It would be a waste to have Neil Patrick Harris star in a show and not have him sing, which is perhaps exactly why he performs the theme song for A Series Of Unfortunate Events. It was pleasant, though not wholly unexpected, to hear Harris urging viewers to "Look away" from the series in the opening credits. So if you liked the song, despite its morose tone, is there any way to listen to the A Series of Unfortunate Events theme song by Harris after you have finished marathoning all of the episodes? Well, I can fortunately report that Netflix has already provided the song to viewers via YouTube.
The song, "Look Away," starts the same way each episode with the following lyrics:
And then ends with a similar warning.
However, since the eight-episode Netflix series covers the first four books from the fictional Lemony Snicket (aka the real author Daniel Handler), the middle section of the song changes based on which story the episode is telling. Each book gets two parts dedicated to it with the first two episodes covering The Bad Beginning, the second two covering The Reptile Room, the third two covering The Wide Window, and the fourth two covering The Miserable Mill. Because of that, Harris recorded four different sets of lyrics for the bridge. The version shared on YouTube is for The Bad Beginning episodes.
While he sounds menacing in the song, Harris is acting more as a narrator (don't worry, he's not stepping on Lemony Snicket's toes) than his evil character Count Olaf. However, there are exceptions to that rule. Beyond specifically tailoring the lyrics of the bridge to each pair of episodes, Harris also sings the theme song in different voices.
Since his Count Olaf uses an array disguises when Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are with a new guardian, Harris typically sings the second episode of each pair in the voice of the character he is disguised as. For example, he sings the fourth episode's bridge — the second part of The Reptile Room — in the voice of Stefano, the bearded, bespectacled man with an accent that he poses as in an attempt to deceive Uncle Monty.
The first two episodes seem to use the same theme song, but overall, Harris recorded seven different versions, which is pretty legen (in the words of his How I Met Your Mother character Barney Stinson) dary.
Besides the singing by Harris and the lyrics by the books' author Handler, the music by Nick Urata sets the ominous and carnival-like tone of the series. All three elements together perfectly showcase the creative nature of the series, meaning you're going to want to give it another listen after you've finished Season 1. Thankfully, with it being available on YouTube, you'll be able to at least listen to the first version of the theme song used in the series.
As for purchasing it, so far the only song from A Series of Unfortunate Events that appears available to buy is "Missed Me." It's from "An Unfortunate Teaser" and doesn't feature the star of the series singing. However, while I'm not sure how Netflix will go about releasing all of the different variations of the theme song, the show's soundtrack will hopefully be available after Season 1 premieres on (the very unfortunate day of) Friday, Jan. 13. The Crown's soundtrack for Season 1 is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon, so although A Series of Unfortunate Events frequently warns the audience against being optimistic, there is a glimmer of hope that you'll be able to own Harris' "Look Away."