Song of the Day: Anton Karas, “The Harry Lime Theme”

Zither virtuoso Anton Karas was born in Vienna on this day in 1906. He’s best known for providing the music for the 1949 movie The Third Man, which starred Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. The theme, known both as "The Third Man Theme" and "The Harry Lime Theme," spent eleven weeks on the Billboard US Best Sellers In Stores chart in 1950. Chet Atkins, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, and Nils Larsson all did guitar-based covers.

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Anton Karas, “The Harry Lime Theme”

  1. You know this is one of my all time favourites. I have a cd of his because I love this instrument. I always think of my mom when I hear this.


    1. I like this video because it shows Karas playing the zither. I had never seen one in action, and thought it was like an autoharp or bandura. It’s really a lot like the harp guitar that’s become popular in some circles, but lies flat on a table. Here’s Jamie Dupuis playing a harp guitar…


  2. Hi John – I loved this … and always recognise it … great tune to wake up to – thank you – HIlary


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