|Written by||Philip Balsam and Dennis Lee|
|Publisher||Jim Henson Productions, Inc.|
The Fraggle Rock Theme was the main title song for the live-action and animated versions of Fraggle Rock. In the accompanying footage, it begins with a shot of Doc's Workshop, leading to the "Fraggle hole", where Gobo runs down the tunnel to join the rest of the cast, who sing a verse of the song. Then, the Doozers sing a verse and the five main Fraggles announce their names. Gobo then runs to the hole that leads to The Gorgs' Garden, and briefly gets captured by Junior Gorg. However, when Junior shows his Ma that he caught a Fraggle, she screams, causing Junior to accidentally toss Gobo into the well that leads to the "Fraggle Pond". Back in Fraggle Rock, everybody ends the song. The theme ends with Boober saying, "Down at Fraggle Rock".
In the context of the show's internal history, the song was written by the great and wondrous ancient Fraggle named Blundig (as revealed in "Mokey Then and Now"). Red Fraggle parodied the song as "Boober Rock" in the episode of the same title.
The opening was severely shortened for airings on TNT, the Odyssey Network, and The Hub. Before the first verse ends with "Down at Fraggle Rock", it cuts right to the end of the final verse, right before Boober ends the song. The Hub's airing of "Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk" leaves the intro sequence unaltered, probably due to the episode's length.
A different opening with additional lyrics was taped but not used. In a 1998 interview, Terry Angus stated that the original opening "didn't explain the show very well... At that time everything was zipping by so fast they didn't show how everything was connected." In this version, the main five Fraggle characters bang the pipes near the Fraggle Pond (a la the Pipebangers), causing Doc to observe his water pipes. Gobo peeks out of the Fraggle Hole, is noticed by Sprocket, then rushes back to the Rock, singing about how great Fraggle Rock is. In one lyric, Boober notes that "Fraggle Rock is the spot where the job that you got is 'whoopie'!" This was then followed two verses: one by the Fraggles and the other by the Gorgs. The opening theme was re-shot to better express the theme of interconnectedness between the different species and worlds. It also added a verse by the Doozers, who didn't appear in the original version. In addition to this, the Gorgs don't have a singing verse.
Five different endings were filmed featuring each of the five main Fraggles saying the final "Down at Fraggle Rock". These endings were meant to be used in different episodes throughout the series, but only the one with Boober was used regularly. The opening that ended with Wembley was used in "The Terrible Tunnel," and the one with Gobo was used in "The Finger of Light."
While the latter was retained in Disney Channel airings, the regular theme, ending with Boober's line, replaced both versions of the openings for subsequent re-airings and DVD releases of the episodes, with the exception of the Dutch and Polish versions. The ending with Wembley can also be found on the bonus material of the third season DVD set at the end of an HBO promo for "The Terrible Tunnel."
For the 2016 remastered versions of the episodes (as streamed on HBO and released on Blu-ray), the audio of both alternate intros is retained in their respective episodes, but the video is replaced with the typical Boober shot.
The French and German co-productions used the same instrumental recording of the theme tune used in the original American version, simply using the new footage of the altered Doc and Sprocket segments and dubbing the lyrics and dialogue in their languages. Other international dubs were simply dubbed over in their respective languages. The UK co-production's opening was edited differently. It still used the original recording of the theme tune, only with some additional music and sound effects laid over to stretch the extended time frame, as there was a long exterior shot of the Lighthouse, and the UK version replaced the shot of Doc and Sprocket from the American version with a panning shot of the Lighthouse's interior.
The album version of this song was longer. It opened with Sprocket barking at the Fraggle hole and Doc asking what he was barking at. It also had more lines of dialogue, including a verse sung by Junior, and a scat-singing verse performed by Gobo (which uses the same melody as the deleted lyrics from the demo version), followed by an instrumental saxophone solo of the same verse, and another scat-singing rendition of said verse by both Gobo and Wembley. Subsequent album releases often shorten the instrumental break after Junior's verse, resulting in Gobo having only one scat-solo, as well as having the chorus being sung twice at the end, rather than three times. The only album that uses the original TV version is Perfect Harmony, cutting out the part with the Gorgs.
There are also several international edits to the album version:
- For all foreign-language dubs of the album version, the scene with Doc and Sprocket is not heard.
- UK: The theme is slightly remixed and during the beginning, only Sprocket's barking can be heard. Also, the scat-solo is only performed once, with the first half being instrumental and the second half being sung by Gobo and Wembley. This version was used as the opening for the UK Fraggle Songs home video release, with many clips from various episodes shown to stretch the time.
- Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway: An instrumental bass solo is heard at the beginning, and the second half of Junior's verse is replaced with the chorus being sung twice by the Fraggles. (Aside from this, Junior's scat-singing remains intact in English.) Futhermore, the instrumental sax solo of the scat verse is performed once, and no spoken dialogue is heard, except for the brief Doozers' exchange and when Junior sees the Fraggles.
- Spain: Same as the previous version. The only difference is that, unlike the other versions, the Fraggles announce their names at the end of the Doozers' verse, just like in the original TV version. The particular Doozer verse (with the Fraggle roll call) is repeated again before Junior sees the Gorgs (which is replaced by Gobo yelling "Whoopee!" in this version) and then as the second of the final three ending repeats of the chorus.
- Netherlands: Same as the Spanish version above. This time, however, the Fraggles announce their names, except this time, only before Junior catches Gobo.
- France: Unlike the versions above, this version more closely resembles the original English version of the album theme and also dubs all of Junior's verse and Gobo's scat-singing. (Here, Gobo scats three times in a row, and the third time is accompanied with cheering from the other Fraggles.) Plus, the French voice actors re-dub the theme song for this version, rather than the recorded voices from the TV intro being used.
- The theme song was performed by Uncle Traveling Matt, Wembley and Red Fraggle at the Jim Henson's Musical World concert on April 14, 2012.
- In The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, two brief clips from the original unaired demo version were shown while "Down at Fraggle Rock" was sung twice, before Boober ends the song. The theme song was also shortened for the Doozer Music video, ending after the Doozers' portion of the song.
- The theme reappears in the 2020 webseries Fraggle Rock: Rock On!. An instrumental version opens and closes every episode. Episode 5 features Jason Mraz and Gobo playing the theme on their guitars (in a "Dueling Banjos" fashion). A special version of the theme serves as the finale for Episode 6, sung by the Fraggles and guest stars Neil Patrick Harris, Alanis Morissette, Ziggy Marley, Tiffany Haddish, Common, and Jason Mraz (who sings Boober's ending line).
A shorter version of the Fraggle Rock theme song was used as the closing theme for the show. It opened with scat-singing by Gobo and Wembley, followed by two verses of the song performed by the Fraggles.
On TNT and the Odyssey Network, the closing was shortened. For the Odyssey Network re-runs, after "Dance your cares away..." is first sung, it cuts to the rest of the second verse with the shot of Red falling into the Fraggle Pond. TNT uses an even shorter version, retaining only the second half of Gobo and Wembley's scat-singing and the first verse by the Fraggles.
In the final episode of the series, the closing theme was sung by the entire cast during the end credits: the Fraggles, the Doozers, Marjory the Trash Heap, Philo and Gunge, the Gorgs, and even Doc and Sprocket, who wrap it up in the same fashion that Boober does for the opening.
While the final episode's end credit song is a variation of the theme, two other episodes featured entirely different songs during the end-credit roll:
- Episode 301: The Bells of Fraggle Rock: Reprise of "There's a Promise"
- Episode 505: The River of Life: "We're Part of Each Other"
On some international versions of the episodes, these endings were replaced with the standard closing theme.
- On the Dance Your Cares Away: Evolution of Fraggle Rock Theme Song bonus feature from the Fraggle Rock: Complete Series Collection, songwriter Phillip Balsam explains how the song was conceived. It is revealed that at least 17 different themes were written or recorded, and Jim Henson chose the eleventh version to use as a model for the final theme song. One theme song featured mostly scatting instead of lyrics, and this inspired the closing theme.
- In the episode "Boober Rock", Red sings a variation of this song. In "Boober's Dream", Sidebottom sings a part of this song, right after "Dream a Dream (And See)" ends.
Unaired Demo Gallery
- Fraggle Rock
- Perfect Harmony (opening and closing)
- Music and Magic (opening and closing)
- The Best of Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock (opening and closing)