Okay, so you know how the theme song to Golden Girls begins? If you don?t, listen to it right now for a refresher:
Here?s the first lines: ?Thank you for being a friend / Travel down the road and back again.?
Seems pretty normal, right? Before listening to this closely, I was just happy that my show was on.
However, a piece of critical information is revealed in the next line: ?Your heart is true, you?re a pal and a confidant.?
But how can they possibly know this?
I have never met anyone involved with this show before. How could they call me a pal?
Yes ? they thanked me for being a friend. They called me ?a pal? and ?a confidante.? How could the person who wrote this song purport know those things about me, or anything about me at all?
I am not a friend of the writer or the singer.
My heart may be true but I am certainly no confidante to them.
It?s disturbing, to say the least.
The next lines are even darker: ?And if you threw a party and invited everyone you knew, you would see the biggest gift would be from me.?
I REPEAT ? THE ASSUMPTION THAT IF I THREW A PARTY, AND INVITED EVERYONE I KNEW, THE SINGER OR SONGWRITER WOULD BE THERE. BECAUSE I KNOW THEM, SUPPOSEDLY.
Is there some explanation?
?Thank You For Being A Friend? was originally written by Andrew Gold in February 1978, thirteen years before I was even born, and yet in the song he offers to buy me a Cadillac and demanded I ?take a bow.? Both of these would be fine and even appreciated in other contexts, but considering I am not a friend to Gold or even an acquaintance, it is invasive ? some might even call it creepy.
When I first heard the full version, I jumped from my chair and closed my computer.
It gets darker.
As if in anticipation of my tepid response to his overbearing overtures of friendship and assumption of my reciprocation, he presses on. At 2:20 in this video, he says?
?Have no fear, even though it?s hard to hear, I will stand with those that say thank you for being a friend.?
?Even though it?s hard to hear,? he says, across time. Chilling. But wait.
Who are ?those that say??
I can only assume he means Cynthia Fee, who rerecorded this song for Golden Girls in the ?80s, and the cast of Golden Girls. Woah.
I want to emphasize again: though I have been watching Golden Girls for years, I have never met Andrew Gold, Cynthia Fee, or any of the cast. I enjoy the show but I assume no emotional intimacy with its makers, and it is not possible for them to have met me when this was conceived, as the show first aired in 1985, a full week before my parents were married and six years before I was born.
I am not friends with the cast of the Golden Girls, or the singer, or the songwriter. Why they have chosen to use a song about our nonexistent friendship to begin their show is beyond comprehension.
Why they have chosen to thank me is a huge mystery.
I do not expect them to stop using this theme song any time soon, but it certainly has changed the way I look at the theme song ? and Golden Girls as a whole.
Sorry if that bursts your bubble.