I took a road trip up to Michigan this weekend! The drive was about 4.5 hours and I was in the car with my dear friend, Corinne, and two other freshman girls: Keely and Amy. Four and a half hours of music gives me lots to talk about, but I want to focus on the theme song that brought back the best memories.
I noticed at certain times during the drive that a song would come on that someone would exclaim, “Oh! I remember this song! This brings me back to like 2nd grade!” This happened most frequently when we were listening to a CD I have that has “hero” songs on it (James Bond, regular AND techno version, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Captain Planet, Power Rangers, and Indiana Jones Theme Song) and then proceeds with more “normal” artists like Something Corporate, Ben Folds, Acceptance, and Stevie Nicks. All in all, it’s pretty much my favorite CD and I bring it on all road trips. As we were driving up 231, Captain Planet came on and we all started singing along at the top of our lungs.
The theme song of Captain Planet starts with the chanting (or grunting if you will) the different elements: Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Heart (?). Then Captain Planet comes in and introduces himself as the man “of the powers combined.” The chorus of “Captain Planet, he’s our hero. Gonna take pollution down to zero. He’s our powers magnified and he’s fighting on the planet’s side” is repeated twice followed by a threat of some evil pollution guys. The Planeteers come on next with their chant of, “We’re the Planeteers, you can be one too, ‘cause saving our planet is the thing to do! Looting and polluting is not the way, hear what Captain Planet has to say!” Captain Planet closes the song with an empowering: “The power is yours!!!” as the song fades into the Indiana Jones theme song.
The Captain Planet theme song itself is structured much like a cheer or chant, which fits very well for this “cheerleader of the environment.” The melody, of sorts, for this chant, is not very complicated. There’s some bass instrumentation in the background, as well as lots of percussion, and some sort of synthesizer. It all is quite effective for the “cheerleader” chant bit. It also keeps the focus on the chanting, rather than being distracted by some "wicked ass trumpet line," among other things.
The mood that ensued after hearing this song was quite uplifting. It reminded me of hanging out with my cousins, watching cartoons at their house and eating macaroni and cheese with hot dogs. Mmmmm.
As I mentioned previously, after the theme song portion of the CD ends, other artists are introduced. There are three songs by Something Corporate, which is definitely the most prevalent artist for the second portion of the CD. The three songs are “As You Sleep,” “Konstantine,” and “I Woke Up in a Car.” My least favorite of the three is “I Woke Up in a Car” but the other two are tied for my favorite songs on the CD (other than Captain Planet, of course). Ironically, the two pieces that I like better have more piano in them, and less other instruments. In the car song, there is piano, but it only plays back up chords, while in “Konstantine,” piano is the main instrument, carrying the melody as a solo.
In conclusion, this CD (which was burned, illegally for me my senior year of high school to assist in a “how to” speech- that’s another memory all together) is the best one for road trips, and will continue to hold the place of honor, in the first slot of my CD case. The theme songs really do serve as some sort of reminder of all the good innocent times watching Captain Planet kick pollution’s ass. And eating mac and cheese, of course.