Singing Detective, The: Music

Dennis Potter”s seminal series is also notable for using 1940s-era music, incorporated into surreal musical numbers. Potter had used this device in his earlier miniseries Pennies from Heaven. The main theme music is “Peg o’ My Heart,” of Ziegfeld Follies.

The upbeat music for such a dark story may be influenced by Carol Reed’s 1950 masterpiece, The Third Man, with a harmonica in the place of a zither (The Third Man is referenced in some camera shots, according to DVD commentary).

Director Jon Amiel compiled the generic thriller music used throughout the series from 60 library tapes he had brought together.

The soundtrack, in chronological order:

“Peg o’ My Heart” – Max Harris & his Novelty Trio (theme song; instrumental)

“I’ve Got You Under My Skin” – The BBC Dance Orchestra directed by Henry Hall

“Blues in the Night” – Anne Shelton

“Dry Bones” – Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians

“Rockin’ in Rhythm” – The Jungle Band (Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra)

“Cruising Down the River” – Lou Preager Orchestra

“Don’t Fence Me In” – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

“It Might as Well Be Spring” – Dick Haymes

“Frühlingsrauschen (Rustle of Spring) Op. 32 No. 3” – Sinding

“Bird Song at Eventide” – Ronnie Ronalde with Robert Farnon and his Orchestra

“Paper Doll” – The Mills Brothers

“Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” – Al Bowlly with The Ray Noble Orchestra

“Lili Marlene” – Lale Andersen

“I Get Along Without You Very Well” – Lew Stone Band

“Do I Worry?” – The Ink Spots

“Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

“The Umbrella Man” – Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra

“You Always Hurt the One You Love” – The Mills Brothers

“After You’ve Gone” – Al Jolson with Matty Malneck’s Orchestra and The Four Hits and a Miss

“It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow” – Jack Payne and his Orchestra

“Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall” – Ella Fitzgerald & The Ink Spots

“The Very Thought of You” – Al Bowlly & The Ray Noble Orchestra

“The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” – The Henry Hall Orchestra

“We’ll Meet Again” – Vera Lynn