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Picture shows: (L-R) Trixie Franklin (HELEN GEORGE), Cynthia Miller (BRYONY HANNAH), Jenny Lee (JESSICA RAINE), Chummy Noakes (MIRANDA HART) 
Photographer: Laurence Cendrowicz
© Neal Street Productions Call the Midwife

confessions

Everyone Makes Up Songs About TV Shows, Right?

Call the Midwife returns for its second season on Sunday, which means it's time for all sorts of old-fashioned British obstetrics and vaguely romanticized portraits of poverty. Ah, Call the Midwife, I love you.

But what I really love is singing "Call the Midwife" to the tune of "Call Your Girlfriend."

I don't have a whole song, but the beginning goes "Call the midwife / She'll get on her bike / They're in England / They are very nice." I am not proud of this song, but I'm not exactly ashamed of it. I probably should be, though, because it's not my only TV song. The Americans? Oh, that gets set to part of the chorus of the David Bowie song "Young Americans." It goes "The Americans, The Americans, time to watch The Americans!" The Justified song is to the hook from the Common song "Testify," and goes "Please, let's watch Justified."

I took a casual survey to see if anyone else has this habit, and the answer appeared to be no, though several people said they made up words to extant theme songs. A few people had lyrics to the Mad Men opening song, some said they sing along to the Parks and Recreation jingle (and a bunch said they do the Jabba the Hutt version), and one confessed to singing "in a trombone-y voice" to Star Trek: Voyager music. Only one person had a lyric-swap like mine; he said he subbed in "Tony Soprano" for "Boy Soprano" in the Xiu Xiu song.

My guess is that deep down, most of us have some kind of TV song, some little way to ritualize watching our favorite shows, or feel a (false, but present!) sense of participation in them. Plus it's pleasantly silly. ♫ Call the midwife / She lives with some nuns / They are British / They don't have much fun ... ♫

Photo: Laurence Cendrowicz/Neal Street Productions