouTube channel.
- Pavement's "5 - 4 = Unity" appeared as an instrumental on the album Crooked Rain Crooked Rain, but they released a version with lyrics as a B-Side, titling it "5 - 4 Vocal". Since "5 - 4" is heavily based off "Take Five" by The Dave Brubeck Quartet, "5 - 4 Vocal" could also be regarded as that song With Lyrics.
- Nomeansno's "Bitches Brew" is Noise Rock adaptation of the Miles Davis piece with added spoken/sung lyrics.
- Al Jarreau's 1981 album Breakin' Away has "Round, Round, Round", a cover of Dave Brubeck's punishing 9/8 time composition with lyrics and scat singing on top.
- "Mambo No. 5" originated in 1949 as a mostly instrumental song by Cuban bandleader Pérez Prado, but got Sampled Up fifty years later by Lou Bega, who added lyrics like the famous chorus listing women's names.
- "Telstar", best known as an instrumental by the Tornados, was reworked by its composer, Joe Meek, into a vocal version titled "Magic Star". That new version was recorded by Kenny Hollywood note , Margie Singleton and Bobby Rydell, among others.
- "Twilight Time" began life as an instrumental written and performed by the Three Suns in 1944. A year later, Buck Ram took a poem he wrote while in college and adapted it into lyrics for the song; those lyrics were sung by Teddy Walters in Jimmy Dorsey's version released the same year. Ram later became the producer of the Platters, who would record the definite version of the song in 1958.
- The jazz standard "What's New?" was originally written as an instrumental by Bob Haggart under the title "I'm Free" in 1938. Johnny Burke was hired by the song's publishers to add lyrics to it the next year; he retitled the song after the first line of those lyrics: "What's new? How is the world treating you?" Interestingly, Bob Crosby and his Orchestra (of which Haggart was a member) recorded both versions of the song. Catherine O'Brien wrote another set of lyrics in the 1990s, using the original "I'm Free" title.
- The Opening Choruses of three of Johann Sebastian Bach's cantatas are reworkings of well-known instrumental works with vocal arrangements overlaid:
- "Unser Mund sei voll Lachens" (BWV 110) does this with the first movement of Orchestral Suite No. 4 (BWV 1069).
- "Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal" (BWV 146) gives this treatment to the second movement of the Concerto in D Minor (BWV 1052). This is prefaced by the concerto's first movement, which remains instrumental.
- "Vereinigte Zwietracht der wechselnden Saiten" (BWV 207), a secular work also presented with alternate lyrics as "Auf, schmetternde Töne der muntern Trompeten" (BWV 207a), begins with an arrangement of the third movement of Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 (BWV 1046), with trumpets and drums replacing the horns and a chorus replacing the solo violin part.
- The 1950's recording "Daffy Duck's Rhapsody" (which was adapted into a theatrical short in 2012) featured Daffy Duck singing to Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2".
- One episode of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme had John as Johann Pachelbel, singing about how sick he was of his Canon in D. To the tune of Canon in D.
Feet are tapping, aunts are humming,
I can feel the doobies coming.
Yes, here they are, it's the dooby-dooby-dooby-doobies,
Bar after bar of the dooby-dooby-dooby-doobies,
Filling my brain with the dooby-dooby-dooby-doobies,
Drives me insane with the dooby-dooby-dooby-doobies!
- Screen to Stage Adaptations of movies from the Disney Animated Canon often contain new songs written by using some of the original film's main themes as vocal bridges. Examples include "No Matter What", "Home", and "If I Can't Love Her" from Beauty and the Beast; "Shadowland" from The Lion King; and "Sweet Child", "Beyond My Wildest Dreams", and "One Step Closer" from The Little Mermaid.
- "Schroeder" from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is this to Ludwig van Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
- The Jukebox Musical Ain't Misbehavin' adds original lyrics to "Handful of Keys," "The Jitterbug Waltz" and "Lounging at the Waldorf," which Fats Waller wrote as instrumentals.
- "Melodies of May" from Music in the Air is an A Cappella choral arrangement with lyrics of the second movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's piano sonata Op. 2 No. 3.
- In Matilda: The Musical, the last of Matilda's "Acrobat & Escapologist" story segments has a vocal reprise of the background music from the previous segments, titled "I'm Here". Similarly, the motif from Story #3 when the Acrobat delivers their baby girl and dies is lyricized in Miss Honey's "My House" song as the line "When it's cold outside, I feel no fear...", which is fitting, since the girl was Miss Honey herself.
- The P.D.Q. Bach opera, A Little Nightmare Music plays with this trope. The piece is Eine Kliene Nachtmusick with lyrics, but rather than copying the strings, the actors sing original melodies, with the strings serving as accompaniment.
- Antonio Vivaldi reused his well-known concerto Spring for the opening of his melodrama Dorilla in Tempo, adding lyrics to be sung by a chorus of nymphs and shepherds.
- The legendary X vs. Zero theme in Mega Man X5 now has lyrics, sang by three famous seiyuus with a number of popular nico video singers! Here it is, complete with an amazing PV. Full version here. Now prepare to shit bricks. It's X vs. Zero theme taken Up to Eleven.
- "Omoide wa Okkusenman!" (aka, the BGM for Dr. Wily's level from Mega Man 2, given lyrics by a still yet unknown individual) is one of the most memetic examples of this — Even JAM Project's gotten in on it
- The arranged soundtracks for 9 and 10 have vocal versions of each game's ending theme. The one for 10 ups the ante by arranging the three Special Stage themes into a single epic vocal piece.
- brentalfloss was mentioned above for his work with Nintendo music, including Zelda, Kirby, Dr. Mario, and Tetris.
- Nico singer Mayaro-yaru wrote lyrics in a fake language to "Hometown Domina" from Legend of Mana, and these lyrics became so popular that most people use those lyrics when covering the song.
- Link! He come to town!
- Touhou is a game of stage music and boss music and can not avoid this. The sheer amount of lyrical remixes to themes has rewarded its fans with such things as:
- Help Me, Erin!!!
- Marisa Stole the Precious Thing
- Optical Cellophane
- Bad Apple (English dub here)
- Locked Girl
- And, for good measure, the fitting self-aggrandizing Gate Guard Girl Wonderful Meiling
- WARNING!(Solar Sect of Wisdom~Nuclear Fusion)
- In addition to the many examples by him and others on the Toho Eurobeat albums, Odyssey produced the stand-alone vocal arrangements Chained Lady(Septette For the Dead Princess), Deadly Fantasy(Necrofantasia), and Magical Girl(Love Colored Master Spark).
- Release - Infinity(Emotional Skyscraper~Cosmic Mind)
- Stardust Dreams (a remaster of the ever popular U. N. Owen Was Her?), notable that it was used as the OP for a later Touhou game: Touhou Sky Fight.
- Done by Taku Yoshioka Squad, "It's Kill or Be Killed" is a remix of the main theme of No More Heroes, "N.M.H.", with lyrics added. Originally done for the Dark Side remix album, the song was used in the game's sequel. Another remix of the song with lyrics, a Japanese punk rock song "NO MORE RIOT," was also made for the album and used in the sequel.
- The albums Final Fantasy: Pray and Final Fantasy: Love Will Grow give lyrics to instrumental themes from the series.
- Final Fantasy XIII gives lyrics to the Chocobo theme. It also gives lyrics to it's leitmotif on the song The Sunleth Waterscape. Some other songs had lyrics that were removed from the English release.
- This fan-created arrangement of "You Are Not Alone" from Final Fantasy IX.
- Pig with the Face of a Boy took the Tetris theme and put the history of the USSR to it. Though, to be fair, the original folk song (Korobeiniki) did have its own lyrics. Still counts, though!
- Ōkami has beautiful music, but except for the ending song, it's all instrumental. However, one video on YouTube has Vocaloid singer Gakupo adding lyrics to arguably one of the most beautiful tracks in the game.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's musical composition started with Todd Howard calling up Jeremy Soule and saying he wanted the traditional Elder Scrolls theme "as if it were sung by a barbarian choir". Throw in some lyrics in Draconic sung by said barbarian choir and you have the main theme music for Skyrim.
- Zero Division made a rock version of the theme song from the C64 game Deflektor.
- A few songs from the Ys franchise got this treatment, for example, "The Morning Glow" was rearranged into the Award-Bait Song "Endless History" and used for the credits of the anime adaptation.
- Cynthia's battle theme from Pokémon Black and White was rearranged into "battle gene M"
- Gourmet Race has been given this treatment.
- Serving as a Theme Tune Cameo, the Mass Effect 3 love theme is sung by Tali, if she was romanced by the player, in the Citadel Downloadable Content; she mentions that it's the main theme of the Show Within a Show, "Fleet And Flotilla".
- Reflec Beat has two songs by TAG that get this treatment from DJ YOSHITAKA: "Diamond Dust" and "Unlimited Fire". Both songs are labeled as the "Try to Sing Ver."note and credited to "TAG rejected by DJ YOSHITAKA".
- Silent Hill 3's ending theme, "Home Town", is a vocal version of the title song from Silent Hill.
- Dreams Come True's "Kusuriyubi no Kesshin" is a J-pop version of the Star Light Zone theme from Sonic the Hedgehog, whose soundtrack was composed by DCT's Masato Nakamura. "Sweet Dream" from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was given similar treatment as "Sweet Sweet Sweet".
- Brony musician SlyphStorm added lyrics based on the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Castle Mane-ia to the Castlevania tune "Bloody Tears", creating "Castle of Shadows".
- The theme to Spelunker is a classically 8-bit tune that has gained Ear Worm status in Japan, to the point that when a studio created a high school slice-of-life anime with the Spelunker as a teacher, they actually went as far as to make both openings based on a remix of the game's main theme, as well as a snippet of its level clear theme. The song is actually in English, albeit as sung by a Japanese speaker. The lyrics themselves are a bit nonsensical thanks to their comically bad grammar, but avoid being Word Salad Lyrics by kind of making a little more sense when taken all together.
- Adding lyrics to Daisuke Ishiwatari's instrumental originals is the entire point of the BlazBlue in L.A. Vocal Edition album.
- Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles added lyrics in Ominous Latin Chanting to the boss, final boss, and ending themes from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.
- Given its extreme popularity, you can find vocal versions of virtually every piece of music in the Undertale soundtrack. One of the most popular just might be this arrangement of Asgore's theme by Lollia.
- The main menu theme of Papers, Please has at least two versions interpreting it as Arstotzka's national anthem.
- Ryu's ending theme from Street Fighter II got this treatment.
- The theme to Dragon Age: Origins and Leliana's Song is renamed Rise in Dragon Age: Inquisition and made acoustic, with the ancient lyrics retranslated to be about the Breach.
- Virtual-ON has its Signature Song "In The Blue Sky", which is associated with its mascot, the Temjin Virtuaroid. Like Okkusenman, it was given lyrics by fans as "GET READY!" but unlike Okkuseman, the song is shamelessly upbeat, encouraging the listener to keep moving forward in spite of setbacks and not linger on regrets.
- SMG4's War of the Fat Italians 2018 gives this treatment to the B-side remix of Picture Perfect from A Hat in Time.
- YouTube user Goldentusk has a series of videos giving lyrics to movie theme tunes such as Jaws, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Terminator, Halloween, Batman, Superman, Back to the Future and Lost.
- YouTube user Hyadain2525 has an entire profile on this, crafting new songs out of familiar tunes. What gets really creepy is that he apparently provides all the voices through vocal modulation — even the female song parts. Further searches on YouTube can easily provide English subtitles for these songs. In some cases, it's an improvement to know the lyrics. Others, not so.
- YouTube user Tobuscus has a series of videos titled Literal Trailers in which he adds lyrics to trailers that are nothing but explaining what's going on on the screen. Many of these videos have more total views than the trailers they parody, and have made him into a featured performer at gaming conventions.
- Moosebutter's tribute to Star Wars, most widely known through Corey Vidal's lip-synched video.
- The Legend of Zelda by Joe Pleiman (not System of a Down).
Link, he come to town
Come to save the Princess Zelda
Ganon took her away
And now the children won't play
But they will when Link saves the day
- Brentalfloss does a more comedic version, wherein the Old Man urges Link to save princess Zelda in order to get laid (as tries to sell him the strategy guide while he's at it).
From here to over there,
You'll find Ganon's lair.
C'mon it's your destiny!
Trust the hero inside
But if you're terrified
Purchase the strategy guide
From me. (Fourteen dollars, also tax, here ya go now.)
- Many Let's Play videos have the player singing along to a theme from the game being played:
I'm going to play Majora's Mask
- NintendoCapriSun made up his own lyrics to the Zelda theme at the start of his Let's Play of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask:
And I'm gonna suck at even the smallest task
But I know you guys
Probably won't seem to mind
So I'd better get off my behind
My behind, my behind, my behind now
Ferr: (singing, to same tune) You lit the torch like I said!
- That's not the only time he's done that, either. NCS makes up his own lyrics on the spot to at least one song in every game he plays, usually during a point where he doesn't have much to say. Most of the time these lyrics involve taking a dump on the toilet.
- And from both him and Chuggaaconroy: "You got a thiiiiiing!"
- DeceasedCrab sang the "Jellyfish Song" over the Bonus Stage music in Jaws.
- Freelance Astronauts:
pipes!: Give me milk, give me milk, / even though your udders are in standing water!
- In Jabu-Jabu's belly, Maxwell discovers a cow that's not embedded in the interior wall of the chamber it's in, Maxwell plays a song to get milk, and pipes! sings along to it. First, he mistakenly plays Saria's Song ("I'm gonna milk you and it's gonna be okay because it's in..."), then he gets it right with Epona's Song:
Would you like an eggroll?
- ThornBrain from TheStrawhatNO! asked which song from Bomberman Hero the Something Awful forums users would like to hear played over the final video. They voted for "Redial", a song that was used so often he and Travis got sick of it. Thorn used it, up until the second loop of the song, at which point this trope came into play.
- GameJ06 has lyrics for the underground theme from Super Mario Bros.
How about a springroll?
Would you like a tea?
Or a Pepsi?
Or would you like to go to Dairy Queen and have yourself a Blizzard or something else?
- That Guy with the Glasses:
- Chester A. Bum of Bum Reviews is known to give lyrics at the end of certain movie reviews, including his Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The X-Files: I Want to Believe reviews. Hilarity Ensues, even though they're usually only two lines long.
- This has since become a regular feature of the site, the aptly named "Songs That Don't Need Lyrics But I Added Them Anyway HA!"
- Spoony and Linkara also mocked the overly long prologue crawl of Alone in the Dark (2005) by singing (to the tune of the Star Wars theme) "Boring, this is so boring, this is so boring, get to the show!"
- A very short one from The Nostalgia Chick, to footage of "Jamaica, Land We Love" being played at the 2012 Summer Olympics:
- The Nostalgia Critic sings along to the Jurassic Park theme:
It will be in your brain for weeks or till you're dead...
- Obscurus Lupa and the Critic do a team one with the opening theme of A Talking Cat!?! in their review of it.
- A number of video game tunes have been given lyrics by the remixers at Overclocked Remix: "Dreams Come True", "Permutation", "Tororian Love Song", "The Incredible Singing Robot", "Summertime", "The Place We Know", "Forever Until Tomorrow" and Darkness Dawning are among the results.
- "This is not Roy's Castle" is a version of this for the Super Mario World castle music, and is surprisingly catchy.
- The Theme from the Dark World song (by the same maker as the Roy's Castle song)
- And, of course, the rawest version of the Forest Maze theme from Super Mario RPG.
- The song the letter Y sings in the first Charlie The Unicorn is sung to the tune of "Clarinet Polka".
- I Can't Believe It's Not AVGN, a series of commentaries about The Irate Gamer, added lyrics to the show's theme tune:
Irate Gamer's not a gamerIrate Gamer sells to peopleCrappy DVDs and T-shirtsIrate Gamer is a pee-hole
- At the end of the Zero Punctuation review for Guitar Hero World Tour, Yahtzee included an Easter Egg consisting of him adding lyrics to the theme tune of Deus Ex, highlighting all the pros and cons of the game, and adding a few Take Thats at Ion Storm.
- While they already have lyrics, it's become something of a minor meme on /m/ to come up with English versions of various Humongous Mecha Anime Theme Song lyrics. Original thread is archived here. The GaoGaiGar one at the beginning is particularly epic.
- Now has a blog: 
- Final Fantasy's "Chocobo Mix" gets lyrics in this Final Fantasy Tribute.
- User katethegreat19 also does this, such as this version of Aerith's theme.
- "Comic Bakery" by C64 tribute band Press Play On Tape turns the (instrumental) opening theme of the Commodore 64 game Comic Bakery into a Boy Band song.
- The main theme to Rad Racer became the main theme to the 20X6 anime from Homestar Runner.
- The Newgrounds short "Indiada Jodes", an attempt to summarize Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2 1/2 minutes, ends with a lyrical version of the Indiana Jones theme. ("Indiana/Freakin' Jones!/Indiana/Freakin' Jones kicks ass!")
- Glove And Boots' "The History Of Television" is mainly a medley of these, though they also used new parody lyrics for a few TV themes that had lyrics to begin with.
- Caustic Critic AllieRX87's review of Transformers: Convoy no Nazo has made-up lyrics to the one stage theme repeating throughout the game:
Takara made a game
About Transformers, but it's really lame.
Straight from the get-go, this game...is...
This game is beyond broken....
Takara, what the fuck were you smokin?
Convoy no Nazo is....
I'm running out of lyrics....
- "Cassetteboy vs the Apprentice" begins with Lord Sugar himself providing lyrics to Montagues and Capulets, the show's theme:
- In one Hobo Bros video, they make up lyrics to their outro music. "Hobo Bros, Hobo Bros, gonna watch Hobo Bros..." The outro for that episode actually starts out with their version before shifting to the normal version.
- In The Simpsons episode "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", the auditions for the titular group include Jasper singing made-up lyrics to the Theme from ''A Summer Place'' (which actually does have a rarely-heard set of lyrics).
Theme from A Summer Place
From A Summer Place
The theme from A Summer Place
It's the theme...
"Toreador, oh, don't spit on the floor / Please use the cuspidor, that's what it's for"
- In "Bart the Genius", the family goes to a performance of Carmen and Barts entertains himself by making up lyrics to the "Toreador Song".
- And of course, Barney's answer phone. "NOBODY'S HERE!"
- The end of "Treehouse of Horror XX" has the cast singing lyrics to the show's normally Instrumental Theme Tune:
We hope you enjoyed this year's Halloween show
Treehouse of Horror Number X-X!
- "The Simpsons Guy" had Peter Griffin giving lyrics to the Gracie Films logo that appears at the end of every Simpsons episode: "And now, the show is over now."
- Yakko's "Nations of the World", to the tune of the Mexican Hat Dance, would count here...
- As would most of the songs in Animaniacs. "Wakko's America" and "The Presidents Song" being the ones as big as the one above.
- "Kill Da Wabbit Kill Da Wabbit" - played with, as the Ride of the Valkyries (as well as everything else that's sung in that number) does have sung parts, but Elmer and Bugs are singing the instrumental lines. Its predecessor, The Rabbit Of Seville, is a more representative example, there being no words at all during Rossini's famous overture.
- Impress your friends by reminding them that the original lyrics to the part where Elmer sings "kill da wabbit" are "Hojotoho! Heiaha!" which is Valkyrie-speak for "hi-ho silver!"
- For the same song, from The Emperor's New School: "Kuzco Allegiance, Kuzco Allegiance, Kuzco Allegiance, day is today!"
- Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers has a Public Domain Soundtrack, with lyrics added to various classical pieces.
- Sleeping Beauty has a more serious application of this, with many of Tchaikovsky's ballet dances turned into songs.
- Two Saturday morning cartoons from the 1980s, The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show and Shirt Tales, added lyrics to their theme tunes between seasons.
- The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Sonic's Song" had Catty Carlyle singing a lyrical version of the show's theme song.
- The familiar theme song to The Flintstones started off as a piece of background music during the show's first two years, before it eventually became the theme song itself. Prior to that, though, a version of the song with completely different lyrics appeared on an album released during the show's second year.
- At the end of the first Robot Chicken Star Wars episode, there's a musical called "Empire on Ice" with various music from The Empire Strikes Back in song form.
- The second special repurposed the famous Cantina music as a potential jingle for "Akbar's Fishsticks".
- Do the Mario! Despite what others may think this originated from the actual Mario cartoon.
- Then there's the Super Mario World Western Show, which is the famous Mario theme with a Japanese song about Mario and Bowser and Luigi competing over Peach.
- During DVD commentary on Superman: The Animated Series, producer Bruce Timm joked that this is a requirement with the Man of Steel. You can't give him a theme song that doesn't want to make you sing "Superman!" along.
- One episode of King of the Hill features an irritating client of Strickland Propane (loosely based on George W. Bush) singing made up lyrics to the Dallas theme (badly off-key, we might add).
- JR, JR, he's a really bad guy! He lives on a ranch with his mom!
- In another episode:
- "Leftover Goulash" from Arthur, which is mainly sung to the tune of "The Toreador's Song" from the George Bizet opera Carmen, but also contains other classical pieces as well, like "Eine Kleine Nachtmuzik" ("Nothing brown/or nothing soupy...") and "Beethoven's 5th Symphony" (DW complaining about things tasting like fish).
- "Now That We're Men" from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie started out as a piece of instrumental BGM on the show.
- The third season of Thomas The Tank Engine added lyrics to the theme tune and titled it "Thomas's Anthem (Thomas We Love You)".
- There are Spanish and Cantonese versions of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) theme tune with added lyrics.
- The French version of the Pac-Man animated series bizarrely featured a version of the intro with lyrics added by French TV and radio personality William "Willy" Leymergie.
- The Cosgrove Hall series of The Wind in the Willows used a vocal version of the theme from the 1983 pilot movie.
- The closing credits for the first season finale of Steven Universe take the instrumental closing of the season's first half and add lyrics sung by the show's creator, Rebecca Sugar. A shortened edit of this version was used for the first few episodes of the second season, before new segments were added during each story arc, until the season 3 finale played the full vocal version as Steven and the Gems reunite aboard the Ruby spaceship.