1989, Words and Music by Desiree Goyette and Ed Bogas
Performed by Lou Rawls
Hardly the most impressive track from Lou Rawls’ long and distinguished career, but this little earworm served its purpose. Clocking in at just a minute and change, it was the theme (and only song) in the 1989 animated television special, Garfield’s Babes and Bullets, wherein the world’s most popular lasagna-loving fat cat daydreams that he’s a private eye. The tune’s a concise blend of warbling saxophones straight out of a million crime flicks, and cheesy B-film lyrics, playing as the opening credits (downbeat and deserted cityscapes in black and white, of course) roll. Rawls of course sings the hell out of it, hitting the sweet spot between tribute and parody–which is quite the accomplishment, since he must have had his tongue in his cheek the whole time.
It’s as effective an opening sequence to a cartoon as I’ve ever seen–too bad the rest of the half-hour show used the standard, done-on-the-cheap animation used on all the Garfield TV specials (and most Saturday morning cartoons). Divorced from the moody and evocative artwork of the book which served as the show’s source, the story, as thin as ever was, came off as just another Garfield special, albeit one that aimed higher than most of them.
Still worth a look, though, and for those of you with little kiddies, don’t worry–the title and the theme song may have bullets, but none are ever used in the show.
Claws and clues are my beat
I pay my dues on the street
A life full of babes and bullets
It’s a living
That’s why I do it