Marilyn Manson's Eerie 'Salem' Theme Revealed: 10 Other Top TV Songs

In the break between American Horror Story seasons, the Internet has turned its fear-seeking attentions to Salem, an original series about the town's infamous witch trails that premiered this past Sunday on WGN America. And now, it seems a new name has entered the buzz: On Thursday, it was revealed that Marilyn Manson penned Salem 's theme song, titled "Cupid Carries a Gun," when its predictably spooky 50-second clip was released in advance of the second episode. Manson's raspy vocals are an excellent match for the show's witchy fare; overall, a solid choice by the showrunners — one that actually makes me eager to check it out come Sunday.

Because the truth of the matter is, a good theme song can make or break a show — or, well, at the very least, make you either crave or dread its opening minutes. And there are plenty of flops out there these days: Regina Spektor's Orange Is the New Black theme, while musically cool, is frustratingly long, and the aggressive twee-ness of New Girl 's Zooey Deschanel-helmed jingle makes me want to cause harm. (Seriously — never before have I had such raw desire to pour gasoline on the singing flowers from Alice in Wonderland.) Of course, there are plenty of themesongs that are just perfectly great — the instant gravitas conveyed by W.G. Snuffy Walden's West Wing opener, the iconic cheesy sitcom-ery of The Rembrandts' "I'll Be There For You" — but this list is for those oh-so-perfect and sometimes surprising choices that you'd be happy to have on a playlist (and possibly, probably do). So, without further ado:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer


A perfect stage-setter for the righteous girl power of the series, and the many acts that would grace the stage of the Bronze (one of which was, indeed, these guys — Nerf Herder, the very last musical guest to play on the show).



Massive Attack is high quality, and "Teardrop" is some of their highest.


Slayboarder9 on YouTube

Always a Saturday morning favorite — right alongside Hey, Arnold. And who could forget the stylings of the brilliant in-show band, The Beets? "Killer Tofu" will forever be my anthem.


Law & Order


The themesong so quintessential it spawned four almost identical revamps. That opening "domp-DOMP" will forever and for always signify crimefightin'.



A throwback of a choice, to be sure, but it it's good enough for The Blues Brothers, it's good enough for me. Plus, nothing says "Wild, Wild West" quite like this plodding — or, should I say, rollin' rollin' rollin' — ballad.

Invader Zim

MissEvee138 on YouTube

You guys, this theme song won an award. Okay, so it was an animation award for the title sequence as a whole, but still. Gotta give my man Jhonen Vasquez his due (and composer Mark Tortorici, of course).

The OC

Chuubijs on YouTube

Come on, you know it's in your iTunes. Even if you didn't buy it; Phantom Planet's "California" comes standard with most Apple products. (Note: This narrowly beat out Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be" from One Tree Hill — O, the angstily wailing young men! — but I figured I've been writing enough about that show lately.)

Welcome Back, Kotter

lcozzarelli on YouTube

Another oldie — but I have a soft spot for The Lovin' Spoonful, the band that the song's writer John Sebstian fronted. It's just so indomitably pleasant, which is admittedly not something you'd expect from a show starring John Travolta. (And, full disclosure, it's been on my brain since I saw the trailer for's forthcoming Harry Potter spoof series, Welcome Back, Potter .)

Veronica Mars

oOvinceOo on YouTube

Much love to The Dandy Warhols — not in the least for coming up with a less-than-objectionable pun-related band name.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

rogerioasantos on YouTube

Yep. There was no way we were getting out of this list without it. To make up for this inevitability, however, I have for you the slightly more novel (and infinitely, eminently genius) Fresh Prince theme song as put through Google Translate — and played live!

collectivecadenza on YouTube