If there’s one thing I’ve learned from marijuana, it’s that I’ve learned from marijuana. In all honesty, I rarely partake in blazing up the more bohemian botanicals, but when I do, it always leads to the acquiescence of knowledge that sober-me would never bother to look up.
The last time I partook in a pow-wow with friends was a few weeks ago. The mood was giggly, as per stereotype, but a brannigan was a’ brewin’. One of my friends was of the utmost certitude that the theme song for Family Matters is the same as the theme song for Full House. We all knew he was tinkering with blasphemy and entirely wrong, but he was also onto something. Turns out, he wasn’t too far off base. The theme songs for both Full House and Family Matters were written and performed by the same man: Jesse Frederick. Jesse Frederick was also the man behind other theme songs such as Step By Step and Perfect Strangers.
This revelation lends some understanding to making the same mistake as my friend…also, they pretty much are the same song but with different words. They both start out with the same message: “What the fuck happened to shit?”
Family Matters Opening Verse:
“It’s a rare condition, this day and age,
to read any good news on the newspaper page.
Love and tradition of the grand design,
some people say it’s even harder to fiiiind.”
This seems like an odd gripe to me. There has never been a day and age where newspapers were brimming with optimism. In fact, relatively speaking, some news today is better than the newspaper pages of yore. Headlines such as “Terrorists Kill 2,000” are bleak, but slightly shinier than, “Hitler Kills 6 Million.” I realize this reasoning sounds odd…. It could be that I subscribe to a colder brand of optimism.
Full House Opening Verse:
“What ever happened to predictability?
The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV.”
This also strikes me as odd; to ask what happened to predictability and evening TV in the theme song for a formulaic 90’s sitcom. Also, we still have paperboys, and the job of the milkman was rendered obsolete by pasteurization. That’s what happened to that.
Either way, the message is the same. In the beginning of both songs, Jesse postulates that the world is going to shit and he’s not happy about it. And in both songs, he offers what he believes to be the salvation of predictability and good news’d paper pages: family.
So far, he’s answered his own question in regards to predictability… I suppose it’s easy to look everywhere except your own writing process. However, this is where the similarities end and my Da Vinci Code-esque exploration into the world of TGIF programming takes an interesting turn, or at least, more interesting than The Da Vinci Code.
Family Matters Second Verse:
“Well then there must be some magic clue inside these tearful walls
‘Cause all I see is a tower of dreams
real love burstin’ out of every seam.”
It is quite obvious that the first line is a direct reference to Robert Frost’s poem, “Mending Wall.” The poem is based around the notion that good fences make good neighbors. This goes directly Against Jesse Frederick’s notion that family and togetherness are the answer, and that walls create a divide between the passing on of family values, and that’s what truly (family) matters. This is what makes it a “tearful” wall.
I could go on to conjure up a Freudian interpretation: a phallic “tower” of dreams with “real love bursting out of every seam.” That real love, of course, referring to the gentleman’s relish needed in making a family… family “batter” if you will.
I could make a case for such an interpretation, but there’s enough dick jokes in my line of work. Thanks a lot, Freud.
The rest of the Full House theme song is not worth posting. Your standard, boring TGIF sitcom fare.
I think the point I was trying to make would take too long, and that is my main point: If there is something we can learn from marijuana, it’s that we can learn something from marijuana, but nothing that ever matters…Family Matters.