Sung from the 'Lasso' start: This might be all we get | MARK HUGHES COBB
Yeah, this might be all you get.
Three seasons was all the "Ted Lasso" folks planned, as they told us from the start, with Marcus Mumford's "Badlands"-esque — just a step down from Bruce's "Darkness on the Edge of Town" opener — song. It's apparently just called "Ted Lasso Theme," but the extended version has verses and whatnot. I've played it in public, and despite the show's ubiquity, folks typically don't recognize it unless you start with the rousing "Yeah/it might be all that you get."
You may have heard of Mumford and Sons, which, despite the fact that Marcus and wife Carey Mulligan have two kids, one of them a boy, does not include offspring. For further mild confusion, see also Jethro Tull (lead singer Ian Anderson informed stymied David Letterman that JT was an 18th century agrarian reformer, and no, that wasn't a gag), Marshall Tucker Band (the name MT was written on a key to the band's early rehearsal space), Uriah Heep (a jerk from "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens), Pink Floyd (Syd Barrett combined the names of bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council), or Hootie and the Blowfish (nicknames of kids from Darius Rucker's high school). Vincent Furnier committed, legally changing his name to that of his old band, when he went solo as Alice Cooper.
Mumford and Sons picked that fusty, Ye Olde Firme name for its folk roots. They began playing mostly traditional instruments, collaborating with William Shakespeare as in "Sigh No More" (borrowing lyrics and title from a song in "Much Ado About Nothing") and on "Roll Away Your Stone," paraphrasing "Macbeth"'s "Stars hide your fires/let not light see my black and deep desires." They also draw from Steinbeck, Chretien de Troyes and G.K. Chesterton, so listening to their first two albums, "Sigh No More" and "Babel," actually bestows college credit.
Perhaps stung by the "Hey! Ho! Banjo solo!" memes circulating about them and other neo-folkies, the band began expanding its sound, with more drums and electricity on LPs "Wilder Mind" and "Delta." But it was 2012 when the red-hot hey-ho-ers first played "Saturday Night Live," where Mumford became pals with Jason Sudeikis. The band played along with the "SNL" regular as a Beatles-like combo on "Hey Dude," and Sudeikis returned the favor for M&S's 2013 video for "Hopeless Wanderer," alongside Jason Bateman, Ed Helms and Will Forte, lip-synching as the bearded and bearded-sounding ones.
A few years later, Sudeikis called up Mumford and left an epic voicemail, but on the singer-songwriter's U.S. phone. So Mumford, back home in the U.K., essentially ghosted his pal for months. Visiting the "Ted Lasso" set, early days, he agreed to not only write the theme, but work on the show's score, which plays both in traditional underscore, and diegetic (where music is from the scene itself, ostensibly heard by the characters) senses.
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Typical for the show, which blends goofball wit with heartbreak and surprising sweetness, the in-scene music is deployed on multiple levels, such as when Sudeikis/Ted pulls dad-joke dancing, or sings Christmas carols with Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham, who had to tone it down, as in real life she's a Broadway/West End belter), or best yet, when an actually funny — for a change — Rickroll ties a harrowing funeral together.
Sometimes the track/in-scene music melds, as in episode nine of season two, a diversion in which Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) ambles through an unexpectedly wide-open night on the town, weaving in the Replacements' "Nightclub Jitters," Edwyn Collins' "A Girl Like You," Sir Mix-Alot's "Posse on Broadway," Queen's "We Are The Champions," Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again Naturally," Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax," and Isao Tomita's spacy-electronica dream of Debussy's "Claire de Lune," among others. Though "Beard After Hours" did zero to advance the story, and irritated some fans, it was a brilliant choice, reminding that, like "Lost," "The Americans," "St. Elsewhere" or basically any challenging series that's more than it appears, is ultimately about character.
Despite his failure to check messages, Mumford is kind of the perfect guy to capture a cross-the-pond fish-out-of-water series, having been born in California to British parents, and raised in the U.K. since he was six months old. He holds dual U.S./U.K. citizenship, and calls himself "an undercover American citizen."
But since he had never before scored TV comedy, Mumford was paired with Tom Howe, who despite not having a recognizable band name, has created music you've heard. On the big screen for the 2017 "Wonder Woman," the 2019 Aardman "Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon," and the 2020 live-action "Mulan." Small screen, probably his biggest credit after "Ted Lasso" would be "The Great British Bake-Off."
Also, yikes, the execrable "Daisy Jones and the Six." Maybe he should call pal Marcus for tips on writing anthemic rock. "All That You Get" feels like what the Daisy/pseudo-Stevie Nicks was trying for: A romp, with brassy major chords to drive the Yeah!s, which, despite similarity, are not Hey! or Ho!s, then back to minor melody for the verses.
Don't know how much the creators — Sudeikis, Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence, with writing from Brett "Roy (expletive) Kent" Goldstein and others — told in advance, but the song kinda-sorta tells you not only what you get, but all that you'll get. Though it's been a smash beyond Apple TV's dreams, not just a popular draw, but heavily Emmy-gold-plated, Sudeikis has repeatedly said it's a three-season show, no more. Goldstein, who's hilariously unlike growling Roy, has been pitching ideas such as a somehow dead Roy, teasing that the entire cast dies at the end of season three, haunting his sweet niece, teaching her the finest uses of foul language, but that's probably tongue-in-cheek.
Though I would watch "Ghost Roy and Phoebe."
So "Yeah, it might be all that you get/Yeah, I guess this might well be it." Three seasons. Enjoy.
"If you slow down for a second, take your time/You know I’m yours if you remember that you’re mine/And when everybody’s telling me I have no time/I prove ’em wrong again." Ted's away not just for the sterling opportunity to learn soccer, but to distance himself from a failed marriage. Though he misses son Henry (Gus Turner) horribly, and though there's family trauma to unearth, Ted seems to be punishing himself via odyssey to strange lands.
As Terry Pratchett, a Brit Ted has probably never read, wrote: "Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
Song: "No, my hands won’t be tied down/And I will not lay them down/‘Cause I can finally see the truth/So simple, but so clеar/Accepting an ocean’s depths/Were out of reach for me and you." Ted's wife Michelle (Andrea Anders) calls, and visits, and dang, they sure seem to still love each other. What's out of reach hasn't been fully explored, but most likely we'll see before this run's done.
"If you’re coming up for air breathing in/You know I’ll be there when you first begin/And when everybody’s telling us we have no time/We’ll prove ’em wrong again." Ted and Henry? More likely than Ted and Michelle, because whether he knows or not, that ship's sailed. And sunk, probably near Atlantis.
Then a repeat of the chorus, with two-times minor-key refrain: "Heaven knows I've tried."
So spoiler, but AFC Richmond may not win it all. They might "Rocky" it, and go the distance. But Ted's told us: You're not always going to win, not even on TV. Good people can fail, even where there's love. Connections can rend.
Still, you may choose to believe, to look at everyone else in your personal locker room, er, life, and be grateful you're not alone, in sadness, anger, triumph, hilarity, or grief. Onward. Forward. Prove 'em wrong, again.
Reach Tusk Editor Mark Hughes Cobb at email@example.com, or call 205-722-0201.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Sung from the 'Lasso' start: This might be all we get | MARK HUGHES COBB