I really like the idea behind the theme song for this one.
If you really liked The Wire, you would know that the theme song was sung by a different group or artist in each season. The song stays the same, though. “Way Down in the Hole” is the name of the song. It was written and first recorded by American musician Tom Waits for his album Franks Wild Years, which came out in 1987.
As for the version for each season and a little bit about it.
Season 1 of “The Blind Boys of Alabama”
The gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama sings “Way Down in the Hole” in season one. Yes, they can’t see. They’ve been around since 1939, and yes, their members have changed over the years. They did a cover of “Way Down in the Hole,” and it was on their Spirit of the Century album from 2001. Their version was also played over a montage in the last episode of the show. Here are the credits for the first season.
The Wire Intro
Season one theme music and intro to HBO’s drama series “The Wire”.
Music by The Blind Boys of Alabama – Way Down in The Hole.
Season 2 by Tom Waits
The theme song for the second season of The Wire is Tom Waits’ original recording of “Way Down in the Hole.” It’s on his album Frank’s Wild Years, as was already said. Here is the first scene of the second season.
Season 3 by The Neville Brothers
Season three’s rendition is by New Orleans, Louisiana-based soul group The Neville Brothers. Unfortunately, I do not know if they included it in an album/official release as of this time. Some help, maybe? Below are the third season’s opening credits.
Season 4 by DoMaJe
People in the cast are said to have worked together on DoMaJe. This version was made especially for the show. It was recorded and put together. Ivan Ashford, Markel Steele, Cameron Brown, Tariq Al-Sabir, and Avery Bargasse, all from Baltimore, sing on the record. Here is the beginning of season 4.
Season 5 by Steve Earle
Steve Earle, an American country music artist, sings the theme song for the fifth and final season. This version is on his CD, Washington Square Serenade, which came out in 2007. Steve is also part of the cast. He plays Walon, a former drug addict who is now clean. This is the beginning of the fifth season.
The Wire lyrics
When you walk through the garden
You gotta watch your back
Well, I beg your pardon
Walk the straight and narrow track
If you walk with Jesus
He’s gonna save your soul
You gotta keep the devil
Way down in the hole
He’s got the fire and the fury
At his command
Well, you don’t have to worry
If you hold on to Jesus’ hand
We’ll all be safe from Satan
When the thunder rolls
Just gotta help me keep the devil
Way down in the hole
All the angels sing about Jesus’ mighty sword
And they’ll shield you with their wings
And keep you close to the lord
Don’t pay heed to temptation
For his hands are so cold
You gotta help me keep the devil
Way down in the hole.
According to creator David Simon, all five seasons of The Wire are available to watch on HBO.
If you want to watch The Wire online, go to HBO NOW.
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The Wire is one of the most brilliant and significant TV shows ever created. This video talks about the creators of the show and the techniques used that make it so great.
P.S. I guess it’s also important to mention that Blake Leyh, who oversees the show’s music, wrote the ending theme, “The Fall.”
So, which one do you like the best? Tell me in the comments section below, and I’ll see you in the next one.