To Boldly Sing

Star trek has inspired plenty of pop culture, but nothing is as bizarre as the musical fandom following its warp trail..

 Filed under: filk , music , novelty music , star trek , star trek music , star trek songs

Hey all, Ernie here with a fresh one from David Buck , who is helping us maintain our mental-health-break status for this week. If you’re a Star Trek enthusiast, you will enjoy this one.

Today in Tedium : Some readers might have noticed my absence last month. Unfortunately, my father passed suddenly and I was out of commission for a while. As I looked through some of his stuff, I came across some things that reminded me of the times we would sit down together to watch Star Trek: the Next Generation or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine . Thinking about those moments reminded me of some old files and pitches that I was working on a few years ago. I came across one idea and decided to flesh it out a bit: a piece on songs about a certain science fiction television show. If I recall correctly, the original outline of the piece was written for a certain site that ghosted me a few years ago. So, here it is, completely rewritten with fresh insights. So set your phasers to stun and beam up your sense of humor because in today’s Tedium, we’re going where no one has gone before: down the black hole of songs about Star Trek . — David @ Tedium

Today’s GIF comes from a claymation music video for the well-known novelty song “Star Trekkin’” by The Firm.

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“And on no other show do I police myself as much, because I’m such a fan of Star Trek that it’s important to me that we are as funny as we can be without breaking Star Trek at all times and without being mean about Star Trek. With the network and with the studio, the conversations are mostly when I’m pitching an episode, I’ll be like, ‘Here’s what inspired this episode.’ And it’s always coming from a thing that I love about Star Trek, and then ‘Here are the things that we love about these characters, here’s how we want to explore them, and then this is why it’s going to be funny.’”

— Mike McMahan , creator of Star Trek: Lower Decks , discussing his approach to comedy on the show in a 2021 interview with Collider .

Where no musician has gone before (well, not really)

Last year, I discovered something rather silly: a radio station with an apostrophe in its call letters. I joked with Ernie that it reminded me of the Klingon language. This led to a very interesting journey about Klingon that ended up going pretty far and even made an appearance on Vice’s Motherboard —something for which I am eternally grateful. Revisiting this idea only further brings home the point that science fiction television can be a goldmine for weird stuff.

Star Trek has always been a great source of humor. Where Deep Space Nine and Picard readily take on more serious themes, there’s something to be said about the ever present sense of humor that runs a deep vein through most Trek shows. It’s in “The Trouble With Tribbles,” all over TNG (especially in some of Riker’s most memorable scenes ), interspersed between more maudlin moments of DS9 , and encapsulated by certain characters on Voyager . And that’s only naming a few shows! It’s not difficult to see the humor in the shows.

A few years ago, a surprising new Star Trek show was announced, focusing on the non-bridge crew of a “second contact” starship called The Cerritos . That show was Star Trek: Lower Decks . Created by Mike McMahan (who also worked on shows like Rick & Morty and Solar Opposites ), the show centers on a few quirky characters who aren’t officers but perform the ship’s grunt work. It’s hysterical and the characters are quite fun to spend 22 minutes with each episode.

With Star Trek: Lower Decks already two seasons into its run and a plethora of Trek shows coming out, it’s almost as if a renaissance for the series is upon us. Also, Strange New Worlds looks amazing.

Lower Decks goes out of its way to take itself less seriously, proving there’s definitely some room for a bit of comedy interspersed with the more abstract seriousness the show often aims to hit. What Lower Decks does so well is how it leverages that crazy sense of humor into the fandom at large. It sort of reminds me of what happens when enthusiastic, musically inclined fans get together to write songs about the show.

Music has always been integral to Star Trek . From the opening theme of Star Trek (TOS) onward, music has been an integral part of Star Trek , inspiring viewers and musicians alike. While each show’s own music is instantly recognizable, the program also inspired a great deal of music by other artists (often related to TOS ). You’ve probably heard “ The Trouble With Klingons ,” a pastiche created by Dennis Williams for a certain novelty song contest or “Spock Rap” by the animators at Will Vinton Studios (under the name The Neural Paralyzers ) in the ’80s. Admittedly, not everything in this category is great, but there are plenty of gems around. Here are a few artists/songs that explore strange musical worlds, seek out new melodies, and boldly sing where no one has sung before!

You won’t find William Shatner’s The Transformed Man or Leonard Nimoy’s Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy here. Likewise, we won’t revisit the original Trek theme and its lyrics . Rather, these songs and sketches represent unique takes on Trek by various musicians and comedians past and present.

5. “Banned from Argo,” Leslie Fish & the Dehorn Crew

“ And we’re banned from Argo every one, banned from Argo just for having a little fun…”

Filk music is full of talented musicians who share a love of science fiction and community. Filk music—folk music with lyrics based on science fiction—has a rich history , with a strong connection to Trek.

Leslie Fish is perhaps the genre’s best known figure. With her 12-string guitar and larger than life persona, Fish writes about science fiction and beyond.

“ Banned from Argo ” is an upbeat shanty with slightly twisted lyrics. The Enterprise crew goes on shore leave and various hilarious hijinks ensue. It doesn’t reference TOS characters by name, it’s obvious which crew members she’s singing about.

The first few lines of a song explore the mischievous misadventures of the crew checking out “every joint and bar” on Argo during their shore leave. Listeners then learn about the Captain’s sinful tastes and complex methods, the engineer’s ability to “outdrink space marines and a demolition crew,” and the first officer teaches the computer how to swear. It’s a shame what happened to the doctor … but I digress.

Surprisingly, Fish doesn’t seem to like the song much. As she states in several interviews (notably her brief appearance in Trekkies 2 ), the tune was written as quickly to fill out an album. It rapidly became her best known song—something she is a bit cranky about .

Leslie Fish has a large ouvre of other songs, both Trek related and otherwise. Her exuberant performances and love for storytelling shine during her performances. If you’re not a fan of folk music and/or sea shanties, you may want to give this one a pass.

If you enjoy her Trek music, check out the song “Carmen Miranda’s Ghost” and its accompanying anthology . For the full Leslie Fish experience, give Folk Songs for Solar Sailors a spin—if you can find it .

4. “Everything I Do, I Do with William Shatner,” Warp 11

”I don’t want to go to work, just wanna hang with Captain Kirk and if I had my way, I’d make it so…”

Dedicated to all things Trek , Sacramento’s Warp 11 built a career playing Trek -themed music. Originally devised as a “band that only plays Trek songs” for a one-time video project of bass player/singer Karl Miller, the idea stuck and Warp 11 was born. Two decades and six albums later, the band is still on their musical journey.

Through incredible energy, crunchy electric guitar, and hilarious lyrics, “ Everything I Do, I Do with William Shatner ” from 2002’s Red Alert perfectly reflects the band’s “mission statement” —to convert listeners into Trek fans. Despite its title, the song is about Captain Kirk rather than Shatner himself.

Effortlessly juxtaposing the manic energy of The Presidents of the United States of America and the killer chops of The Ramones with a wider mix of blues, rock, and punk styles. Add their DIY punk-meets- TOS cosplay aesthetic, and you get one very eclectic listening/visual experience.

With Warp 11, you’ll find songs about Q and Betazoids, an entire album covering The Borg, and a few sporadic tunes about Voyager . The band’s healthy mix of TOS and TNG material is the epitome of Trek music created by fans, for fans.

While I enjoy their music, it skews toward a teenager/adult audience and is definitely not for kids. Warp 11 are well known for their sense of humor and double entendre and they can be a bit R-rated at times, with mildly NSFW album art. Some of their stuff can be a bit of an acquired taste, but if you dig pink, scifi, humor, and Star Trek , they’re worth checking out!

For those interested in Warp 11, start with Red Alert , then dive into any of their post-2007 work from It’s Dead Jim onward, available at their website and most streaming services.

3. “StarDrek,” Bobby “Boris” Pickett and Peter Ferarra

“ To boldly go where everyone has gone before !”

What do The Godfather , the most famous Halloween song of all time, and Star Trek have in common? Bobby “Boris” Pickett, of course. After having his breakout smash with “The Monster Mash” in 1962 (we wrote about this classic novelty tune in 2018 ), Pickett forged a career as a writer, playwright, comedian, and songwriter.

In 1975-1976, Pickett got together with producer Peter Ferrara to record “Godfather’s Respect”—a song about the 1972 film set to the tune of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”—and an original spoken word spoof of TOS called “Star Drek” (not to be confused with the MAD Magazine spoofs of a similar name).

The sketch follows the daily operation of a parody version of The Enterprise and its crew, focusing on the most exaggerated aspects of each character.

It isn’t an outright mockery of the franchise and its fans, either. “Star Drek” is a carefully crafted satire of the genre that plays to the absurdity of the occasional technobabble used on the show, taking a light hearted approach to the action. We won’t spoil the punchline for you here.

Barrett Hansen—a.k.a. radio host Dr. Demento—included the sketch on his 25th Anniversary collection, writing the two were on opposite coasts during the recording process so Peter ended up doing all the voices himself. They shared the credits, as Pickett helped write the piece.

The sketch is uproariously funny every time you hear it—a rare accomplishment for a comedy/novelty song—full of nuance and spot-on characterizations. Of course, your mileage may vary. The humor may be a bit dry for some, but it’s a fun piece that holds up remarkably well today.

If you like Pickett and Ferrara’s style consider listening to Pickett’s The Monster Mash LP. For more Peter Ferrara, watch the Jonathan Winters specials On the Ledge and Spaced Out .

Terry Mc Govern

(via Terry McGovern’s website )

2. “Beam me up Scotty,” Terry McGovern

”Beam me up Scotty, oh beam me up Scotty, life sure is trouble below …”

Terry McGovern is known today for his voice acting (he was the voice of Launchpad McQuack in the original Duck Tales ), but he began his career as a radio broadcaster . Later, he would work in movies and television as well. In 1976, he released a Trek song of his own, “Beam me up, Scotty” on Baseball Records as a B-side to his rendition of the classic tune “ Pachalafaka .” You can hear the entire thing on SoundCloud .

Not to be confused with an obscure country tune of the same name, McGovern’s song is a quiet rumination on how boring/awful life on earth can seem sometimes. The singer longs to join the crew of The Enterprise and escape the banality of modern life.

The song received airplay on various radio shows, but languished in obscurity for years until being officially re-released on a compilation album in the early 2000s. While it may not be the most well known Trek tune, it’s certainly well loved .

McGovern regularly attends conventions and teaches acting classes—on top of his legendary voice work.

1. “Star Trekkin’,” The Firm

“ There’s Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow… ”

The final entry in our list may be the best known: “Star Trekkin’” by The Firm. No, not Jimmy Page’s post Zeppelin band; this group was a side project of John O’Connor, a British music producer.

The song was popular in its own time—it hit Number One in the UK music charts and stayed there for quite awhile back in 1986—but took on new life in the internet age. It was used in one of the episodes of a Flash-based web series called Stone Trek (a mashup of The Flintstones and TOS ) and a claymation video makes the internet rounds every so often. Not bad for a novelty song that was rejected by every record company O’Connor approached. Then it became a million seller, prompting O’Connor’s move to America, where he went on to compose for television .

The Firm released a full-length LP, Serious Fun , that’s worth at least a slip of gold pressed latinum. “Star Trekkin’” is the best and catchiest of the tracks. Good luck getting the tune out of your head.

The number of songs in the Star Trek musical Boldly Go! Written by a Caltech theoretical physics graduate , Grant Remmen, and his brother Cole, the show is a humorous and satirical take on The Original Series . With songs like “Dammit Jim, I’m a Doctor” and “Captain’s Log (As Great As I Know I Am),” the show is well worth watching for its two hour runtime. According to a 2016 Caltech ad for the show, Boldly Go! is ”a story about being true to oneself and one’s convictions, about friendship and love, about discovery and wonder, about the triumph of the individual over adversity, and about the joy of sharing with each other this vast and mysterious Universe.” For those interested in such things, it’s available in its entirety on YouTube .

When I originally outlined this —several years ago now—it had quite a few more songs. But over time, my interest and enthusiasm for Trek has waned somewhat.

And of course we couldn’t fit all of our favorite goofy science fiction songs into this piece. But there are plenty of great Trek bands around like “one-chord punk rockers” No Kill I (and NKI: the Next Generation and NKI:Deep Space Nine; they’re all different bands), modern filkers Ookla the Mok , and the Klingon metal group Stovokor , whose performances take Trek music to the next level.

Songs and sketches about Trek continue to endure well into the 21st century and beyond and it will be interesting to see what strange musical moments the future of Trek fandom holds.

And although this piece no longer resembles anything close to the original idea I had for it, I’m glad I was able to take a quick reprieve from the insanity of our modern world to find—and share—some humor from the bridge of The Enterprise that can still resonate with audiences today.

Thanks again to David for the great piece. Find this one a worthy read? Share it with a pal ! And see you all next week.

David Buck

Your time was just wasted by David Buck

David Buck is a former radio guy/musician who researches and writes about all manner of strange and interesting music, legacy technology, Nintendo and data analysis.

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Let’s rank the songs of ‘strange new worlds’ musical episode, ‘subspace rhapsody’, "will this work who can say we're gonna sing it anyway".

Image of Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike in a scene from 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.' He is a white man with perfectly coiffed salt-and-pepper hair wearing a gold Starfleet uniform. He's on the bridge of the Enterprise singing on his knees with one hand on his chest and the other outstretched.

At last, the Star Trek: Strange New World s musical episode is here! TMS’ Lauren Coates has us covered with a review of “Subspace Rhapsody” as a whole, but I’m here to talk specifically about the music . After all, a musical is judged by how likely you are to keep singing and listening to the songs long after the show is over. At least, that’s how I rate musicals.

So, how does the music stack up? Allow me to provide a humble ranking of the songs from “Subspace Rhapsody” from least to most awesome. Feel free to disagree with me about the order in the comments!

10. “ How Would That Feel ” – La’an Noonien-Singh (performed by Christina Chong)

Image of Christina Chong as La'an Noonien-Singh in a scene from 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds." She is a mixed race white and Chinese woman with dark hair pulled tightly back in a ponytail formed by two braids. She's wearing a red Starfleet uniform as she sits seriously at a conference table.

Sadly, my least favorite song was performed by one of the characters I was most looking forward to hearing from.

La’an’s going through a lot: she traveled through time, she’s not supposed to talk about it, and she had romantic feelings for a version of Kirk who is now dead. She’s also one of the more guarded members of the crew, due to her harrowing experience with the Gorn and the assumptions people make from her last name. I was sure we wouldn’t hear from La’an for a while, but when we did, it would be meaningful .

Instead, we got a La’an song way too early, singing feelings I’m not convinced she’d sing, even on her own. Especially since she had the self-control not to sing when revealing her actual strong feelings to Kirk later in the episode. Imagine how much more powerful Kirk’s rejection would’ve been if it followed a heartbreakingly honest musical confession. Instead, we were served an emotionally incoherent, lyrically generic ballad way too early in the episode.

9. “ Keeping Secrets ” – Una Chin-Riley (performed by Rebecca Romijn)

Image of Rebecca Romijn as Una Chin-Riley in a scene from 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds." She is a white woman with long dark hair pulled into a high, 1960s-style ponytail and wearing a gold Starfleet uniform. She is singing to La'an who stands out of focus in the foreground with her back to the camera.

Una Chin-Riley is another character who’s way more fascinating than the songs she was given. Unfortunately, Una’s two numbers in the episode are among the weakest. “Keeping Secrets” is the weaker of the two, as Una commiserates with La’an by comparing her unrequited love of Kirk to … her own battle to keep her identity a secret to avoid persecution? Una, all secrets are not equal. And in this context, Number One doesn’t know the timey-wimey reasons why La’an’s feelings for Kirk are so complicated. So, the fact that her approach is this serious in this song makes little sense.

I’d be able to forgive that if the music or lyrics were more interesting, but like “How Would That Feel,” this was another plodding, generic ballad during which I found myself checking my phone.

8. “ Connect to Your Truth ” – Una Chin-Riley and James T. Kirk (performed by Rebecca Romijn and Paul Wesley)

star trek song youtube

“Connect to Your Truth” was a stronger song for Number One, not only because it was a fun callback to her love of Gilbert & Sullivan—which she expressed in the Short Treks episode “Q&A” —but because it was a duet with a James T. Kirk who is not yet a captain. This allowed Una to give Kirk advice on how to be a better leader by staying true to who you are and connecting to your crew through vulnerability.

Also, this song was fun , which goes a long way. While this song is only slightly better than the first two songs on this list (and it’s probably the cheesiest song in the episode), both Romijn and Wesley seemed to be having a great time singing it. The song also makes sense on a character level as well as thematically.

7. “Main Title (“Subspace Rhapsody” Version)” – composed by Jeff Russo

I love when a themed episode of a TV show goes to the trouble of creating something different for the opening title sequence. SNW already did this once with a Lower Decks -inspired opening for “Those Old Scientists.” For “Subspace Rhapsody,” composer Jeff Russo orchestrated a boppy, choral version of the opening theme that will give you chills.

Hearing this version in the trailer truly got me excited about watching the episode! Literally the only reason for its “low” placement on this list is that it’s an instrumental and not really a “song,” but it needed to be on here!

6. “ Private Conversation ” – Christopher Pike and Marie Batel (performed by Anson Mount and Melanie Scrofano)

Image of Anson Mount as Captain Pike and Melanie Scrofano as Captain Batel in a scene from 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.' Pike is out of focus in the foreground with his back turned to the camera. We see Batel, a white woman with long, brown hair wearing a gold Starfleet uniform on the large bridge viewscreen. She looks upset.

“Private Conversation” is a fun and hilariously awkward moment between two characters who are still trying to figure out what their romantic relationship looks like long distance.

Before any of the singing starts, we know that Pike and Batel have been discussing taking a vacation together. As Batel shares her preferred destination, it’s clear that Pike isn’t into it. But rather than being upfront about it, he deflects. Then, despite being so not thrilled about the singing, Pike is forced to reveal how he feels in song when Uhura patches a call from Batel to him on the bridge.

Hearing them both absolutely hate that they’re being compelled to sing while also having an awkward lovers’ squabble in front of subordinate crew members was an absolute delight.

5. “ Status Report ” – Enterprise Crew (performed by the SNW Cast)

Image of Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike in a scene from 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.' He is a white man with perfectly coiffed salt-and-pepper hair wearing a gold Starfleet uniform. He's on the bridge of the Enterprise with his head bowed in frustration absolutely hating the fact that everyone has suddenly burst into song.

“Status Report” understood the assignment, and is a perfect opening number for a Star Trek musical. It manages to sound very Trek (technobabble and all), while also sounding like a true musical number. Every cast member takes part in the number in a way that is true to their character. The song is a perfect, fun, and funny introduction to the unique nature of the problem: there’s nothing technically “wrong” on the ship, and yet there’s something very, very wrong on the ship.

I mean, just look at Pike’s face above. He really, really hates that this is happening, and I love it so much .

4. “ I’m the X ” – Spock (performed by Ethan Peck)

Image of Ethan Peck as Spock in a scene from 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.' He is a white Vulcan with pointed ears and short, black hair. He's wearing a blue Starfleet uniform and is looking off into the distance, despondent.

This darker, angrier reprise to Nurse Chapel’s song (which is slightly higher up on the list) is not only a perfect song for Spock at this point in his life, but it marks the beginning of the more stoic Spock that we (and Boimler) will come to know in the future. Freshly dumped by his fiancée, Spock learns that the woman he basically left her for has no qualms about leaving him to take a fellowship. So Spock decides that the only way to handle this is to put away emotions entirely . Oh, Spock. You adorable stupid jerk.

And leave it to Spock to sing a song about emotions and romantic relationships that uses math as a metaphor. I mean, it’s no “ The Math of Love Triangles ” from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend , but it is more accurate about math.

3. “ I’m Ready ” – Christine Chapel (performed by Jess Bush)

Image of Jess Bush as Christine Chapel in a scene from 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.' She is a white woman with chin-length blonde hair wearing a white Starfleet uniform. She's looking up at the ceiling mid-song with her hands held up to her chest.

Thankfully, not all the women of the cast got sub-par songs to work with. “I’m Ready” has the distinction of being the only song in the episode that truly works both as a song for Chapel (in the context of the story) and as a completely standalone song that I cannot wait to hear someone crush at karaoke.

It’s also a great song musically and has a fun, flirtatious energy. Not flirty as in “with a person,” but flirting with the possibilities of life. And I love that the song subverts TOS Chapel, whom we see pining after Spock all the time. “I’m Ready” gives us a Christine who has feelings for Spock, but is more in love with her own future. Like Billie Eilish .

2. “ We Are One ” – Enterprise Crew (performed by the SNW Cast)

Screengrab from the 'Strange New Worlds' musical episode, "Subspace Rhapsody." Captain Pike is in the center of several crew members on the bridge, all of whom have their arms in the air, mid-song.

“Subspace Rhapsody” came out of the gate strong with a solid opening number, and it ended strong with a finale as optimistic as Star Trek is at its best. Of course the solution was going to be that we need more voices singing . Of course the solution was going to come from Uhura, Trek’s Queen of Communication. And of course, Uhura was going to highlight that music isn’t just about expressing one’s bad or secret feelings, it’s about expressing the good ones too!

She rightfully points out that cultures throughout history have used songs to celebrate and engage in communal activities, and she reminds the Enterprise crew that they are always at their best when they work together. “We Are One” ended the episode on a joyful note that made me proud to be a Trekkie.

1. “ Keep Us Connected ” – Nyota Uhura (performed by Celia Rose Gooding)

star trek song youtube

The clear standout of the episode is Uhura’s passionate ballad, “Keep Us Connected.” This song is an emotional roller coaster, and it was the one song in the episode that made me cry.

First, it honored a Trek legacy character whose contributions can never be praised enough. Second, it was deeply personal for Uhura, charting her journey from experiencing the death of her family at a young age to making a career out of bringing people together, giving her a depth that she’s rarely been given elsewhere. And third, because this song resonates on the same level as Encanto ‘s “Surface Pressure,” relatable to every woman who’s ever felt the pressure of, and recognized the strength required for, the invisible labor in which they so often engage in to care for others.

And Gooding performs the song brilliantly. They have an amazing voice, and while it took the entire cast to make me feel this strongly during the opener and the finale, Gooding was the only cast member able to elicit this level of emotion all on their own. I loved that what started as a song of grief and self-pity turned into Uhura recognizing that her ability to help others communicate is a gift. And in recognizing this gift, they arrive at the solution that saves the Enterprise from being a forever musical.

I will be listening to this song on a loop all weekend. You can, too, as the soundtrack for “Subspace Rhapsody” is available wherever you stream music.

(featured image: Paramount+)

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star trek song youtube

Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.

Screen Rant

Every star trek tv series theme song ranked.

Star Trek has featured a multitude of soaring, iconic theme songs over the years, scoring the final frontier through thrilling orchestral marches.

Star Trek has featured some of the most iconic theme songs of all time, generally scoring the final frontier with thrilling orchestral marches. From the very beginning, with Star Trek: The Original Series , the music was an important part of the show. And while the types of music used to score the actual episodes has evolved over the years, the theme song remains consistent - in all but one case, an orchestral composition laid atop a title sequence listing the main cast members.

While the importance of an opening tune may not always be obvious, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry certainly understood the value of the theme song. Roddenberry wrote lyrics to the TOS theme song so he could collect half the royalties, damaging his relationship with composer Alexander Courage. Many of Star Trek 's theme songs have become so iconic they're part of the cultural lexicon, while a select few are widely reviled.

Related: Star Trek's 6 Most Controversial Captains (& Why)

12 Star Trek: Enterprise

star trek song youtube

A prequel set a century before the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Star Trek: Enterprise features the most infamous theme song in the entire franchise. Rather than a traditional orchestral theme song, Enterprise was headlined by "Where My Heart Will Take Me," a saccharine pop ballad by Russell Watson. Using a pop song for a Star Trek theme is not an inherently bad idea, but "Where My Heart Will Take Me" is a substandard power ballad that doesn't fit with the spirit of Star Trek . Enterprise 's theme was almost U2's Beautiful Day , which would have been a huge improvement.

11 Star Trek: The Animated Series

Star Trek: The Animated Series Characters

Star Trek: The Animated Series was something of a half measure. While Star Trek: The Original Series began to explode in popularity in syndication in the 1970s, it still wasn't yet financially feasible to fully revive the series. A cheaper, safer option was Star Trek: The Animated Series . The entire TOS cast, except for Walter Koenig, returned to voice their characters, largely thanks to Leonard Nimoy. The opening theme is a weak retread of the TOS theme song, created by Funimation's in-house composers. Like everything else about The Animated Series , the song is largely forgettable, a Star Trek footnote at best.

10 Star Trek: Discovery

Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones as Michael Burnham and Saru in Star Trek Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery , the adventures of mutineer-turned-Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), borrows a bit of Alexander Courage's iconic fanfare before twisting the melody slightly and storming off into new territory. Jeff Russo's theme is propulsive and pretty, but apart from the Courage flourishes, it feels like it could be the theme song to any CBS legal drama. It's a song that could soundtrack multiple relatively mundane scenarios, but maybe not a space epic. It's an understated piece that never quite takes flight in a satisfying, stirring way, ironically mirroring Star Trek: Discovery 's occasional narrative issues in executing its lofty ambitions.

9 Star Trek: The Original Series

Captain Kirk with his crew in Star Trek The Original Series

Alexander Courage's fanfare that introduces Captain Kirk's "Space, the final frontier..." narration is one of the single most iconic musical cues in modern pop culture. The theme song that actually follows that fanfare is just sort of passable. The theme for Captain Kirk and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is very dated sounding, clearly a product of the 1960s, and the theme itself is not strong enough to overcome the old-fashioned production. There are a few different mixes of the song, but the most infamous is the one that cranks the female soprano singer's voice to the forefront, which is somewhat cringe-inducing.

8 Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Pike looking out the window in Star Trek Strange New Worlds

For the pre-Kirk adventures of Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) aboard the USS Enterprise, composer Jeff Russo reimagined the theme song from Star Trek: The Original Series . The fanfare is still great, and the theme song itself is much improved in this new form, featuring a more sophisticated arrangement and big, foreboding strings. The use of the theremin at the end of the theme is a nice nod to TOS. Like many aspects of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds , the TOS theme song has been freshened up and made appealing for modern audiences.

7 Star Trek: Picard (Seasons 1 & 2)

Patrick Stewart as Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Picard

The surprise return of Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) in Star Trek: Picard was again given its theme song by composer Jeff Russo. It's a lovely, twinkling, slightly sad theme, as violins swirl around the signature flute piece, an homage to Picard's experience in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Inner Light." It's not exactly thrilling, but it's emotionally resonant, and it sets the stage perfectly for Picard's late life adventure to save Commander Data's (Brent Spiner) synthetic offspring Soji (Isa Briones).

6 Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek Lower Decks main cast

The adult animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks is often thought of as a lovingly irreverent spoof, but in many ways it understands Star Trek as well as any series in the franchise. Ensign Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) may be an anxious neurotic, but he also understands what Starfleet stands for about as well as anyone. Composer Chris Westlake's theme song is clearly channeling the Star Trek series of the 1990s, structured and composed in ways that would make old school Star Trek producer Rick Berman proud.

5 Star Trek: Prodigy

Hologram Janeway says goodbye in the Prodigy finale

One of the most impressive aspects of the alternate reality Kelvin timeline films was the score, composed by current Hollywood powerhouse Michael Giacchino. He returned to the franchise to lend his talents to the theme song for Star Trek: Prodigy , Paramount+'s first series aimed squarely at children and families. Giacchino doesn't disappoint, providing a confident, galloping theme song that feels like a thrilling companion piece to his Kelvin timeline Star Trek work . It immediately became one of Star Trek 's finest themes.

4 Star Trek: Picard (Season 3)

Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek Picard season 3 trailer

Star Trek: Picard season 3 made some sweeping changes to the series, most notably putting Admiral Picard back on a Federation starship and reuniting him with his command crew from the USS Enterprise-D. The show's music also made a change; the opening credits were moved to the end of each episode, and Jeff Russo's theme was replaced by a new arrangement of the late Jerry Goldsmith's main theme from Star Trek: First Contact . Goldsmith's First Contact piece is one of the most beautiful in all of Star Trek , and hearing it while viewing the dazzling LCARS screens all over the bridge of the USS TItan-A is a nerdy delight.

3 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

The cast of Deep Space Nine poses for a promotional image

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has a reputation for being one of the darkest entries in Star Trek , and the theme song somewhat backs that up. The somber, reflective theme song begins with a single echoing horn, a fitting metaphor for the space station's position in a relatively remote part of space. The simple, mournful theme song got a musical overhaul at the beginning of season 4, beefing up the melodrama and intensity at the dawn of the brutal Dominion War.

2 Star Trek: Voyager

The cast of Star Trek Voyager poses for a promotional image.

An argument can be made that the best thing about Star Trek: Voyager is its theme song. Written by legendary Star Trek composer Jerry Goldsmith, Voyager's theme song is all bombastic strings and horns, a dramatic melody that underscores how dire the situation is for Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her surviving crew. It also manages to shoot that tension through with the sort of hopefulness that defines the best of Star Trek . it's one of Goldsmith's most affecting pieces of Star Trek music, which is saying something.

1 Star Trek: The Next Generation

The crew of the Enterprise pose together while looking up from The Next Generation

The original plan was for Star Trek: The Next Generation to have a fully original theme song, but late in pre-production it was decided to use a combination of Alexander Courage's fanfare from Star Trek: The Original Series and Jerry Goldsmith's main theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture . The result is the single most iconic theme song in all of Star Trek , a confident march that hits every note with intense purpose. For many Star Trek fans, it's the defining sound of adventure and space exploration.

Memory Alpha

  • View history

Mohawk Punk on Bus, 1986

A punk flips Kirk "the bird"

"I Hate You" was a punk rock song which was known on planet Earth in its year 1986 . A rider on a San Francisco bus was playing this song at an excessive volume on his ghetto blaster when he was neck-pinched by Spock , a Vulcan time traveler from the 23rd century , attempting to control the decibel level the bus' passengers were experiencing. The passengers were grateful. ( Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home )

In 2024 , a similar song called " I Still Hate You " existed as well. ( PIC : " Watcher ")

  • 2.1 Edge of Etiquette
  • 3 External links

Just where is our future , the things we've done and said! Let's just push the button , we'd be better off dead ! 'Cause I hate you! And I berate you! And I can't wait to get to you! The sins of all our fathers , being dumped on us – the sons . The only choice we're given is how many megatons ? And I eschew you! And I say, screw you ! And I hope you're blue , too. We're all bloody worthless,...

Background information

According to the movie credits, the song was performed by the obscure band Edge of Etiquette. (Edge of Etiquette was, indeed, so obscure that it is rather difficult to find anything more about them than their having performed this particular song.) The punk on the bus who flipped Kirk "the bird" was played by Star Trek IV associate producer Kirk Thatcher . According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia  (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 354), Edge of Etiquette was a pseudonym for Thatcher.

Thatcher also wrote the lyrics for the song to music written by Mark Mangini . [1] A game card, from the Star Trek Customizable Card Game released by Decipher , excerpted the lyrics of the song. Thatcher had complained that the new wave music previously considered would not have been an accurate representation of what a 1980s punk would listen to, and offered to write "I Hate You" instead. [2]

The song was also heard in the 1987 Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello beach party comedy Back to the Beach .

Edge of Etiquette

The reason for the obscurity of Edge of Etiquette is the band not having existed longer than approximately one and a half days after the movie had gone into post-production. Thatcher provided the vocals as well as the lyrics for the song. The rest of the team consisted of several such members of the sound department as Mark Mangini, who converted the tune Thatcher had in mind for the song to something that could be played.

To achieve an "authentic" gritty punk sound, Thatcher, Mangini and company moved into the hallway of the sound studio where the post-production sound work was being done in order to record the song. They also used the lowest quality microphones and instruments they had available to enhance the illusion that the song had been recorded live at a punk club.

This was the only time Edge of Etiquette ever recorded anything or played anywhere. No royalties or licensing fees of any kind were ever paid to anyone for the use of the song "I Hate You" in Star Trek IV. Thatcher did get some royalties when the song was later used in the movie Back to the Beach, but the song was not included on the film's soundtrack album. [3] The song remained unavailable for purchase until the soundtrack was re-released in late December 2011 .

External links

  • Hardcore Archeology: Edge of Etiquette
  • Complete song I Hate You  at YouTube
  • 2 USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-G)

Star Trek Sound Effects (From the Original TV Soundtrack)

September 1, 1987 69 Songs, 40 minutes ℗ 1987 GNP Crescendo Records

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Star Trek: Discovery’s theme song pays tribute to Star Treks past

And it doesn’t have lyrics

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CBS is wetting the whistles of Star Trek fans by revealing Star Trek : Discovery’ s new theme music, which contains several references to the famous opening theme of Star Trek: The Original Series . Notably, it is also a return to a orchestral score rather than the reviled choice of a pop-ballad for the theme of 2001’s Star Trek: Enterprise .

The theme song can be heard in the video above, beginning proper at the 0:36 mark.

Fans have already been waiting nearly a decade for Star Trek to return to the small screen, its place of origin. Discovery will bringing audiences back to the 23rd century, about ten years before the events of Star Trek: The Original Series , to follow the exploits of Star Fleet officers as they explore the majesty and dangers of the Milky Way.

A full two years have passed between Discovery ’s initial announcement and its premiere date. One might even say that it’s been a long road, getting from there to here , with multiple delays to its premiere date and showrunner Bryan Fuller being asked to leave the production late last year . But despite all that, the show is still hotly anticipated.

That might have something to do with the boundaries it is already breaking — it will be the first Star Trek series with a central character who is not the captain of a starship, the first with a central character who is a woman of color, and the first to feature an openly queer, human character in the main cast.

Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on CBS on Sept. 24, after which the entire season will be made available on the CBS All Access streaming service.

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‘Star Trek’ made its first ever musical episode, but was it any good? Our writers discuss

Seven people stand with their arms and legs spread outward on the command deck of a spaceship.

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This article contains spoilers for “Subspace Rhapsody,” the ninth episode of Season 2 of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds .”

On Thursday, “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” (Paramount+) debuted “Subspace Rhapsody,” which has been announced as the first musical episode in the franchise . (Some will, of course, remember Spock strumming on a Vulcan lute and Uhura singing in the original series or Data’s rendition of “Blue Skies” at Will and Deanna’s wedding in “Star Trek: Nemesis.”)

Whether or not one views this as an insult to or a delightful expansion of the series, it has become, if not quite de rigueur, not unusual for a comedy or drama or even a soap opera to get its inner “Rent” on. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was perhaps the most ballyhooed show to take this step toward Broadway, but all sorts of series have danced into the footlights: “Fringe,” “Psych,” “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Futurama,” “One Life to Live,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Community,” “Transparent” and more.

Entertainment and arts reporter Ashley Lee, who knows a lot about musicals but little about “Star Trek,” and television critic Robert Lloyd, who knows quite a bit about “Star Trek” and less about musicals (at least any written after 1970), got together to discuss the episode.

Illustration for Robert Lloyd's story about the greatness of the Star Trek franchise.

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Ashley Lee: Because I love musical theater, I’m always intrigued when TV shows take the risk to make a musical episode. The task of creating original songs for the screen is already tricky enough, especially in a way that invites along the show’s weekly audience and still moves its stories forward. And then there’s the task of asking the actors to perform them, whether or not they’ve ever sung or danced onscreen before. It’s an episodic experiment that, over the years, only some shows have gotten right.

I admittedly put on the musical episode of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” with low expectations because, outside of “Little Shop of Horrors,” putting sci-fi to song hasn’t historically been so harmonious (R.I.P., “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”). Even though I had no prior connection to any of these characters, I found “Subspace Rhapsody” to be a pleasant surprise.

I loved how the songs, written by Kay Hanley and Tom Polce of the ’90s alt-rock band Letters to Cleo, poked enough fun at the oddity of suddenly breaking out into song without insulting the TV tradition. And I found it hilarious that the episode, directed by Dermott Downs and written by Dana Horgan and Bill Wolkoff, deemed “confessing highly personal, emotional information” a legitimate security threat. (When you think about it, such can definitely be true in the real world!)

I’m surprised that, after all these years, this is the first ever “Star Trek” musical episode. Robert, as a longtime fan of the franchise, were you open to the idea?

Two women and a Vulcan man stand shoulder to shoulder, singing

Robert Lloyd: In sci-fi fandom, any unusual step is bound to raise some hackles. But as a TV critic since before flat screens, I have seen at least a few of these “special musical episodes” mounted in otherwise nonmusical series. I suspect the impetus came not from viewer demand but from the producers or the writers, who are always looking for something new to entertain the audience and, not incidentally, themselves and was seized upon happily by cast members, many of whom will have had backgrounds in or at least a love of musical theater, even if only from their high school production of “Guys and Dolls” (which I mention because it was produced at my high school — not with me).

History shows there’s no sort of show more likely than another to take on this challenge, but of all the “Star Trek” series, “Strange New Worlds” is perhaps the one most amenable to it. It’s got a strong vein of humor, and, as a highly episodic show, it’s subject to — in fact, embraces — tonal shifts from week to week. This season has been particularly … goofy? Two weeks prior to “Subspace Rhapsody,” they aired a crossover with the animated spinoff “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” in which cartoon characters became flesh and fleshly characters cartoons.

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I thought it was smart to give the musical element of the show a “scientific” rationale — if the usual “Trek” technobabble — with the Enterprise overwhelmed by feedback from a substance fault into which, on the inspiration of Carol Kane’s Pelia, they sent a playlist in an attempt to communicate musically.

And it’s quite appropriate for a season full of romantic subplots, including Ethan Peck’s Spock — who, you must know, is more about logic than feeling — having a thing with Jess Bush’s Nurse Chapel, and security chief Noonien-Singh’s (Christina Chong) awkward reunion with a young James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley), who doesn’t recall their relationship from an alternative timeline. (That bit may have made no sense to you, Ash.) Appropriately, the story makes it clear that heightened emotion is what causes the characters to sing — which is, of course, the underlying rationale of music theater.

All else aside, how did the music strike you? It was odd that although the music they fed into the fault was the “Great American Songbook” — the standards of early to mid-20th century popular song, often written for musicals — none of the songs in the episode were actually modeled on that tradition. Not much in the way of Jerome Kern or Rodgers and Hart there. It all sounded post-Andrew Lloyd Webber to me.

Una and James T. Kirk in yellow and black uniforms, climbing up a red ladder in a narrow tunnel.

Lee: Haha, you’re right! While I did appreciate the use of Cole Porter’s show tune “Anything Goes” as a very literal cue to the audience of the storytelling “rules” ahead, many of the tunes were more contemporary than Golden Age. The one that’s most “vintage” in style was the sweet duet “Connect to Your Truth,” when Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn) shared key leadership advice with Lt. Kirk.

Regarding the romances, I admittedly became deeply invested in these will-they-won’t-theys by the end of their musical numbers. I particularly loved La’an Noonien-Singh‘s song “How Would That Feel,” about contemplating vulnerability; it was like an introspective, angsty version of “Company’s” “Being Alive” in the musical style of “Wicked” (and is a promising preview of her music — Chong just released a debut EP). And the stark differences in genre between Spock’s brooding electropop ballad “I’m the X” and Nurse Chapel’s Amy Winehouse-esque fellowship celebration “I’m Ready” definitely maximized the tension amid their miscommunication.

Clockwise from top left: Kiah McKirnan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sissy Spacek, Naomie Harris, Cass Bugge, Morningstar Angeline, Josh Brolin, Clarke Peters, Imogen Poots, and Adam Bartley. Scenes from "Night Sky" (Amazon), "Outer Range" (Amazon) and "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (Showtime).

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Beyond those, the opening number titled “Status Report” was so strong — a perfect example of musicalizing a familiar routine of the world (think “Opening Up” from “Waitress” or “Good Morning Baltimore” from “Hairspray”) — and the choral, orchestral rendition of the show’s main title was a delight. Also, the double meaning of communications officer Nyota Uhura’s anthem “Keep Us Connected” was very satisfying and, in my opinion, only scratched the surface of Celia Rose Gooding’s vocal abilities (she earned a Tony nomination for her performance in “Jagged Little Pill”).

If “Star Trek” ever officially makes the leap to the stage, I imagine these three songs in particular would transfer well. (Though if so, I’m gonna need a full expansion of that brief interlude of autotuned, rapping Klingons.) Bravo to Hanley and Polce for writing all the music and lyrics of this episode; while many have attempted it over the years, only a few pop stars and rockers have successfully walked the tightrope of writing effective and entertaining stage musicals (e.g., Cyndi Lauper, David Byrne and Elton John).

Overall, did you enjoy “Subspace Rhapsody”? Was the first musical episode of the franchise worth the wait?

Uhura in a maroon and black uniform, sitting at spaceship controls.

Lloyd: I can’t say I was waiting for it, but I certainly enjoyed it. I’m all about nutty “Star Trek,” going back to “The Trouble With Tribbles,” and also found it a really effective way to embody the emotional crises being faced by “Strange New Worlds’” eminently likable characters. Certainly, the cast bursting into song (and the occasional dance), with music dropping in from … somewhere, is no more nonsensical than about, oh, a hundred things that have happened to the various starship crews over nearly six decades.

But let me ask you, did it make you liable to keep watching the series? (No judgment.)

Lee: Robert, these subplots were so genuinely compelling, even when concisely moved forward in song, that I’ll likely start this series from the beginning and continue on past this episode. Plus, I’m so intrigued by Lt. Kirk and Noonien-Singh’s romance in that alternate timeline!

‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’

Where: Paramount + When: Anytime, starting Thursday

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Ashley Lee is a staff reporter at the Los Angeles Times, where she writes about theater, movies, television and the bustling intersection of the stage and the screen. An alum of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Critics Institute and Poynter’s Power of Diverse Voices, she leads workshops on arts journalism at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. She was previously a New York-based editor at the Hollywood Reporter and has written for the Washington Post, Backstage and American Theatre, among others. She is currently working remotely alongside her dog, Oliver.

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Robert Lloyd has been a Los Angeles Times television critic since 2003.

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Osage nation songwriter on his ‘killers of the flower moon’ oscar nom: “our whole tribe was going crazy”.

The musician, who also is a low-income-housing director for Native Americans in Oklahoma, on what it was like to work with Martin Scorsese and his hopes to perform the drum-filled chant at the Oscars.

By Mesfin Fekadu

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Scott George (center), a music consultant on Apple’s Killers of the Flower Moon, composed “Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People).”

This year’s Academy Award nominees for best original song include previous winners — Billie Eilish/Finneas, Jon Batiste, Mark Ronson/Andrew Wyatt — and a songwriter with a record-making 15th nomination, honorary Oscar recipient Diane Warren. 

The fifth nominee? An Osage Nation tribal member who works as a housing director accommodating low-income Native Americans and is also a skilled musician who has spent 40 years performing Osage ceremonial dances. 

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When “Marty,” as George calls Martin Scorsese, attended one of George’s tribe’s ceremonial dances and heard their traditional music, the director knew he wanted something similar for one of the closing scenes of the film, which earned 10 Oscar noms including best picture and best director.

“We kind of knew what he wanted, but because that’s our ceremonial [music], we didn’t know how we were going to deliver that. We don’t really allow cameras in there,” George explains. “We talked about it and said, ‘We’ll just have to make our own song.’”

“Wahzhazhe” is performed by Osage Tribal Singers and includes vocals from George and two dozen female and male singers who gathered around the drum. For this interview, George sat in his office in Shawnee, Oklahoma, taking a break from his normal life at Citizen Potawatomi Nation, where he’s worked for 19 years.

“I’m hoping the phone doesn’t ring or something while I’m sitting here,” he jokes.

Are you surprised by the nomination? It’s been a very competitive year for film songs.

I’ve talked to all the guys and ladies that sing with us, and they can’t believe it, either. I think our whole tribe was all going crazy that day [the Oscar nominations were announced]. I had a call from one of my sisters who works in the tribe. She said, “We might as well just shut this place down. We can’t get nothing done.” 

Any talks about a live performance at the Oscars ?

We’re getting hints that that might happen, but I think that may be more on Apple’s side. I don’t know that we’ve heard anything from the Academy’s production committee yet. We’re all kind of hoping for the chance. I think that it would be nice to be able to do that.

Your nomination is historic for your people, as well as Lily Gladstone’s best actress nod. What’s it like to know that you both are making history?

With Lily, it’s not surprising to me that she’s been nominated. She’s great. 

Composer Robbie Robertson passed away last year and earned a posthumous nomination for scoring the film. Did you get a chance to work with him?

Not one-on-one. No, we didn’t. I think he wasn’t feeling too good by the time we came in, but he did pick this song [from the two that were submitted]. We recorded both of those songs after we had practiced them for a while and sent them to Marty.

What was it like working with Martin Scorsese?

It was pretty neat. When we shot this song, it probably took all day — or felt like it did. We must’ve sang it a dozen times. We got to go up with him and sit with him and view it on the monitor. He introduced himself and thanked all of our people for being out there. He was really nice to work with. He knew what he wanted. 

Is this your first time composing a song for a film?

What do you think of the other songs that are nominated? 

Well, they’re beautiful songs to me, as far as the melodies and the instrumentation, pianos. Beautiful songs. I’m surprised in some sense that there’s not a real peppy song among them. The one that Diane Warren composed has a little more pep into it, but most of them are really beautiful, just beautiful songs.

So what’s next for you? Would you want to do more film stuff?

Well, it’s been fun. I think I told somebody the other day, “I’ll be glad to see the other side of all this,” kind of get back to who I am and what I do. I don’t know that there will be another opportunity as far as you’re talking about 500+ tribes in the United States, and we all have our own music. It would kind of have to be peculiar to our own people to do anything like this again. As many composers and singers out there as you saw sitting around that drum, there’s that many for every tribe at least.

I’m sure a lot of them also feel represented in this song and in this film as well…

Have you already thought about what you’re going to wear to the awards ? I imagine you’re going to take your wife.

Oh, yeah. Yes. She’s been eating me up on that part of it. She’s been shopping and looking around and [saying], “What am I going to do?” and all this. She’s the one that stresses out about it. I said, “Well, I already know what I’m wearing.” She said, “Well, you can’t just wear that. You got to wear something else.” So we’ll figure it out.

This story first appeared in the Feb. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe .

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