It's one of the unexpected side effects of parenthood: as soon as your kid reaches a certain age, your brain is bombarded with a musical deluge from preschool TV.
CBeebies has, perhaps, the greatest range of earworms in the known universe, and it's time someone ranked them.
"Hooray, quick everyone... Biggleton is coming on!" is not a sentence I've ever shouted out loud. The slight adventures of the Biggleton child-adults have never gripped me, nor my toddler. But the songs have a tendency to linger in the brain. Who can ever forget "She's a clever, clever scientist...", or "High Five Teamwork, gets the job done..."? Or even that little instrumental shuffle when the Bigglewiggle is declared? But the main theme is just the dooziest. Those singalong dah-da-dah-dahs and the Penny Lane horns make this an instant classic.
9. Peter Rabbit
"Run for our lives. We'll tear a hole in every fence and every wall," sounds like a line from a zombie horror flick, but there it is, front and centre of this eccentric soft-rock theme tune. To be fair, the kleptomaniac rabbit does spend an awful lot of time fleeing and smashing stuff up. It's an acquired taste. I'd love to hear it sung in a swing style by Mr Tod though.
8. The Furchester Hotel
Muppets (and related species) have always had a way with a song. This opening number is almost up there with the best. Admit it: you've sang along to those la, la, lahs. And no other ditty in this line-up features a singing pillow.
7. Catie's Amazing Machines
The preschooler version of Top Gear comes with a suitably high-octane title track. It's remarkable for three reasons:
1) It's written and performed by Dan "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" Hawkins of The Darkness.
2) When the show got a change of presenter, the song also switched to commend "Grace's Amazing Machines".
3) It contains the immortal payoff line: "They're amazing. And they're machines".
It's eye-catching, it's educational and it has characters with such names as Kwazii, Peso and Shellington. But the most memorable feature of Octonauts is the rousing, Mission Impossible-esque theme tune. It's a heady combination of peril, suspense, adventure and krill.
5. In The Night Garden
If you're looking for the musical opposite to the Octonauts tune (and I'm not sure why you would be), then this bittersweet lullaby is a good candidate. The haunting theme was composed by Andrew Davenport, whose extraordinary mind came up with the whole concept of the Night Garden in the first place (along with Teletubbies and Moon and Me).
4. Hey Duggee
Hey Duggee chronicles the adventures of a taciturn Scouting hound and his troop of squirrels (none of whom are squirrels). Its offbeat humour, psychedelic visuals and Alexander Armstrong narration have made Hey Duggee a cult favourite with parents. It is physically impossible to keep your body still during the banjo theme. You can't. Nobody has yet earned their "Banjo statues" badge, and never will.
3. Timmy Time
Another banjo anthem, Timmy Time is a pacy, anarchic theme for a little lamb with a lot to learn. The show is a spin-off from Shaun the Sheep, itself a spin-off from Wallace and Gromit. Nothing derivative about this folksy tune, though. It's fresh, breezy and eminently singalongable. It might even have ranked in first place, except a recent re-recording has sapped a bit of life out of it.
Fact: one in three CBeebies shows features either Andy Day or Justin Fletcher. Probably. Gigglebiz is a kind of comedy sketch show from the latter, aimed at slightly older children than most CBeebies shows. This more sophisticated audience is reflected in a multilingual closing theme, which throws in a cheeky 'arrivederci' (otherwise, it's mostly a repetition of "Na na na na na na Gigglebiz"). It's the first CBeebies theme my infant attempted to sing, so I have to give it a high mark.
1. Waffle The Wonder Dog
Only joking. The real winner is...
1. Go Jetters
Music is at the core of this barnstorming adventure show. Well, music and geography, which is a weird combination when you think about it. Works though. Disco-obsessed tutor Ubercorn makes sure there are plenty of funky guitar moments throughout the show, but it's the opening theme that deserves some kind of tots' Grammy. "Xuli is the pilot with the power and the speed; Kyan's so fantastic when gymnastics's what you need." You really can't argue with lyrics of that caliber. (That said, does anyone else think that "the world is turning, guided by Ubercorn," sounds a bit egocentric?)
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