Song Lyric Sunday/Song Of The Day: Neal Hefti, “The Odd Couple (Theme)”

Jim assigned us the prompt "odd/even" for today’s exercise in finding songs, and this came immediately to mind.

The Odd Couple was a Neil Simon play that debuted at the Plymouth Theater on March 10, 1965 and soon moved to the Eugene O’Neill Theater, where it ran until July 2, 1967. The original actors were Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison and Art Carney as Felix Ungar (spelled Unger for the TV show). Matthau was replaced first by Jack Klugman and later by Pat Hingle; Carney was replaced first by Eddie Bracken and later by Paul Dooley. The play was so successful that it was adapted for the screen, where Jack Lemmon played Felix and Matthau reprised his role as Oscar. It moved to TV as a weekly sitcom in 1970 and ran until 1975, with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman playing Felix and Oscar.

The music for the film, and later the TV series, was written by Neal Hefti, who had been a composer and arranger for Count Basie and later wrote the theme for the Batman TV show. Lyrics for the theme song were written by veteran lyricist Sammy Cahn.

The lyrics, from Lyrics On Demand:

No matter where they go
They are known as the couple.
They’re never seen alone
So they’re known as the couple.

As I’ve indicated
They are never quite separated,
They are peas in a pod.
Don’t you think that it’s odd.

Their habits, I confess
None can guess with the couple.
If one says no it’s yes
more or less, with the couple.

But they’re laugh provoking;
Yet they really don’t know they’re joking.
Don’t you find
When love is blind
It’s kind of odd.

But they’re laugh provoking;
Yet they really don’t know they’re joking.
Don’t you find
When love is blind
It’s kind of odd.

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for January 31, 2021.

34 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday/Song Of The Day: Neal Hefti, “The Odd Couple (Theme)”

  1. Well who knew this song had lyrics? Not me. I just remember the TV show with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. Really takes me back. Great pick today!!

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        1. Sadly, most of them are gone now.

          “You leave me notes. ‘Oscar, we’re out of corn flakes, FU.’ It took me three weeks to figure out that ‘FU’ stood for Felix Unger!”

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    1. I like how they were able to take the characters from the play and expand them enough to get five years’ worth of material out of them. Neil Simon must have worked pretty closely with them.

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  2. I didn’t even realize they had a theme song with words. I use to watch it back in the day. A simpler time ❤ Happy Sunday Mr. John ❤ Blessings

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    1. I’m not sure if the movie used the version with the lyrics. I had the music in a book and the lyrics were in there.

      It was a simpler time, not to mention a time when TV writers still had new ideas…

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      1. Isn’t that the truth II just came up with a song 🎶 Happy Sunday 🎶. Just keeping warm. Staying out of the snowstorm ❄️⛄️❄️⛄️❄️

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    1. He was a fine dramatist, not to mention prolific. He evidently got up every morning and wrote for an hour, longhand. I’m sure a lot of those ideas made it into some of his scripts.

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    1. You don’t hear the lyrics that often. The only way I knew it had them was that I had them in a music book. A lot of themes have lyrics that you never hear. “Star Trek” comes to mind.

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    1. I’m sure some station there aired the shows, probably not long after they showed here, and that your parents would have watched. It was a classic.

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        1. Oh, that was awful. It says a lot for the creativity (or lack thereof) of TV writers that they have to recycle entire TV shows like that, or “MacGyver” or “Hawaii Five-O,” or the endless spinoffs like “CSI,” “CSI Miami” and “CSI NY” or “NCIS,” “NCIS Los Angeles” and “NCIS New Orleans,” or the whole “Law & Order” franchise (with the possible exception of the British one, which was pretty good, actually).

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