The Patty Duke Show theme song was one of the best-remembered moments in music history

By Tom Gliatto
Updated March 29, 2016 05:05 PM
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Credit: ABC/Getty

Patty Duke may or may not have thought of the theme song from The Patty Duke Show as part of her legacy, but it’s one of the best-written, best-remembered minutes of music ever to launch a subsequent 23 minutes of episodic television nonsense.

It ranks up there with the earworm classics from Gilligan s Island and The Brady Bunch.

If you’re inclined to debate the point, you might also squeeze in Green Acres. But still.

Written by Sid Ramin and Bob Wells (lyrics), the song sets up the show’s situation – it’s about identical cousins Cathy and Patty, the one rather genteel and British, the other just “a girl from Brooklyn Heights – in a sprightly, very economical 20 lines.

The contrasting personalities are deftly captured in the lighter “Cathy” melody and lyrics (” Cathy adores a minuet/ The Ballet Russes, and crepe suzette”) versus the more boisterous “Patty” sections (” Patty loves to rock and roll/ A hot dog makes her lose control”).

In a more rarefied time we would say the song perfectly juxtaposes the Apollonion and the Dionysian. But then we would lose our mind.