Thank you for being a friend / Traveled down a road and back again / Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant.
Videos by American Songwriter
Few words gift more feel-good nostalgia than the lines of “Thank You for Being a Friend,” the bookend theme song of the television comedy The Golden Girls. From the first episode to the last, seven seasons later, a heel-toe bass line and sashaying keys danced their way into our hearts as did the shoulder pad-clad silver foxes, Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia.
However, did you know “Thank You for Being a Friend” had Gold beginnings before it ever became Golden?
The tune was written and released by singer-songwriter, producer, and frequent Linda Ronstadt collaborator, Andrew Gold, in 1978. In the video below, the singer/songwriter explains that the song took him about an hour to write, and it started out as “just this little throwaway thing.” For Gold, the soft-rock single saw great success, peaking at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart upon its release.
In addition to the television theme song, Gold saw success with solo hits “Lonely Boy” (1977) and the UK Top Five hit “Never Let Her Slip Away” (1978). He later produced and wrote tracks for films, commercials, and television soundtracks, including the sitcom Mad About You.
Listen to Gold discuss the song’s origins before his original version plays.
The Golden Girls
When the song was used for the hit television show’s 1985 premiere, Gold’s song stylings were shined up using the vocals of jingle singer Cindy Fee.
From there, what began as “just this little throwaway thing” transcended television and became embedded in pop culture.
Nearly four decades later, “Thank You for Being a Friend” has endured, being kept alive in many facets of modern day. The song is boundless and has been played at sporting events, like the World Series and the Super Bowl. It has been meme-ified, Simpsons-ified, even going as far as transcending genre. The tune has gotten numerous re-imaginings from those of the death-metal persuasion to smooth ska stylings, but nothing beats the theme.
Photo by David Redfern/Redferns