I am watching M.A.S.H. again lately and whenever the theme song for it comes on, I can’t help but feel a tinge of melancholy. I guess I have always felt this way about the theme, even when I was younger and the show was on in late night reruns, I would sometimes skip the intro since it could be a major downer. I guess what should I expect from a song called, “Suicide is Painless”?
Not that this song, which was penned by Johnny Mandel (music) and Mike Altman (lyrics) for the Altman helmed M.A.S.H. film isn’t amazing, it just sometimes (and I stress only sometimes), feels like it could be a little more upbeat. After all M.A.S.H. is a comedy. Yes, a comedy with drama elements, but a comedy. Just think how different the tone of the show would have been if they had changed the theme to a version that was in synch with the music at the time the TV show was released. Perhaps we would have heard something that went a little something like this:
I know it is a little long, but it was meant as a dance song and they certainly could have condensed it. Plus think of all the novelty dances it could have spurred, in addition to doing the “Hustle”, dancers across America would have been doing the “Klinger”.